iSchool Capstone

Capstone Projects

2014

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OpenDoors

OpenDoors is a readers’ advisory program aimed at middle- and high-school-aged readers. Our goal was to adapt librarian Nancy Pearl’s concept of the “four doorways” of adult readers’ advisory (plot, setting, character, and language) for use with YA works. Working with St. Thomas School, our team created an informational poster, bookmarks, and a Tumblr blog. Students are provided with a number of titles as a starting point and encouraged to explore further and to share their own discoveries via Tumblr. For some readers, these materials may get them thinking about why they enjoy the books they do and encourage them to seek out more diverse reading materials; others may use the categories simply as a field of suggested titles to draw from. In either case, they will be making new finds and actively considering what they liked about the books and why.
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Operation: KRAMPUS (Kickstart Readership and Meliorate Public User Satisfaction)

As in many libraries across the nation, the Iowa City Public Library (a single-site system) in Iowa City, Iowa, has witnessed a decline in circulation of young adult materials and participation in teen programming. In order to assess young adult (here defined as those from ages 12-18) interests and possible barriers to library access and use, I have observed teen center traffic and program participation, collected focus group responses, and conducted a survey of 200+ local members of the target demographic. I will present the Iowa City Public Library with an executive summary of this data, highlight the teen services’ successes, and offer a multi-pronged approach to both better meet the needs of their existing young adult patrons and attract new ones by a.) reconsidering the structure of programming, b.) incentivizing in-house and off-site library participation, and c.) fostering stronger connections to the teen populace at large via social media.
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Organizational Transformation: Process Improvement & Site Migration Management for Design Group @ Intel Corporation

Any major business shift, be it an acquisition, a new technology or strategy, require an organizational response.This necessitates the need for an organization transformation effort, in which the group, at any specific point of time, should have instant access to information they require relating to projects, tools, internal documents and reports. One of Intel’s leading design groups has undergone a major organization transformation effort. In order to consolidate multiple sites and provide information to the entire organization, the project’s main goal is to have an information rich integrated SharePoint site integrating operations, strategies and processes across multiple groups. This includes an external customer facing site and an internal site restricted to resources within the group. This site helps in effectively aligning to continually evolving changes in the group and increases the presence of this group in the organization roadmap.
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Outcomes-Based Evaluation Tools for Digital Literacy Programs

Communities Technology Centers (CTCs), such as libraries and nonprofits, teach people vital digital literacy skills. However, many of these organizations have no way to measure the impact of their digital literacy programs. Without a way to quantify impact, CTCs can neither assess the effectiveness of program services nor communicate the impact to funders. Outcomes-based evaluations offer a method to bridge this divide. With that in mind, I created ready to use protocols for surveys, focus groups and class observation that CTCs may use to assess digital literacy outcomes. These ready to use protocols may be used by CTCs to assess outcomes, to better understand program needs and strengths, demonstrate success to funders and potential funders, and ultimately to help ensure that all people have both access and ability to use information and communication technologies.
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Parking in Seattle with SafeSpot

Finding a place to park in Seattle is difficult. With so many different signs and restrictions in place it can be confusing to determine where it is safe to park. As a result, we have developed a mobile application named SafeSpot that will help Seattleites and visitors find parking and alleviate the stresses of being towed or ticketed. SafeSpot does this by showing the locations and restrictions of real parking signs in the city of Seattle on an easy-to-use map. Users can also press a “park my car” button to verify that they are parking in a valid location, keep track of that location, and remind themselves when their parking has expired. It is essential for users to be able to find information quickly and easily. By reducing clutter and using detailed icons to represent parking signs on the map, our application should be simple to pick up and use.
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People's Movement and Migration Pattern Using Call Detail Records

The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, interested in solving education or welfare related problems in developing countries, is looking for the solutions that could better gauge the demography of a country. Lack of any concrete census data from Afghanistan can be substituted by tracking migration patterns of people through Call Detail Records (CDR) from cellular subscribers. We came up with a framework to visualize short-term movement over long distance and long-term migration patterns of people based on CDR, and to correlate these patterns. We track inter-provincial migration and how it is varies in response to Geopolitical events like Bomb-blasts, Flood, and Snowfall. CDR data is also supplemented with complementary data from airtime top up activity to account for socioeconomic factors of the subscriber.
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Pet Files: Manage Pets Together

Managing pets can take a great amount of work and time. It involves repetitive tasks and a lot of learning. This can especially be challenging for serious pet owners who want to provide the best care for their pets while going through their own busy lives. To address this challenge, we’re developing Pet Files, which allows pet owners to stay more organized and better manage their pets, individually or together with others. With this mobile app, pet owners are able to keep detailed information of their pets, set up routines, and share the same information with housemates and/or caretakers, all in one place. Now, pet owners are more able to effectively manage and keep up with their pets’ needs anywhere, anytime.
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Predictive Analytics for Pilot Productivity

Alaska Airlines, the 7th largest passenger airline in the US, employs around 1400 pilots and first officers. It requires extensive planning and forecasting to plan for flight trips by accommodating varying schedules of the pilots. Over- or under-estimation of pilot’s flying time impacts the overall costs, and it needs to be utilized efficiently as hiring pilots is expensive. After extensive research we came up with a solution in the form of a predictive analytics algorithm. It considers the pilot’s historical data comprising of variables such as vacation and training hours, and helps in predicting the open flying time for the pilots. This solution will automate the process of calculating open flying time and will assist the team at Alaska to prepare pilot’s monthly schedule in advance. The nearly accurate estimation will lead to elimination of superfluous costs resulting from over/under estimation of open flying time and will ultimately lead to heightened pilot productivity.
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Preparing for Standardized Testing

Our client, Test Innovators, provides practice curriculums for the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) in an effort to address the gap in resources for adequate preparation. The biggest issue holding them back from success was a process that analyzed the standardized grading system which would give them insightful information to use and relay to their users. We tackled this problem by performing data cleansing, modeling, and analysis on data sets provided by the client which was collected from students who had already taken their practice exams. To gauge success and effectiveness, our user’s scores will be 10% higher than non-Test Innovator users and our system will also provide grade predictability within one grade level since the stanine grading scale ranges from level one to level nine. With this ISEE grading analysis process, we provide high levels of confidence and preparation for our client’s users in their test-taking careers.
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Primary Source: A Library Consulting Agency

Libraries of all types often need expertise and advice from outside of their institutions. Where do they turn? To consulting agencies. But finding the right agency can be a daunting first step for any undertaking. What if libraries had one consulting agency that could expertly advise them on any type of project? Through extensive market research, we have helped to lay the foundation for a consulting agency geared to serving libraries in any endeavor. This small business is set to launch in September 2014, and plans to serve libraries throughout Washington State, with long term goals of geographic expansion, as well as expanding service to other cultural knowledge institutions.