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Research Interests

Research is a part of learning, and I have developed an interest for a variety of topics during my time spent in academia. The one great aspect about continuing my education was that I was able to form a close relationship with my professors and learn from their experience. I have compiled a list of the topics that I am most interested/experienced in.

HTML Design/Development
Web design has been a passion of mine for years and only recently have I come to form a formal understanding of the language. HTML in its simplest form is a very easy to learn language, but to use it properly is a true art. I have spent the last two years trying to gain a formal understanding of the document object model so that I can use HTML the way it was intended. I also have a passion for the graphical side of design, and I am a novice photographer to fuel my web designs.

My web design skills do not stop at well formed HTML code... I have also grown to be very good at scripting languages like ASP.net using both VB.net and C# as the scripting language. A few of the projects that I have worked on required UNIX based languages and so I have also gained strong skills with CGI based languages like Perl and ASP.
XML/XSLT
My work with the RAPAI project opened my eyes to the concept of documents and XML. During the course of the project I had to rapidly learn how to retrieve data from a database, wrap it in XML tags, and then use a transformer to turn the data into an html page.

Most of my XML/XSLT experience had been through JAVA, but recently I have been testing the waters of RSS through the .net framework. The result of that work is I have found that the integration of RSS/XML in, net to be very simple to incorporate.
RFID
Radio Frequency Identification is a relatively new field, but the applications are enumerable. My research in this field also stemmed from my work on the RAPAI project. I was able to experience first hand how the technology works and I also worked with a team to develop a role base authentication using the radio tags.

The hardware that we used was developed in a computer engineering lab at the University of Pittsburgh and was remarkably easy to work with. The tags basically emit a unique signal that can be integrated into software to perform a wide variety of tasks. The most recognizable application of this hardware will soon be unveiled by Wal-Mart in their inventory management process.
Database Management
In the fall of 2003 I had my first formal exposure to database management systems in a database management course that I took for my master's degree. Database design is not horribly complicated, but doing it right takes a bit of logical reasoning. In the class I learned about relational database design, querying, and data warehousing. I completed an in class project which can be found in my portfolio, and I have also designed about 25 separate databases at my position with the Admissions office. I am well versed in creating complex views, complex querying, writing stored procedures and normalizing data.
.net Framework
Two years ago when I started working as a graduate student assistant, I was told that a lot of the programming that I would be doing would be in the ,net framework and that I should try and learn it on my own. My academic department at the University did, and still does not, offer any formal classes in .net so I started reading on my own. After a few months of learning by trial I have formed a strong bond with the .net framework. I have become proficient with both visual basic and C# and I can now say that I am as experienced in the language as much as a seasoned programmer. Web based applications are my passion and .net is the most robust language that I have ever worked with.
S.E.O. (Search Engine Optimization)
I spent a great deal of time reading through online journals to try and hash out what search engine spiders look for in a web site. My results have been moderately successful. I have found that search engines are volatile and are of course updated and changed regularly. At the time of publishing this page, my website was listed as the first result when searching on the keyword "Fossi" at the following search engines: Google, MSN, Lycos, Yahoo, Vivisimo, DogPile.

My research has left me with a clear idea of how to design my pages to optimize keyword indexing. The most difficult part of search engine optimization is deciding which keywords are most important. Since my research was focused on this portfolio, I felt that my name was the most important idea. It was pretty easy to get "Adam Fossi" high on the list, but my last name alone was quite an accomplishment. If you have specific questions about my techniques I would be glad to speak with you in person; otherwise I consider them trade secrets and do not like to discuss what I have found to be successful via email. Thank you for understanding the terrible competitiveness of this field!