Hi, I’m

Cedric McDougal

I’m a software developer in Connecticut. I’m building Swivvel to eliminate the lag in remote collaboration.

This website is a collection of personal and professional work: Experience; Side Projects; Music; Videos; Papers; Poems. If you want to get in touch: LinkedIn; Email. Here’s my GitHub.

Experience

Swivvel

Co-founder & CTO — Currently building a platform to eliminate the lag in remote collaboration.

Swivvel
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Higher Ground Education

SVP Engineering — After Higher Ground Education acquired NeighborSchools, I oversaw the transition as SVP Engineering.

Higher Ground Education
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NeighborSchools

Co-founder & CTO — Helped qualified child-care providers start licensed home daycares. Acquired by Higher Ground Education.

NeighborSchools
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Scientific Financial Systems

Lead Engineer — Engineer #2 at a startup building a financial software platform that was used by hedge funds and other financial institutions.

Scientific Financial Systems
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InsightSquared

Senior Software Engineer — Employee #10 at a business analytics startup that was acquired by Mediafly.

InsightSquared
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PowerAdvocate (now Wood Mackenzie)

Software Engineer — Worked on a platform to help large companies manage their energy spend.

PowerAdvocate (now Wood Mackenzie)
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Digital Grandparents

Co-founder — At Northeastern, I co-founded a non-profit called Digital Grandparents that helped older adults learn how to use technology.

Digital Grandparents
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Side Projects

Disappearing Chat

An anonymous forum where posts are automatically deleted after 24 hours. Every upvote or comment resets the clock.

Disappearing Chat
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South America Backpacking Blog

In 2013, I backpacked in South America for a month. I traveled across Argentina and Bolivia and created this blog website about the journey. I highly recommend Iguazu Falls!

South America Backpacking Blog
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Walkabout Boston

A photo journal website of a lengthy walk around Boston, showcasing Longwood, Fenway and Mission Hill.

Walkabout Boston
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Beatles Dataset Builder

I built this tool for a research paper investigating how computer-driven textual analysis can reveal lyrical trends across the career of the Beatles. Some of the collected metrics include: danceability, energy, positive emotions, negative emotions, self-referential lyrics, big words, etc.

Beatles Dataset Builder
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Handman

Handman is an occupational therapy Android app. It’s similar to a regular game of hangman, but if you guess incorrectly you get a chance to trace the letter. If you trace with high enough accuracy, your guess doesn’t count.

Handman
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Notable

Notable is a music generation algorithm. It uses a pipeline of increasingly complex rules and transformations to generate a piece of music based on a set of input parameters (key signature, time signature, tempo, etc.). The output can be passed in to LilyPond.

Notable
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Wumpus World

The Wumpus world problem deals with an AI robot navigating its way through a puzzle to try and find gold. The robot must safely navigate its way around bottomless pits of death and evil Wumpus creatures to locate the gold hidden on the board.

Wumpus World
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TrafficSmart

TrafficSmart was a class project that aimed to use AI to increase the efficiency of traffic light timings in a city.

TrafficSmart
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Music

Videos

Distributed Databases for Dummies

A walkthrough of the CAP theorem at a very basic level. The CAP Theorem is about fundamental tradeoffs that must be made when designing distributed computing systems. I made this video in conjunction with an academic paper.

Tea Time

My entry to the Calm-A-Sutra of Tea Scholarship Competition. The challenge was to make a two-minute video about the health benefits of tea.

Papers

Multi-Dimensional Computer-Driven Quantitative Analysis of the Music and Lyrics of the Beatles

Data retrieved through computer-driven quantitative textual analysis of Beatles lyrics was combined with data retrieved from computer-driven quantitative auditory analysis of Beatles music in order to build an extensive dataset that can answer a wide variety of multi-dimensional questions. This dataset spans the Beatles’ career and provides metrics such as danceability, energy, positive emotions, negative emotions, self-referential lyrics, big words, etc. It can be indexed by year, album, songwriter, chart position, and more. This study explores a number of general relationships and trends within the data in order to best demonstrate the types of questions that can be answered with this dataset.

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Overcoming the CAP Theorem: A survey of research on distributed computing

The vast amount of digital data in the world has led many companies to adopt distributed computing. However, this is not a perfect solution. Eric Brewer’s CAP Theorem outlines a few of the limitations inherent in distributed computing. This paper explores current efforts to overcome these limitations. First, I introduce and explain the CAP Theorem. Then, I examine modern strategies for addressing the CAP Theorem limitations. Finally, I conclude the paper by summarizing my findings, explaining limitations in my research, and ruminating on the future of distributed computing.

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Poems

Adrift on the Blue

A cozy home In the bow of a boat With the whisper of water And rocking. Afloat On the surface Of surf serene and So calm, Streaming in sunlight, Humming along. The motor tugs Forward, the wake Slips behind, Sleep settles over This nook as this mind Meanders, a river Of thoughts Winding through The depths of a dream, Adrift on the blue.

Real Life

Tales of terror; darkness nests – Lambent fields; so truly blessed – Murders gone and unconfessed – You know what happens in the rest. life confined but Life so free, The freedom gained; begot for free. Life as life can never be, Meaning nothing needlessly. Sleep in streets. Go softly sneaking, As the walls are slowly weakening. Alarming thoughts from people seeking Questions with another meaning. Jolted soul; erupting head – Can’t remember what was said – To Life I was so shortly wed: And now I must get out of bed.

In Memory of Gus

Staring at a casket, past it. Lasting moments flashing past it. Staring at the past, it’s static, Still, sweet, and gently aromatic. The death has yet to settle in The gaping hole you can’t fill in That in due time you will fall in. You’ve dug the earth a little hole. A scar to mark his memory. Fill empty grave with empty soul.

Maybe life is but a dream...

When it is covered by the night, The blackest mare in wild fright Will vanish with the blackest light And burden nevermore, it might Become the sunny, sandy shore, Or the purely pearly door, But never will it hunt, no more Will it haunt the after or Will it ride and cross the sea With iron will it float so free, Can it not nor never be That it will drift so lazily Across the one way out there stream Of muddy water, it might seem To reel, with bending straining beam, In this never-ending dream.

Lost

The setting sun, the fleeing light, The longest hour of the endless night. The looming darkness full of fright: Dancing devil, frolicking sprite. Up and down and left and right, The shadow closes; its grip so tight. Try as you will with all your might, You can’t shake off your eerie plight. The drooling jaws, the gnashing bite, The nothingness that none can fight. And when it takes away your sight, You’re filled with opposite of white. You feel as if you’ve lost your height, You feel as though your soul is slight. Your thoughts a jungle, your mind a blight, The moon drains you of your delight. Is morning come? Not yet, not quite. This void’s becoming rather trite. For to survive you must invite The morbid fact that naught’s alright.

On the Edge of Candle’s Light

As night is raised with setting day, Across the mind to candle’s light The darkened realm, The brightened sprite. Dwelling in the dripping glow With flicking wings, the darting click Of bickering flame And wilting wick. Setting eyes of yellow shift The edgy spore of shadow’s knot; It wavers back The rotting thought. Gnawing cross the candle’s cell are Minute claws that cringe and cower With second life In final hour. And as the core is lowered still, Too void, the emptiness it lies Too bare, in sleep Deceit deprives. And so avoid the rest of time: In meaning less it feeds on all With lulling grasp, Mirages fall.

A Silent Goodbye

The screech of a seagull shudders in the sky, The waves weep salty tears before they die, The froth churns frilly, on the sand it does lie, The mussels cling tight, from the rocks none can pry, The clouds fluffy fiction, above me, up high, The sun’s an inferno, the earth does it fry, Searing above, an all-seeing eye, Watching over the world, naught doesn’t it spy. The sands shaping golden and shifting like rye, The willow sagging down with a weeping cry, The oaks reaching up and giving a sigh, Their fingers stretch hopelessly, trying to tie The earth and the heavens, always they try To grow upwards and out, right next to my Spot on the beach, the place where I Look out at the world and ask it: why? It answers with nothing, a silent goodbye.

Winter’s Wrath

Oh Winter’s wrath besets the world with rage! Tenacious, striking, Winter never sleeps. She dominates the sun and Heaven’s stage, Her breath is colder than the frozen deep. As death doth rob the dying body’s heat, She steals remaining warmth from Autumn’s air. Her baleful temper slings the snow and sleet, Oppressing all the world without a care. Yet Winter’s wrath precedes a warmer Spring. She cedes control of all the frozen land. The sun comes forth and birds begin to sing, The time has come for Spring to make her stand. The seasons ever cycle on their path, Oh Life will never stop through joy and wrath

An Unfortunate Journey

The hills were blocking the beautiful rays, Behind them all the wonder lay, For in that spot I could not see, The sun was there looking for me. I wanted much to see the sun, In case it left, I started to run. It took me long to reach this place, I traveled all night at a steady pace. To my misfortune when I crested the hill, I found something that made me feel ill. The sun was not here anymore, It was behind me in the mountains that soar.