iSchool Capstone

Capstone Projects

2013

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A Book Club for Inmates: Creating New Liaisons in the Community

Public libraries are always looking for ways to ensure that they cater to each demographic group in their communities, in particular marginalized and underrepresented groups. My project helped Wilsonville Public Library in Oregon cater to a group that previously flew under its radar. I have developed and implemented a book club at a controversial, recently-constructed women’s prison within the Wilsonville community. As the ultimate goal of the Oregon Department of Corrections is to reduce the rate of recidivism, our uncensored book material will provide for constructive discussions aimed at promoting literacy and pro-social behavior in the inmates. This book club provides an effective liaison between the Department of Corrections and Wilsonville Public Library in a way that benefits all stakeholders. Even auxiliary benefits of such a connection are apparent, as community awareness has led to several donations of books to the prison library.
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A Usability Study of King County Superior Court Website: “Real People, Real Problems”

Local courts noticed an increase in ‘pro se’ or self-represented litigation. In order to help better prepare these litigants, King County Superior Court judges and administration have commissioned a study to design the delivery of web-based information to better suit these users. Detailed analysis was conducted on the current website through the review of content inventories and sitemaps. Surveys of user behavior and observation were used to streamline assistance for domestic violence and consolidate Spanish language resources to facilitate ESL needs. In person testing was conducted with potential jurors to determine public perception and usability when facing tasks involving eviction, divorce, and juvenile justice. All data was compiled into a proposal for redesign, and presented to King County Superior Court as a set of recommendations for website improvement to better serve the needs of the pro se population.
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Accessing History: Education Collection Management for the Museum of History and Industry

Have you ever held a musket ball or a three-foot long walrus tusk? Ever wondered what a sad iron is, and how it was used? Artifacts like these are just a few of the more than 600 items the Museum of History and Industry uses in support of its programming for children and families. With curriculum covering everything from the Coast Salish Tribes of Puget Sound to Century 21, the Seattle World's Fair, MOHAI's programming brings local history to schools throughout Puget Sound. With the museum's move to their new location this collection is now at a storage facility in Georgetown, across town from South Lake Union where Education staff have their offices. Using CollectiveAccess, a customizable open-source collections management database, we have described and organized this collection so the Education Department staff can continue to access and share this valuable collection.
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Alaska Airlines Incident Management System

Weather delays. Mechanical failures. Network outages. Each day, airlines are confronted with incidents that affect the efficiency of their operation. Effective management of a deluge of information is the key to a successful response. Poor communication can lead to stranded aircraft, passengers, and cargo; and in the event of an accident, information may be a lifeline. Our project designs the framework for a web-based incident management system for Alaska Airlines, meeting the company’s requirements for an intuitive interface that requires minimal training, and the ability to sort, search through, and share large amounts of data. This communication system enables resolution of complicated incidents and helps Alaska remain the #1 carrier in on-time performance.
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Alaska Airlines: Flight Attendant Productivity Tool

Alaska Airlines is a major commercial airline based in Seattle, Washington. They employ approximately 3,000 flight attendants who provide direction and assistance on flights within North America. A daily focus on flight attendant scheduling and productivity metrics is necessary to effectively manage airline costs, minimize operational delays, and forecast future productivity to generate revenue and maintain market share. The interactive Flight Attendant Productivity Tool prototype we developed packages scheduling and productivity metrics in a clean and in-depth decision-making format. The tool provides Alaska Airlines management with continuous access to relevant and accurate staffing data and productivity metrics to monitor flight attendant productivity and forecast staffing needs. It enables Alaska Airlines to maintain efficient airline operation and to remain competitive in the airline business.
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Allergy App

For people with food allergies, grocery shopping is an inefficient task with potentially deadly consequences: they must research products to ensure that they are avoiding harmful ingredients. We created Allergy App, a mobile Android application designed to enhance the grocery shopping experience. Allergy App puts the power of information in the users’ hands. Users can select their food allergies, and the app determines if a scanned product contains harmful ingredients. Allergy App’s user-friendly design sets it apart from similar applications by providing useful information quickly and clearly. We have measured our success with a user-testing plan that evaluates usability and customer satisfaction.
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Alumni Relationship Management System: Engaging Communities

Our project consists of the development of a system that aims at helping the non-profit organization Seattle Tilth to keep in touch with students that have graduated from one of their programs. Until today, our sponsor did not have any formal way of contacting their alumni, and any communication that happened was merely informal. Our research with current and former students showed that the best mix of media was e-mail, SMS and Facebook. We then built a communication system managed via Salesforce. Our sponsor will provide useful information through these channels on a regular basis for engaging alumni; structured surveys to gather information about the current status of the alumni will also be sent.
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ASAP International Web Site & Branding Redesign

ASAP International LLC is a small logistics firm based in Texas and Mexico. It specializes in high-importance deliveries made by hand. Its website and branding had not been updated in more than five years. During that time span, the web underwent a slew of changes during which users began to eschew desktop devices for mobile ones. ASAP International’s old site didn’t reflect the firm’s credibility in handling essential transactions or the quick, lean image it sought to project. We assisted ASAP International in revamping its image to customers through branding and a website redesign which, for the first time, includes optimization for mobile devices. Through this rebranding and redesign, we crafted a more representative image and focused website that will drive future customers to contact and work with ASAP.
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Big History @ CERN

ChronoZoom, an online, digital media exploration tool provides a unique approach to digital aggregation; however, it also presents problems in how to effectively find, explore, and collocate information in a meaningful manner. Working with the archives at CERN (the European Organization for Particle Research) I created a domain analysis, resource retrieval, and organization system that created just such a timeline of the history of particle physics. It is an efficient user-centric system that explores digital documents, their influences, and interconnections in innovative ways. The process has demonstrated applications for digital archival management systems, semantic technologies, teaching methodology, academic publishing, and knowledge management.
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Big History on ChronoZoom

Visualizing the enormous timescales associated with cosmic events is problematic, especially when juxtaposed with the relatively short amount of time humanity has existed. Instructors of Big History, an interdisciplinary approach to understanding how the forces that shaped the universe relate to and drive modern events, are looking for ways to overcome this challenge. ChronoZoom, an online, open-source technology, seeks to address the issues associated with viewing massive timescales by allowing the creation of infinitely zoomable timelines. With sponsorship from Microsoft Research Connections, we created content within ChronoZoom describing events, data and discoveries relating to the history of energy and climate. This content is intended for use by the Big History class at Lakeside Upper School. Our project allows students to interact with Big History content in a fun, intuitive and informative way. Helping them to appreciate human history in the context of the larger events that shaped our universe.