I have a long list of projects that I'd like to work on. Here are a few that I admittedly haven't thought about much, but think could be interesting. If you have experience, thoughts, interest, etc. in any of them, please let me know.
To give an overview of the way I like to work, here are my (very incomplete) notes on creating a productive work environment.
Math that's useful
Math isn't useful if you can't remember it. With today's technology, it's also pretty important to be able to make computers do the heavy calculating for you. I would like to create or compile resources that teach math first from a narrative perspective, i.e. understand why you want to do something (see my blog post on the topic). Then, layer on vocabulary and computer syntax on top of that understanding.
Charity: resources for improving and reselling used goods
Craigslist and dumpsters are full of things that could be made useable with a bit of work. The idea here is to create a place where people can come and borrow tools, use paint, storage, etc at highly subsidized prices (to discourage overuse) for renovating used items. It would be great to have a really good product photography setup as well and help for getting renovated items onto the appropriate internet marketplace.
Connecting electronics to the internet more easily
First, I know very little about practical electronics. I did a few labs in physics classes in college, but that's about it, so this idea is very vague. However, it seems like there's room for a pretty standardized and easy-to-use framework for connecting electronics to the internet and that data into a web or native app. I haven't seen such a thing yet and it would be really interesting to learn about and fiddle with what parts of that process could be standardized and abstracted.
Technology interfaces for unfamiliar users
Interacting with a computer, cell phone or other computing device is really hard for certain segments of the population. One of the websites I've been building recently has some users who are older and don't consider themselves very comfortable with computers. Just talking to them on the phone while they use the website has been very revealing to me about how many learned conventions help me navigate technology that aren't available to everyone. There must be at least a set of practical guidelines and possibly a good set of principles that could be embedded into the way that input devices, operating systems, web templates, etc are set up that would help those user groups. I'm most familiar with the elderly as an "extreme" user group, but I imagine that the ideas would also apply well to young children or people in rural and developing areas.
Multiple-perspective discussion of current events and issues
I'd like to put together a source of high-quality discussions about current events and issues. Currently, I envision a very short report of the event or data in question that everyone involved in the discussion agrees is simple fact, followed by two or more individuals with different points of view engaging in a heavily-moderated exchange. The point of the exchange would not be to "win" a debate on the issue, but to thoroughly understand where each party sees difficulties with the other's arguments and why they choose to accept their own interpretation. There are two problems that I think this kind of presentation could solve. The first is the difficulty of providing a news source that feels reliable without contributing to the "echo chamber" effect of only listening to stories from the perspective that the consumer already agrees with. The second problem is finding a way to expose the underlying assumptions and nuances in various views so that we can really understand how smart and thoughtful people differ.