iSchool Capstone

Capstone Projects

2014

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SYM Reporting System for Helping Homeless Youth

The National Runaway Switchboard estimates that on any given night there are approximately 1.3 million homeless youth living unsupervised on the streets, in abandoned buildings, with friends or with strangers. At the same time, general statistical software is usually unaffordable for non-profit youth caring organizations. Finally, lack of person-focused statistics makes it hard to provide person-focused caring. The SYM reporting system was developed to help Street Youth Ministries by providing an overall view of activities, generating impact reports to sponsors, and detecting the young people who need immediate care, thus hugely improving the efficiency of resource allocation.
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TEDxRainier Companion App

The power of ideas unleashes when ideas spread. TEDxRainier is devoted to making a difference by gathering thinkers and spreading ideas. Active communities built around ideas will be a great addition to the existing annual event, to help ideas spread further. However, it is hard to maintain such communities with limited resources. This companion app we designed helps facilitate community building by leveraging the power of Twitter hashtags. We are focusing on solving the problem and making this app simple and easy to use.
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Testing and Immunization Practices Recommendation Application

The International Medicine Clinic at Harborview offers primary care to adult refugees and immigrants. Patients typically originate from Southeast Asia or East Africa, and many have complex medical conditions, are accustomed to non-Western medicine, and do not have complete health records. In order to help community doctors to treat refugees and immigrants, the International Clinic developed a toolkit to provide tips on accessing patients’ medical information and suggestions for treatment and health screening. Our project is to build an interactive web application with more thorough references and recommendations based on the toolkit.
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The Canary Comment Management System: A New System to Manage Comments for Seattle Public Library

What are people saying about the library? The Seattle Public Library engages patrons in a variety of ways and encourages people to comment on library services. Due to the volume and various channels of incoming comments, it is hard for library staff and leadership to manually manage comments. To solve this problem, our team created the Canary Comment Management System. This is a new, stand-alone, centralized system to collect, store, manage, and share comments. Through features such as tagging, searching, and reporting, our system gives a fuller picture of when comments happen, where they come from, how frequently they happen, and what they are about. For leadership, it will help the Library identify issues and trends, and guide decision making. For staff, it will improve timeliness, accountability, and collaboration. For the organization, our solution represents a more efficient way to manage public resources to help the community. 
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The Developing Art of Archiving Photographs: Dolores Varela Phillips Photographs of the Nisqually-Puyallup Fishing Controversy

My capstone focused on the preservation, arrangement, and description of photographs made by Dolores Varela Phillips, documenting the 1970 conflict between two tribes, Nisqually and Puyallup, and Washington state law enforcement. Results include EAD finding aid and digital access to the collection. These images shed light on a critical period of national and local civil-rights history. Phillips’ collection is comprised of negatives she hid in her purse lining to prevent confiscation by the police. The photographs capture an important event that was the catalyst to a revision in Washington state  laws. Negative collections are distinctive and a time-consuming variation from standard processing. This often hinders valuable materials from reaching the public; a mounting information problem archives face. Raising awareness about the significance of this rare collection is paramount as 2014 marked the 40th anniversary of the new law passing. Already, these images have received user-requests for a Smithsonian exhibit. 
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The Ghost Anatomy Project

In anatomy courses, effective visualization of the human body contributes to success in learning the curriculum. Despite their educational value, effective, hands-on visualization of the human body are subject to physical and economic constraints. The Ghost Anatomy Project is a 3D volumetric display which allows users to interact with a holographic-like, anatomically correct model of the human body. It utilizes the Pepper’s Ghost illusion to create a 3D visualization, WebGL for rendering, and a Leap Motion for gesture-based interaction. The interface allows anatomy students to study the human body in an effective, hands-on manner with less economical and physical constraints than cadavers, and more accuracy and flexibility than plastic models. Welcome to the future of anatomy education.
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The Oral History Project: Digital Access to US Forest Service Lore

The United States Forest Service has a long history of caring for the land and serving people. A significant part of that history are the foresters themselves: their memories, experiences, and stories. Every National Forest has a Heritage Program and for decades, volunteers and foresters have been collecting oral histories from retirees, volunteers, and their families. Some interviews were written down, others recorded in a variety of formats. The challenge: How to approach the preparation of these materials for storage and public access at the National Museum of Forest Service History. We worked with the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and the Museum to assess current resources and develop a sustainable process for digitization, storage, and public access. In addition to the immediate needs of the collection, we also wrote internship and volunteer handbooks and developed the business case to help sustain ongoing work at both the local and Museum levels.
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The Paul and Mildred Brownell Photograph Collection

The Paul and Mildred Brownell Photograph Collection is a large unprocessed collection composed of photos, film, and ephemera from the mid-twentieth century of the Brownells’ experiences as UW Alumni, Seattle Public School teachers, and their travels in America and abroad. These items span almost 5 decades and are a valuable experience of living in the Pacific Northwest as UW alumni. The collection has been organized into specific series with regards to intellectual order which facilitates curatorial use of the collection and some public access for general research, which is imperative to keeping UW history alive. Special attention has been paid to the context in which the items were created and in preserving these items. A preliminary Encoded Archival Description (EAD) finding aid has been created to enrich Special Collection’s growing EAD database and will allow others to share in Paul’s experiences.
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Tipout: Tip Handing for Waiters

The goal behind our project is to reduce the amount of computation waiters and waitresses perform at the end of their shifts while trying to “tip out” their support staff. Currently in most high-class restaurants, the math and tracking for payouts is left to the individual waiters to handle, which can often be complicated and difficult to keep a detailed history of. As of right now, most waitstaff do this computation by hand which takes significant amount of time. By creating a web application that will be accessible on phones and desktops, we can allow employees and businesses to keep better track of what tips they are making and who they are distributing to wherever they go.
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Tracking Information Desk Interactions at the Seattle Public Library

Over the summer, The Seattle Public Library (SPL) made the switch from manual counters for reference activity to a digital clicker application. Rather than use a hand-held manual counter, librarians now track interactions at their information desks by clicking “Reference” or “Non-Reference” in an online form. However, with increasingly busy desks and more technology related questions coming forward, does this online clicker serve as a reliable measure of the information needs of SPL patrons? We conducted a total of 56 two-hour long observations across 13 SPL branches, paired with an employee questionnaire, to determine the reliability of this system. Our data found that patron needs are not necessarily reflected by the current application. In order to better serve and fund our public libraries, we propose a comprehensive tracking application that will more thoroughly track the investment needs of the SPL system.