Truly an urban retreat, the Washington Park Arboretum is a beautiful, 230-acre oasis tucked away in Seattle’s Montlake neighborhood. Since 1934, scientists and volunteers have collected data on over 11,000 plant species, which have recently been digitized. This plant database, as well as an Arboretum map highlighting trails and landmarks, is formatted for use on computers, and difficult for visitors to access while at the park. We have designed a mobile application to put this information in the hands of visitors, enriching their overall park experience. Application features include customizable trail loops, information on gardens, park maps and a GPS-enabled plant lookup capability that easily locates plants around app users. Our project has involved a research phase, app sketching, wireframing, usability tests and an interactive prototype built in Axure. Stop by to see the final design and learn all about the application features!
Reed College is in the early phases of a joint library-IT project to improve undergraduate research skills, especially for sophomores and juniors. Numerous studies have focused on the first-year experience, but none have explicitly looked at how sophomores and juniors make the transition to conducting course-related research independently. This project serves as a needs assessment for the broader initiative. We gathered information by conducting and analyzing faculty and student focus groups and also implemented a student survey. Our findings indicate that while most students understand the importance of quality resources, they often struggle to understand faculty expectations and to integrate all the facets of the research process into a unified whole. Based on these findings, we make several recommendations: earlier introduction to research methods, projects broken into manageable parts with clear expectations, better promotion of available services and technologies, and integrated classroom training and introduction to discipline-based research practices.
Shrinking Department of Defense budgets have resulted in a greater focus on IT project expenses. The Defense Integrated Military Human Resource System (DIMHRS) was cancelled after seven years of development and expenditures of approximately a billion dollars. My project is a case study examining the risks faced and encountered by a major Department of Defense ERP project. Through interviews and examination of relevant documents, the identification of three primary risks emerged focusing on the complex stakeholder requirements, service resistance, and an inadequate management structure resulting in the project’s failure. Lessons learned from the DIMHRS failure can benefit other IT projects through the identification of show-stopper risks that prevent systems from being developed on time and within budget.
In order to generate more information from historical weather and environmental records, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) created the Arctic Rediscovery Project. One initiative of the Arctic Rediscovery Project is the crowdsourcing transcribing website, Old Weather. Old Weather facilitates the digitization and transcription of historical images, logbooks, and documents by dedicated volunteers and students. As a part of their collection, NOAA has thousands of images featuring personnel from the Geodetic Survey, academic institutions, and crew from old research vessels. These images were digitized, but until now the public had no access to the collection. By constructing a searchable and browse-able database and designing a functioning website to display these images, our capstone project creates an access point for NOAA researchers, historians, relatives, and Old Weather volunteers.
Expeditors® is a global logistics company with over 13,000 employees in a worldwide network of over 250 locations across six continents. Much of Expeditors business is based on the usage of event code, which enable Expeditors and customers to track freight/shipments and related documents. Our team worked closely with Expeditors Global Data Strategy team to organize the confusion around event codes and identify opportunities to improve the business. Our capstone team conducted a sequence analysis on different shipment levels. By answering the question ‘Where is my freight,’ we created rules to identify the shipment errors from both business intelligence and logical perspectives. In order to organize the event code metadata, we categorized all the event code by logical grouping and product/service perspectives. Then we delved further into the integrity of the core events, and conducted data quality analysis. The whole analysis process enables Expeditors to make better decisions as a company on how they want to manage their processes and to provide better service to customers.
Today’s Extract, Load and Transform (ETL) tools focus on graphical design and representation of the process, leaving the required mapping and transformation identification to be done manually. This is extremely difficult when faced with multiple, varied data sources. EZ-ETL uses ontology-driven mechanisms to translate data from multiple sources into concepts specific to the customer knowledge domain. OKDoctor uses the EZ-ETL frame work to evaluate medical research in terms of validity and relevance, providing the Validity Potential Rating as a novel way to support practitioners of Evidence Based Medicine. These evaluation techniques are equally applicable to other industry verticals such as finance, national security & intelligence, and legal.
Running can be a therapeutic activity, however, our interviews have shown that using a smartphone to change music or access metrics can be disruptive. To solve this we created Fidgt, a touch-enabled ring that allows runners to control their smartphone in an eyes-free manner. We enable runners to use discreet and simple interactions while on the move, without breaking their concentration or slowing down their run. Over the course of six months we have iterated on a series of hardware and software prototypes that demonstrate our solution. As we further refine the size and functionality of our product, we aim to continue testing our device to validate our design with more runners.
Teaching video editing is a time consuming task that requires much one on one time between a teacher and student. As class time and office hours are limited, there is a ceiling on how much instruction a student can receive during a course. Furthermore, with only a finished product to evaluate, it is difficult for teachers to suggest improvements to cutting room processes used by students. To increase visibility into students’ processes and allow for a more iterative feedback loop, an online collaborative workspace has been created. In this workspace, visibility into processes was added through real-time collaboration and revision history. Coupling these features with an ability to give and request targeted feedback at any point in the process allows students increased access to a teacher’s wealth of knowledge.
Alaska Airlines has a large pool of 3300 flight attendants. To improve the work efficiency and lower down the labor cost, there is an immense need for supervisors to measure the performance of flight attendants on the basis of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). It is also very important for every flight attendant to be able to track his performance under different performance categories as well as view the average peer score for comparison. There should be an easy, efficient, and less time-consuming way to do this task as the major problem is that the data is scattered at different places. Our Project: It involves researching and refining the data available from different sources. It also involves designing a prototype of a user friendly flight attendant performance measurement dashboard which will be able to fetch relevant data from different places and show the processed information (performance scores) at a single platform.
Food Detective is a mobile application that empowers those with dietary restrictions to understand what is in their food. The main feature is a barcode scanner that matches a user’s dietary needs against the contents of a product. This will allow users quickly and easily answer one question: “Can I consume this product?” This is the single most important question for anyone living with a restriction. By enabling them to quickly get this answer, we increase their chances of eating within their guide lines and improving their quality of life. Our application is available on both Android and iOS, both applications implement the core scanning functionality, a sharing and saving system so that users can keep track of products they like, and alert their friends about potential products they may want to buy. Through this simple system, we hope to help those with special diets live a healthy and productive life.