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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The eXtensible Business Reporting Language is the new standard for business reporting and all companies who file their information with the government must comply. We have created an application which serves as a layer of abstraction between XBRL filings and BlackRock employees who want to monitor their competitors, which originally required tedious and time consuming scanning through individual PDF documents for comparison. We have gathered XBRL filings from BlackRock’s competitors and aggregated them on a website. Our tool enables BlackRock employees to conduct detailed evaluations regarding how the fees of a BlackRock fund compare to a competitor such that they may make informed decisions to adjust their business strategy accordingly.
The Boeing Company Library was among the first corporate libraries to institute an online chat reference service, known as Ask-A-Librarian. The Boeing Library Automated Statistics Tool (BLAST!) is a custom-built, database-driven dashboard for displaying real-time, visualized metrics about the Ask-A-Librarian service. BLAST replaces error-prone data manipulation and inefficient, time-consuming data analysis with instantaneous, attractive graphs for quickly assessing operations. This business-intelligence tool utilizes the best, non-proprietary code libraries and standards, and was created especially by yours truly to be scalable to other library services. The countdown to performance optimization has begun: 3, 2, 1 … BLAST off!
Books in prisons have proven to be beneficial for the economic and mental well-being of prisoners. However, budgets for prison libraries in the United States have been drastically cut over the past decades, even as prison populations swell. Books to Prisoners is a Seattle-based non-profit that provides free books to prisoners across the country; it operates on donated time, books, and money to fill the 1,200 requests sent every month. Due to its limited resources, the organization has never created an inventory of book donations or prisoner requests to assess its own needs. This project sampled and analyzed the content of donated books and prisoner letters. This information was used to determine the most critical service gaps and contact appropriate publishers to solicit targeted book donations. Books to Prisoners is now better prepared to request donations, write grants, and support a national population facing dire information shortages.