80% of the world’s population breathes air that is unhealthy. Airborne pollutants from human activities contribute to at least 7% of premature deaths worldwide, primarily from cardiovascular disease. Public awareness about these risks is remarkably limited. Despite efforts to disseminate data about air quality and decades of research correlating pollution and mortality, informational tools that demonstrate the relationship between air and health in an accessible, straightforward manner are scarce. The Canadian Environmental Health Atlas aims to educate and empower citizens and policy makers by revealing the links between environmental toxicants and diminished health. Our contribution to the Atlas is a data visualization that brings to life the relative risks to human health from polluted air. Using estimates of airborne particulate matter derived from satellite imagery, we join air quality measurements and mortality statistics in a geo-spatial format. Our goal is to present complex science through a comprehensible, interactive visual experience.
Inexperienced chess players fixate on small sectors of the board and individual pieces. Visualization is one key to better perception and understanding of a chess game. We present Chess Scouter, a digital chess application that dynamically overlays visualizations onto the board that emphasize and clarify the overall state of the board, pieces, and the relationships between them. We speculate that by visually emphasizing these details, novice chess players will be able to more quickly and meaningfully interpret important threats, patterns, and opportunities, and make better moves. Initial response to Chess Scouter indicates that users enjoy playing with the visualizations and are encouraged to examine the board as a result of them. We will conduct further investigation with a qualitative study on novice chess players to determine the clarity and utility of the visualizations in Chess Scouter.
ChronoZoom is an interactive online time visualization tool dedicated to help envision the temporal relationships between events throughout history and across disciplines. The ChronoZoom team believes this visualization would be very useful for education, and so wants for the tool to be used in schools. However, there have been no prior test cases into how ChronoZoom actually performs in a classroom. Our project addresses this problem by helping two courses at the UW to integrate ChronoZoom into their curriculum. We then analyzed its impact through surveys, interviews, focus groups and class observations. Through our research, we provide recommendations on how the tool needs to be improved to accommodate the environment of a college classroom, and whether or not it is worthwhile for a university to adopt the technology based on student and instructor experiences.
Being productive and managing your schedule is difficult, more importantly time management shouldn’t take up more of what little time you already have. Our team has built a smart scheduling app we like to call COG, which takes the existing events in your Google calendar and finds places you can fit in items from a task list you have created. Implementing the idea of smart scheduling means COG also learns from your scheduling patterns (overestimating time, frequented locations, recurring events) and refactoring those observations to create an even more accurate plan for you, even when you might not realize you could be more efficient. Finally, COG is a way for people to build self-awareness about their own scheduling habits and how they manage their time. Through preliminary user testing we have found that COG is not only beneficial but “quickly becomes an everyday part of [a user’s] life.
Costco’s Information Systems (IS) department is a vital part of their ongoing success. To support the company’s stellar growth, the IS department is embarking on major system enhancement projects and taking a closer look at how they manage technology projects. The team needs specific project management metrics that will help them to examine and fine-tune their project management processes over time. Our Capstone project provides Costco a framework of project management best practices, tools and metrics. This toolkit will empower Costco’s IS team to continue their strong tradition of effectively and efficiently supporting core business goals.
The Clark Memorial Library at the University of Portland underwent a major renovation beginning in May 2012 and the library collection was moved to an interim location. In the new building, the bulk of the physical collection will be located in user-accessible compact shelving. This project guides the transition of the collection from the interim location to the compact shelving units in the new building. In order to avoid ongoing collection shifting in the future, the shelving plan was designed based on the anticipated growth of the collection, with larger gaps in subject areas with higher than average expected growth. The shelving plan will guide the movers as they return the collection to the renovated building in June 2013.
While people familiar with the field of Information Technology (IT) are able to understand new terms by associating them with previous knowledge or current context, those outside the industry struggle with new words and acronyms as they read dense technical documents. In these circumstances, people often rely on free resources like Wikipedia, but results often require disambiguation or a deeper search in order to find the appropriate definition for a term. Additionally, switching attention between reading and searching has been shown to increase cognitive load and perceived stress level, while reducing the effectiveness of both tasks. To address this problem, we created D//Jargonizer: an extension for the Google Chrome web browser that allows users to define technical terms in context with minimal distraction. When users right click a word on a web page, a brief version of the term’s Wikipedia entry is displayed in context. After testing our prototype with several individuals, we refined our initial design to deliver a seamless user experience. By limiting the need for rapid attention switching between windows or tabs, our solution reduces cognitive load and improves the overall user experience as people read jargon-heavy documents.
As the “big data” era’s arriving, generating accurate and timely information from data has become the key to the success of any organizations. It is crucial to deliver high quality data efficiently. However, traditional methods (e.g. ETL) could be slow and costly. Data virtualization is a technology that can solve these problems. It is an important part for an agile, cost-effective data management infrastructure. By using data virtualization tools, the delivery of data will become fast, flexible, and efficient. Data virtualization is a technology that has great impacts on business. By understanding Russell Investments’ data management infrastructure, we researched on different data virtualization tools, and recommended software based on the company’s environment. Our project helps Russell Investments with their decision-making regarding the acquisition of the technology. It will certainly help them to achieve better business performance.
Most of us have experienced the frustration of not knowing what to order in a Chinese restaurant, due to limited information on their menus, and as a result, end up choosing the typical “Chicken Chow Mein” dish over and over. To solve this dilemma, we developed Dining Menu, a web based application that displays additional information of local Chinese restaurant menu items, to help consumers to be more informed before they decide on their order. Specifically, our web app supports filtering capabilities, displays ingredients used in a menu item, as well as other health and allergy related information, and can be accessed anywhere and anytime.
Boeing is continuously looking for ways to enhance the customer journey at its Customer Experience Center (“CEC”), where aircraft priced at hundreds of millions of dollars are marketed to airline executives worldwide. At the CEC, customers are given a tour of airliner mockups, which relies heavily on verbal descriptions, limiting the amount of information that can be communicated. For our project, we conceptualized and prototyped a location-aware application for client use throughout the tour. This app will provide customers detailed descriptions of Boeing aircraft by seamlessly transmitting information tailored for specific airlines relative to the user’s location within the tour. Utilizing a combination of Wi-Fi triangulation, Geofencing, and NFC technologies, the intuitive user interface displays images of alternate interiors layouts, configurations for lighting, colors and setups, as well as data such as fuel prices and measurements automatically relevant to the user’s location. Creating a seamless way to share information.