James Mendel

Creative Technologist

James Mendel



Recent Projects


Exploration 02: Conway’s Game of Life (2021)

Implementing Conway’s famous Game of Life onto my 16x16 LED Matrix

The rules are simple. The results are implicative of the emergent behavior resulting from an elementary ruleset. This algorithm, who is analagous to life itself, dictates the following action for each cell in the 256 body grid of my 16x16 display:

  1. Overpopulation: A cell who has 4 or more neighbors dies from hunger.
  2. Loneliness: A cell who has 1 or fewer neighbors dies from seclusion.
  3. Reproduction: A cell who has exactly three neighbors thrives in their community.
  4. Stasis: All other cells continue to the next day.

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Exploration 01: Code Driven Art (2021)

First exploration of p5.js JavaScript library to render generative designs in the browser canvas

I have had a lot of fun recently in creating digital art using code. p5.js is an awesome JavaScript library that allows for easy 2D and 3D canvas management, frame handling, shape primitives, and more.

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LaTeX Assignment Templates (2021)

Programmatically generates PDF with cumstomized header and background for better organization.

When I started taking notes and doing assignments digitally on a tablet with stylus, I wanted an elegant way to keep things organized and pretty. My note-taking application of choice, Goodnotes for iPad, allows you to import PDFs and draw on them directly. This sounds like a great use of LaTeX!

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Porting Pong to my Matrix (2021)

Bringing the classic video game to my 16x16 display

This is one of the first games I wrote from scratch. I wrote this before I had taken an in-depth class on object oriented programming, so its not the prettiest (although not too bad at under 200 lines!), but I wanted to leverage object oriented programming to create a simple game board with two paddles and a ball with self-contained logic.

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16x16 RGB LED Matrix (2021)

256 individually addressable LEDs controllable with integrated website.

Insipired by those expensive Nanoleafs that are popular on Amazon right now, I wanted to make a cool piece built around the rather infamous Neopixel LEDs that I could hang on my wall and amaze my friends.

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KU | RateMyProfessors browser extension (2020)

Modifies classes.ku.edu professor links to redirect to their RateMyProfessors.com search query. Available for Firefox and Chrome.

I started this mini-project out of the ever-so-fruitful combination of boredom and curiosity. I had been interested in developing a browser extension for a while, but I didn’t have any ideas to kickstart the learning process. But alas, the idea for KU | RateMyProfessors browser extension came to me!

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On the Halting Problem (2019)

Final paper for HNRS 190, a class discussing the contributions made by early mathematicians and computer scientists during the era surrounding World War II.

This paper discusses the Halting Problem, its meaning, context, and proofs.

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