Grad Studies
Projects I worked on...
Prior to school Grad School Marble Associates Post Communications
Font Editor (11/88)
Computer Magazine PC Plus

Published the PASCAL program PLUSFONT in a the article "Vitamin F for the NL-10" in the German computer magazine "PC Plus". The magazine published the code (700 lines of code, 4 hexdumps of fonts).

Practical Microelectronics Experience (1980 - 1990)
Home Use

For a while I was seriously thinking about persuing a career in electrical engineering, as I collected a lot of experience over the years. My bigger projects were a Hifi Pre-amplifier together with the matching 400W-MOS amplifier and a Geiger-Mueller-Counter. Through these and several smaller projects I collected invaluable experience in understanding circuits and in the use of welding equipment. I got an idea of hardware debugging and the use of tools like oscilloscopes.

Computer Basics and System Administration (1983 - present)
Personal Computer Maintenance

I collected first experience with digital technology (as opposed to analog electronics, as mentioned above) with a 4-bit computer at age ten. This piece of technology had 512 bytes of memory and a six-digit hexadecimal display (wow!). However, this helped me to understand the basics of computer architecture early on. When I changed to a Commodore 64, the knowledge earned earlier was helpful to learn Assembler (after getting comfortable with BASIC).

Luckily my next computing platform was an Intel 8086 (although I also conisdered Commodore Amiga). I got extremely comfortable with MS-DOS and later MS Windows 3.1 (I even checked out MS Windows 2!). I changed to a 80386 at some point, sticking with Microsoft. This particular machine changed over the years, as I replaced pretty much all the hardware in the box. Through these tasks and by making Win3.1 run, I learned system administration for a non-networked machine.

Personal Web Page (1995 - present)
13.470 - Computer Aided Engineering

This class was a lot of fun, as it was taught by Professor John Williams. This class had quizzes and problem sets every week. One of the first problem sets was the creation of a personal homepage. I was faszinated by the simplicity and power of html. Ever since my page became a site. And after MIT purged my account, the pages moved to Geocities. I told the world I am out there, and as a reward, I got a rating from Yahoo: Cool Site. [view listing]

SplineSculptor - A CAD system for Coffee Mugs
13.471 - Design and Implementation of Computer Aided Engineering Systems

This unique class at MIT had not quiz and no final - but a term project. It was challenging and a lot of fun: "Create a software system to design coffee mugs collaboratively in a networked environment." This was a team task, and our system is quite remarkable. Of course, our team won! [details]

Team: Bob Beretta, Michael Jastram, Gerard McHugh, Dexter Mootoo

Inspection and Feature Extraction of Marine Propeller Blades - Master Thesis
Design Laboratory of the MIT department of Ocean Engineering

In this thesis, I developed an algorithm which is used to "localize" a set of points towards a sculptured surface. This algorithm is implemented in Praxiteles 8.0, a software package used by the Navy to inspect propeller blades.

Through my work I learned about the difficulties of numeric analysis and that computers are not as precise as they should be! [thesis online]

Team: Steve Abrams, Michael Jastram, Takashi Maekawa, Prof. Nick M. Patrikalakis

Java Database Interface

A customer in the publishing industry provided access to its databases with different tools on various platforms. To investigate the feasibility to use one tool - written in Java - on all platforms, I performed an analysis.

Team: Michael Jastram

Implementation Study for a Bibliographic Research System

Following the above mentioned report, Marble was performing a detailed implementation study for the client's main product, which included the user interface mentioned above. Focus of that deliverable was how to focus the next release of that product and which features to push to be the main features, as well as streamlining the whole product development process.

Team: Michael Jastram, Matthew Stecker, Chris Popple

Implementing a Communication Server
Eastern Technology Group/ Trans National Travel

A travel agency was planning to make their booking system available to a number of satellite offices and in the future on the Web. The system was running on a Tech-7 Unix system. The nature of the setup required a communication server, which was communicating to the Tech-7 and an Oracle database, serving data to connected clients. The server had to reflect some business logic and was also performing caching to improve performance.

Team: Michael Jastram, Larry Presswood (Eastern Technology Group)

Redefining Academic Publishing

A player in the academic bibliographic industry was investigating how to improve the process of academic publishing by building an electronic infrastructure, which would act as a framework for publishers, librarians and knowledge workers. This framework featured a commerce model, trust hierarchy, etc.

Team: Michael Jastram, Jean-Marc Padova, Chris Popple, Dean Foulis, Matthew Stecker

Prototype of a Metadata Collecting Database System

The client mentioned earlier needed a "proof of concept" of one subsystem which has been investigated in the mentioned report. Within eight weeks, Marble developed a prototype which was capable of reading bibliographic records of any format. The system was standardizing the records, and, most important, removing duplicates.

Team: Dean Foulis, Bridget Frey, Michael Jastram, Jean-Marc Padova, Chris Popple, Karl Schmidt, Matthew Stecker

Statistics Tool
Marble Associates

To allow immediate feedback from visitors of the Marble web pages, developed a statistics tool, consisting of a client, which was running in the web browser, and a server, which was also written in Java. The client presents a question and a button for each possible answer. When the user votes, the answer buttons are replaced by a diagram which represents all votes so far.

Unfortunately, I cannot demostrate this applet at this time, as I don't have a computer to host the server application. Geocities only provides space for web pages (and as it's free, I don't complain).

Team: Michael Jastram

Corporate Memory Infrastructure
Marble Associates

This tool recreates the Marble internal webpages on a regular basis from Marble's central project file system. It is completely e-mail controlled - it reminds people to update their active projects and detects missing documentation. It also accepts submissions of web pages and reflects the recent open e-mail traffic of staff members and archives these mails. [Intranet simulation]

Team: Michael Jastram

Java Tutorial
Marble Associates

To accelerate the learning process of new technologies, Marble had an internal education program. Every employee had to maintain a tutorial and keep it up to date. The Java tutorial was my responsiblity.

Team: Michael Jastram

Agent Technology
Marble Associates To be on the cutting edge of technology, every associate, was releasing tech-briefs, for internal information as well. I was performing research on Agent Technology. [view report] [view notes]

Team: Michael Jastram

Comming soon...

Comming soon...

Team: Michael Jastram

Updated 11 August 2000
Michael Jastram micky@alum.mit.edu