COS Independent Work Seminar:
The overall goal of this IW seminar is to design, develop and experiment with mobile technology that can be used to help individuals or communities. The goal is not just to "write an app, " but rather to produce some innovative approach to a problem and demonstrate/evaluate its utility and benefits. Application areas include, but are not limited to: environment & climate, social activism, civic computing, healthcare, philanthropy and crowdsourcing. In general, IW projects must have an impact - locally, nationally or even globally. Some examples of past projects include: safe bike navigation, urban garden planning, drowsy driver detection and physical therapy exercise assessment.
All projects in this seminar will utilize Android as the core development platform. Students are highly encouraged to use and/or extend open source platforms. Projects may utilize any combination of Android devices, coupled with cloud-based backends (e.g., AWS), open APIs/data (many), hardware sensors (e.g., Raspberry Pi), augmented reality (e.g., Google Cardboard) and programmable UAVs.
|February 7||Information meeting for all IW students Convocation Room, Friend Center, 12:30-1:20PM|
|February 9||Introduction, Brainstorming||
|February 16||Project proposals feedback||
|February 23||Project proposal presentations||
|February 24||Submit written project proposals|
|March 2||Status Reports||
|March 9||Status Reports||
|March 13||Submit Checkpoint Form|
|March 16||Status Reports|
|March 23||Spring Break|
|March 30||Demo Day|
|April 3||Attend - How to write an IW Paper, 7:30PM, Location: CS 105|
|April 6||Status Reports||
|April 11||Attend - How to give an IW Talk, 12:30PM, Location: CS 105|
|April 13||Demo Day||
|April 20||Project presentations||
|April 24-27||Give oral presentations|
|May 5||Submit final report|
|May 10||Submit poster|
|May 11||Poster session for all IW students, 9:00am-4:00pm Convocation Room|
Fall 2016 - Apps of Random Kindness (expand)
Abstract: Mapping technology developed in recent years has enabled many people to easily navigate unfamiliar places. However, it often lacks the type of customization that the disabled may find useful, especially the ability to avoid path hazards such as steep inclines or steps. We propose the project NAVAX to address this need. NAVAX is implemented as an Android mobile application with full offline functionality. Its main advantages are that it provides users with greater customization of the routing experience than do most popular navigation applications, and it gives users the ability to contribute to more accurate routing by using open source map data from OpenStreetMaps. Experimental results show that NAVAX’s performance is on par with that of popular mapping applications when there are no path hazards to avoid, and varies significantly when there are path hazards to be routed around. User testing suggests it is generally easy to use, but its features could be improved upon.
Lucy Lin '18. SelfAware. Fall 2016.
Abstract: Smartphone addiction and overuse is an increasingly present problem in today’s technologically advanced society. This paper presents an Android application called SelfAware, designed to allow people to better understand their personal smartphone usage patterns and correlations. SelfAware uses the Fünf Open Sensing Framework in order to capture data from built-in smartphone sensors. Rather than focus on single and distinct datasets, SelfAware matches different smartphone sensor datasets in order to show user specific patterns. Making these usage habits visible to users allows for greater recognition of how to best change personal smartphone usage if necessary.
Caleb Gum '18. Crowd-Sourced Market Information for Small Farmers. Fall 2016.
Abstract: AgoraMob is a mobile market information provider which aims to provide useful market information to small farmers, especially in developing areas. Having greater knowledge of market conditions allows farmers to make better business decisions and protects them from predatory intermediary buyers, improving their income and general lifestyle. AgoraMob collects market information from users, crowdsourcing the data. Users can submit price information for various products in specific regions via SMS, and AgoraMob translates that information into a market value estimates. Users can then request these estimates, also via SMS.
Waqarul Islam '18. Watchman: Your Personal Drowsy Driving Guardian. Fall 2016.
Abstract: Watchman is a mobile app designed to prevent drivers from falling asleep at the wheel. Drowsy driving effects over 170 million drivers in America, yet there are no mass-adopted tools to prevent it. Leveraging the Google Vision API on Android, Watchman tracks a driver’s face to detect yawns and blinks. Using these inputs, an algorithm decides whether a driver is at risk of falling asleep, and alerts the driver as needed. This paper discusses the approaches similar vision-tracking solutions have taken and how Watchman differentiates itself to be an effective solution for drivers. Improvements on facial tracking accuracy and future work are also discussed.
Ragy Morkos '18. Texty: A Tool for Easy Video Subtitles and Benchmarking Framework for Speech-to-text APIs. Fall 2016.
Abstract: The trend of viewing videos via smartphones and tablets rather than through computers has been continuously rising. However, the proliferation of video content usage on tablets and smartphones leaves out many individuals who suffer from a form of hearing impairment as well as language learners who are not fluent in the video’s language. In this paper, we explore the possibility of an Android application that uses off-the-shelf speech recognition technologies to produce an SRT (subtitle file) that can show subtitles during video playback using almost any well-known Android media player. The bulk of this paper is dedicated to the subtitle alignment algorithm that is proposed, since off-the-shelf speech recognition technologies only provide a mere transcript without any timecodes. Moreover, this application can simultaneously offer a system that will exploit real user feedback regarding the accuracy of the transcription and subtitle timing. This feedback can be valuable for the speech recognition APIs, as well as to further enhance and tweak the subtitle alignment algorithm. Our experimental results show great potential for this Android application, providing completely automatic subtitles with decent quality and performing better than the currently available automatic subtitle generation alternatives.
Andrew Zhou '18. Noisee: A General Framework for Tracking Impact of Noise Pollution. Fall 2016.
Abstract: Noise pollution is a growing environmental problem that is both destructive and pervasive. There is a general lack of awareness of noise pollution and its impact on human health. This paper introduces Noisee, an Android mobile application designed to test out a general framework to monitor the impact of noise pollution. Noisee behaves comparably to a fitness tracker for noise exposure. Noisee tracks and processes sound data collected through the system microphone. Then, it displays useful health information through visualization tools in order to help users understand the impact of their daily noise exposure. The goal of Noisee is to educate user on the harmfulness of noise, so that more attention would be brought to regulating noise pollution.
Nico Toy '18. Sonilize: A way to let the visually impaired “hear” their surroundings. Fall 2016.
Abstract: This paper describes the Sonilize application for Android, whose purpose is to help the visually impaired sense their physical environment through musical tones. The hope behind Sonilize is to provide a more comprehensive and general idea of the user’s surroundings than a very specialized application, such as one that reads text out loud, could provide. Using Sonilize in conjunction with such specific applications could hopefully provide a more complete experience. Sonilize is based on depth-sensing cameras and Google’s new Tango API which interprets the data. The application processes the data in order to identify and track nearby objects, and play distinguishable tones for each one, whose volume and panning evolve as a function of the position of the object. This could create the illusion that the objects themselves are emitting tones.
Jonathan Yang '18. WatchOut: Mobile Framework to Help Reduce Collisions between Pedestrians and Bicyclists. Fall 2016.
Abstract: This paper details the design, development, and evaluation of an Android mobile framework to help reduce collisions between pedestrians and bicyclists. The project utilizes the Android device’s location services and hardware sensors to collect its location and travel direction data. Then using Android’s WiFi P2P capabilities, the project transmits the user’s data to a connection with a different party and sends alerts if necessary to both parties through a collision detection algorithm. This project is designed to offer as an open-source mobile framework which targets pedestrians and bicyclists in campus and metropolitan settings to reduce potential collisions in a practical matter.
Ji Won Shin '18. Play to Learn: Korean-GO! Fall 2016.
Abstract: This paper details the design, development, and evaluation of a place-based augmented reality game called Korean-GO! whose purpose is teaching Korean to the players of the game. Utilizing Global Positioning System(GPS), the game focuses on creating augmented reality game environment by using the actual familiar physical location around the player. The game also emphasizes social situated learning through contextual cues provided during various conversations with virtual characters in the game. Players are given opportunities to apply the phrases learned through the game and are rewarded based on their performance. Although the game Korean-GO! is specifically for learning Korean, the overarching idea of creating a place-based augmented reality game similar to Korean-GO! aims to address the difficulties associated with learning a second language in general.
Harry Heffernan '18. P2P Connectivity to Encourage Mental Health Transparency. Fall 2016.
Abstract: This paper explores and explains Kuka, an iOS application intended to alleviate some of the anxieties faced by mental health patients. This is a group project, completed with the help of Mitch Hamburger. Mental health and emotional disorders affect a large and growing portion of society, and in taking an interpersonal approach, Kuka hopes to break down external stigmas placed upon these individuals. This paper will focus on the network that Kuka employs to connect users. It uses Apple’s Multipeer Connectivity Framework, a new framework used for establishing peer-to-peer connections between a set of nearby nodes. Using a protocol built on top of this framework, Kuka anonymously tells nearby users how many people in their approximate area are feeling similarly at a given time. This peer-to-peer approach allows for this potentially personal data to be untraceable at the network level, providing an extra level of security for its users.
Mitchell Hamburger '18. Kuka: A Virtual IPAD. Fall 2016.
Abstract: This paper discusses the development of an iOS Mobile Application called Kuka, built on a Peer To Peer backend, that simulates the functionality of an IPAD (or “Interpersonal Awareness Device”) geared toward mental health transparency. Given the rising awareness of mental health issues and the continued stigma preventing many people from opening up about it, the goal of this project was to show people that they are not alone in suffering from issues of mental health, thereby encouraging them to be more transparent about their mental health. In this paper I will discuss the motivation behind this goal, other works, scholarly and otherwise, that have attempted to address this same problem, the unique approach that we chose to achieve this goal and the process of its implementation as an iOS mobile application, and finally whether Kuka functions as intended and where it has weaknesses and room for improvement.
Jelani Denis '18. Course Q: A Mobile Application for Rating and Recommendation of University Courses. Fall 2016.
Abstract: In this paper we outline the ideation, implementation, and innovation that went into the development of Course Q, a mobile application for university-level course recommendation. The novelty of this tool lies at the intersection of mobile technology and recommendation theory to tackle a modern challenge with a new and unique approach. We hope that Course Q will become a familiar tool for all college students, and for this reason it was designed with scalability and adaptability in mind at every stage of development. This paper will go into detail to examine the logic behind the tool’s collaborative filtering model, and the design decisions that were made to create an easy-to-use, student-facing application.
Spring 2016 - Apps of Random Kindness (expand)
Abstract: Bicycle riding is becoming increasingly more important for many towns and municipalities. Increased bicycle riding has the potential to reduce traffic on roads, improve the environment by reducing the carbon footprint caused by cars, and improve the health of Americans in a time where obesity is one of the greatest health concerns for the American people. Unfortunately, there are no digital maps on the market today that provide bicycle routes optimized for safety, for time or distance. Additionally, road assessment data for bicycles is available for many cities and towns, but there is currently no easy way for bicyclists to navigate using these color-coded bike safety maps. This paper describes a new approach to bicycle routing based upon road assessment data made available by towns and cities. The approach involves a framework that integrates road assessment data with underlying map data to formulate an algorithm that calculates safer routes than are currently on the market. The structure of this project is to convert the road assessment data into a form that can be easily manipulated, and to integrate this into a GraphHopper weighting class to create a safe route planner that will encourage more commuters to choose bicycles over cars.
Dong Wook Chung '17. A Modular Framework for Mobile Food Technology. Spring 2016.
Abstract: In order to have a healthy diet, it is important to know the nutritional value of the food we eat. However, due to the diversity of food, estimating such value is often difficult. Also, even when the nutritional information is available, people rarely take the information into account for their diet. In this paper, we propose a modular framework for using mobile technology to better understand what we eat. We divide the framework into three modules: identifying the food in the photo, retrieving the nutritional information of the food, and using the user’s physical information to calculate the nutritional value relative to the user’s daily needs and display it to the user. The framework is implemented as an Android application using RESTful APIs. So by taking a food photo with an Android device, the user can understand how much nutrition is in the food. By modularizing the framework, we suggest the possibility that other developers can test their own API for one module, while still being able to use other two modules as they are.
Philip Adams '17. QuickCap: An Automatic Closed Captioning Framework for User-Generated Videos. Spring 2016.
Abstract: This paper details the development of a lightweight, modular, cross-platform framework to add subtitles to user-generated videos both accurately and automatically, by leveraging leading automatic speech recognition and natural language processing services. The framework includes a novel caption grouping algorithm that exports subtitles to a range of formats.
Danielle Pintz ’17. Mobile Language Learning Using Word Association. Spring 2016.
Abstract: This project provides a novel way for a person to learn a language through a mobile framework that helps a user build their vocabulary by carefully selecting new words for the user to learn. This project is particularly relevant for refugees who find themselves in a new country where they need to learn the language; however, it can be used by anyone who wishes to learn a new language. The first component of the project is a Word Generator, which uses Word Association Norms to determine the most related word to a list of words. Given a word list, the algorithm runs each word through the Word Association Norms database, returning a list of all associated words to that word list. It then selects one of the most frequently occurring words from that list, and returns that word. This algorithm is then used in an iOS language learning application which suggests new words to the user to learn based on the words he already knows. The app also uses Google Translate to translate the user’s word list. Upon evaluation using five sample users, it was found that the more words in the user’s word list, the more accurate the Word Generator will be. Overall, the project was very successful, and the resulting iOS application can be freely used by anyone wishing to learn a language.
Kelly Zhou '17. Physical Therapy Motion Tracking: A Mobile Framework. Spring 2016.
Abstract: Physical therapy helps people of all ages improve their physical health, whether through improving balance and flexibility, strengthening muscles, or recovering from injury. It has become a common practice in the United States, and millions of physical therapy exercises are prescribed to patients every year. Unfortunately most patients do not perform their exercises properly at home and as a result require hands on guidance from a physical therapist. To address this shortcoming to effective physical therapy practices, we propose a mobile framework that allows users to record themselves performing exercises using an Android device, track their motion and assess the accuracy of their movements in relation to the proposed exercise, and provide feedback accordingly. In this paper, we present the implementation and evaluation of this framework as a means of improving regular physical therapy practices.
Ann-Elise Siden '17. American Sign Language to English Translation Using Parameter Distinction. Spring 2016.
Abstract: Automated sign language translation is becoming a popular field of study in the category of image recognition. The development of automated sign language translators would benefit the deaf and hearing impaired by eliminating the need for a human translator, allowing translation with English speakers to be more seamless and natural. The existing technology available to accomplish this has limitations in terms of accessibility, cost, and portability, and little work has been done to study the effectiveness of such translators on more user-friendly platforms. This paper describes an alternative method to American Sign Language translation by computing Hu moments and distinguishing different parameters of each user-given sign. The application that is built based on these principles is tested an a set of minimal pairs, and similarity values between the sign given by the user and each candidate in the dictionary are compared with each other to determine the best result. Although the capabilities of this application do not cover the entirety of the language, the results suggest that further development could prove to be promising.
Odunayo Kusoro '16. Improving First Responder Communication using Seamless Vertical Handoff Between Peer-to-Peer Networks and RESTful Client-Server interfaces. Spring 2016.
Abstract: For first responders, adequate communication is vital in order to succeed in response to emergencies. In the past, first responders utilized communication systems such as radios, however, advancing technology has led to a push towards LTE and broadband communication for phones. There are multiple situational awareness applications for first responders already available. However, the problem with these systems is that they rely on the client-server framework. The client-server framework leaves first responders vulnerable when connection to a remote server cannot be reached. Under inadequate conditions, connection between a client and a server can be hampered, preventing successful data transfer. In contrast, under the peer-to-peer framework, data can be transferred between multiple clients without the need for a central remote server. This project integrates the features of both the client-server and peer-to-peer framework by creating a vertical handoff system to allow continued seamless transfer of data when connection to a remote server cannot be established.
Fall 2015 - Apps for the Environment (expand)
Abstract: This project addresses the rising dependence on home and community gardens throughout the nation. The goal is to create a mobile framework to help amateurs plan gardens with maximal chances of a high crop yield. This has been done by developing custom recommendation features and a property-surveying tool focused on optimizing conditions critical to small-scale garden success. The project seeks to further automate and add onto existing features in the near future to become a more comprehensive guide for any first-time gardener.
Jessie Chen '16. Money Down the Drain. Fall 2015.
Abstract: This paper details the development and evaluation of Money Down the Drain (MDD), an Android application that monitors how much water from sinks, showers, and toilets the user uses throughout a day, month, and year without an external device. During initial setup of the application, the user inputs the number of water sources he would like to track, each source’s water flow rate, and a recording of the water source, done within the app using a microphone. After setup, the microphone listens in the background for these sources, using an artificial neural network and Wi-Fi signal strength for detection, and calculates and displays the amount of water used in real-time. Jack O’Brien '17. Impact: The Daily Environmental Impact Calculator Application. Fall 2015.
Abstract: Impact is an environmental calculator application that allows users to comprehend how their everyday activities affect the planet. The goal of Impact is to invite users to view their daily routine in a new light and incentivize them to decrease their consumption habits. Each day, Impact prompts users to input their activities related to water, food, trash, energy, and transportation usage. Then, the application calculates a tangible representation of their environmental impact with regards to gallons of water consumed, carbon footprint, and an "Impact score" unique to this application that takes all activities into account. Users can then see leaderboards in these three categories to check how they rank against others. The application was developed for Android and tested by 11 users, mostly from Princeton University
Adam Gallagher '16. Abita: Crowdsourcing Geo-tagged Environmental Experiences. Fall 2015.
Abstract: Abita (Haitian Creole for “habitat”), is a mobile application that harnesses the convenience of mobile devices and the power of crowdsourcing to collaboratively collect and share data about experiences in environment. This paper details the motivation, design principles, and implementation of Abita, with an emphasis on the design and functionality of the Web API which supports the Android application. Aqeel Phillips '17. Abita: Environmental Appreciation Through Smartphone-based Educational Exploration. Fall, 2015
Abstract: In an effort to create a simple method for sharing location-specific data regarding wildlife sightings, foliage documentation, and other environmentally relevant information, we utilized the popular smartphone platform to construct a tool for the collection and presentation of this data. This paper documents the creation of an Android application created with the intention of promoting environmental awareness and appreciation by collecting and exposing environmentally relevant and location-specific information through a crowd-sourced data collection model.
Graham Turk '17. SolarSource: A general framework for evaluating rooftop solar potential. Fall 2015.
Abstract: Homeowners don’t have a simple and accurate method to determine whether their homes are good candidates for a solar installation. This is problematic because a solar installation can both yield savings on electricity cost and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, recognized as the primary driver of global climate change. In this paper, we propose SolarSource, a universally applicable framework for evaluating rooftop solar potential. The framework is implemented as an Android mobile application and public RESTful API. The key insights are to provide homeowners with tools to construct a roof mapping themselves, to use a crowdsourcing platform (retrieving production statistics from actual solar arrays) to inform our analysis, and to implement the back end of the framework as a public API with an adaptable, open-source architecture. The main advantages of this approach are flexibility and adaptability: by providing tools for the homeowner to map her own roof, we enable universal coverage; a decoupled API provides software developers with access to our analysis tools; and an adaptable and open source architecture enables the open source community to augment the framework. Experimental results demonstrate that our framework produces reasonable estimates for solar potential compared to existing tools. A general-purpose and accurate framework helps uncover the financial benefits of solar for the widest audience possible, thereby facilitating the transition to a carbon-free energy future.
Gregory Magana '17. SolarSource: A Mobile Application for Determining Solar Energy Feasibility. Fall 2015.
Abstract: As the United States turns towards renewable energy solutions, case-specific information about renewable energy feasibility becomes increasingly important for everyone. As such, this paper provides the design, development, and evaluation of SolarSource, an application framework meant to offer the user the ability to determine whether or not solar energy would be financially feasible in their location given their current electricity usage costs, geographic location, roof dimensions, and the weather statistics in their location. Specifically, this paper addresses the user interface design, electricity data gathering functionality, and general information flow of the app. In addition, this paper examines some of the work already done concerning calculating the feasibility of solar energy and will enumerate some opportunities for future improvement to this application framework.
Emily Speyer '17. SolarSource: A Mobile Rooftop Survey Application to Evaluate Solar Energy Harvesting Potential. Fall 2015.
Abstract: In order to help combat climate change, SolarSource is a framework created to encourage consumers to transition from fossil fuel to solar energy electricity generation. Since solar energy is rapidly decreasing in cost, SolarSource provides homeowners with a simple method to determine the cost-effectiveness of a solar panel installation. This section of the framework creates an mobile application that uses Android sensor and location data to capture relevant information on the dimensions of a potential rooftop, its surrounding area and the sun’s location. This data is used in calculations to predict the rooftop’s sunlit area over the course of a year and to conclude the ideal size and specific location within the rooftop for an installation. While most solar installations are in a large rectangular form, this framework provides the opportunity to determine the largest solar installation of alternative shapes and forms. Ultimately, such data is provided as input into an algorithm to calculate the cost effectiveness of a potential solar installation with the hope that it will encourage users to transition to using solar energy for their electricity generation.
Andrea Malleo '16. ComPost: A Mobile App for the Compost Sharing Economy, Fall 2015.
Abstract: Compost the Most is an Android app that addresses the issues of conventional landfill disposal of food scraps and sparsity of composting practices by creating a digital marketplace for the exchange of organic scraps between the producers and consumers. Composting option information is stored on a cloud database, and continually grows through a user input interface wherein app users who wish to advertise their composting site can fill out a form and submit their information for other app users to see. Users who have organic matter to compost can search for local options to bring their compost to, and gain access to contact information as well as environmental impact of choosing to compost or continue disposing in a landfill. This app builds off of existing composting facility databases but leverages knowledge crowdsourcing to facilitate local, community based solutions to food waste.
Zachary Stecker '16. Footprints: Motivating Energy Reduction and Awareness Using Mobile Sensors and Public Data. Fall, 2015.
Abstract: This paper describes the motivation, design, and development of Footprints, a mobile application for Android devices that provides users with an automated, estimated energy footprint score on a daily basis. The application uses common mobile sensors and geofence technology to dynamically track a user’s location, and it accesses public data to inform the user how much energy is being consumed in a given building at the current time. Footprints records each daily energy score, allowing the user to track the correlation between campus activity and energy use over the course of any time interval. The application seeks to raise a level of awareness about the amount of energy consumed daily on a college campus by making the data personal and trackable.
Brent Read '16. Disease Detective: A Mobile Application For Agricultural Pathogen Classification. Fall, 2015.
Abstract: This paper describes the design and evaluation of Disease Detective, an Android application that allows users to identify diseased plants using their device’s built-in camera. Images are taken by the user and then instantly analyzed using machine learning techniques to return a likelihood that the query plant has some kind of abnormal disease. This work builds on existing computationally intensive classification techniques that are ill-fit for mobile devices, as well as on mobile applications that can classify images, but lack the domain-specificity needed to differentiate diseased plants.
Serena Zheng '17. NYC Park Events: A Location-Based Notification Application for the Environment. Fall, 2015.
Abstract: This paper details the preliminary design, development, and evaluation of NYC Park Events, an Android application that notifies users of free, nearby, public events happening in New York City public parks. Taking advantage of the public datasets available on NYC Open Data, the application parses all event information from the NYC Parks Public Events dataset, sets up geofences for each of the events, and relies on the Android device’s GPS and location sensing capabilities to trigger notifications that inform users of nearby events. The paper also addresses related work on the efficient geofencing techniques and explores future work for developing and evaluating the efficient use of geofences in NYC Park Events.
Spring 2015 - Civic Computing (expand)
Abstract: ProtectYourself is a protection framework for mobile applications that run the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) operating system. It is designed to assist victims of stalking and / or abuse, especially those whose mobile phones have been compromised by their adversary. There are many applications that allow malicious individuals to track their target, and the goal of ProtectYourself is to provide a framework to easily alert users when such an application is compromising their privacy.
Michael Hauss '16. An SMS Framework for Collaborative Transportation of Goods in Rural Areas. Spring 2015.
Abstract: In this paper, we present a Short Message Service (SMS) framework that connects individuals in rural communities to each other, and allows them to collaborate to help improve the transportation of goods. The system is deployable immediately, and provides a means by which users can effectively share portage tasks. In areas where roads do not exist and communities are separated by multi-day treks, reducing the aggregate number of delivery trips is extremely valuable. The framework also facilitates faster transportation times, so perishable goods can make it to market with more time to sell, and deadlines can be met. The system we propose is simple and cost effective to use, and only requires that a user has a cellular phone with access to SMS service.
Charlie Wu '16. CrisisStack: A Mobile Communications Platform for Crisis and Conflict, Spring 2015.
Abstract: Communication is vital to first responders, law enforcement, and volunteers, as they need to be able to share information to coordinate their activities and effectively do their jobs. Unfortunately, communication infrastructure often becomes unavailable during crises and conflicts, especially in under-developed countries. Solutions to address damaged or inadequate Internet infrastructure in developed countries are often not scalable to the rest of the world due to issues of cost and transportation. An open source software package called CrisisStack, made for a platform known as BRCK+Pi, seeks to change this. By utilizing open source software and commercial-off-the shelf hardware, CrisisStack provides an alternative communications platform that can be deployable in any part of the globe. This project seeks to help with the design, implementation, and evaluation of CrisisStack. Mckervin Ceme '16. Increasing Municipal Transparency through Council-Monitoring Applications.
Abstract: Knowledge of municipal government decisions amongst the average citizen is not thoroughly understood by many individuals. Furthermore, even for those individuals who feel particularly inclined to get involved in local government find getting information about recent legislative activity done by city council and other governing bodies can be difficult and cumbersome to access. As a result, this project aims to facilitate the process of finding legislative actions performed by a governing body. In particular, an older, open-source application called CouncilMatic was updated to provide a richer user interface for individuals to be able to search and browse their local municipality for recent legislation. This project is written for individual towns, and the premier test case is the township of Princeton, New Jersey. The goal of this project was to create a richer front-end experience for the front end user, as well as provide an easy-to-use backend service for local governments to host for their citizens, in an attempt to increase transparency in municipal government between average citizens and city officials.
Julia Johnstone '16. Clarence: A Mobile Application for Behavior and Wellness Tracking. Spring 2015.
Abstract: This paper details the design, development and evaluation of Clarence, an Android application that allows users easy access to data pertaining to their physical and social behavior. All data is collected through smartphone sensors without any user effort beyond installing the application and turning on sensing capabilities. Data is then displayed with progress bars and line graphs that can be easily exported by email. Users can also choose to have a list of contacts alerted if they meet or fall below self-set goals and thresholds. This work builds on existing tools that have allowed smartphone users to track their daily behavior in order to better monitor their health, activities, and mood as well as on applications that have sought to give medical professionals more insight into their patients’ behavior at home.
Gabriel Ambruso '15. Finding Computer Time: Load-Balancing of Public Terminals. Spring 2015.
Abstract: Ease of access to public terminals is a concern for the 77 million Americans that use them. These individuals rely on these terminals for the Internet connectivity and productivity tools they provide. Factors that hinder access to public terminals include heavy competition for their use and an inability to determine what time is best to attend a locale with such terminals. This paper outlines a framework for load-balancing public terminals. This framework focuses on load-balancing terminals at a location by providing users with information on the expected number of available terminals at any given time and the peak usage hours on any given day. Using this information, users can align their trips with non-peak hours and lessen the amount of competition for public terminals by spreading out their visits. Once this framework is deployed at multiple locations with terminals in a single area, its data can be used to direct users to the location with the most available terminals and increase the efficiency with which these terminals are used.
Junya Takahashi '15. Visualization of Vacant Properties: A Geospatial Data Visualization Framework for City Data. Spring 2015.
Abstract: The prevalence of vacant properties in a city is both a negative indicator and a harmful presence. The mission of the Trenton Neighborhood Restoration Campaign (TNRC) is to address the problem of the large number of vacant properties in the city of Trenton, NJ. Currently, CartoDB is used to store and visualize geospatial data collected on Trenton land parcels. However, the basic services provided by CartoDB have various shortcomings, including the lack of an advanced search mechanism, a way for a user to provide feedback on specific data points on the map, and a way to output data in an aggregated, downloadable format. These shortcomings are addressed through writing original code and leveraging various open source packages to extend the functionality of the TNRC web application. In developing an ad hoc software solution for the TNRC, the principle of creating a generalizable system was a priority. Although the application developed for this project is specific to vacant properties in Trenton, the process of collecting and displaying geospatial data is extensible to any city with similar needs. Given preliminary positive feedback from the TNRC, cities similar to Trenton should also benefit from having a similar web application customized for their own municipalities. Thus, modularity and code reusability were high priorities in developing the extensions to the TNRC application. A framework composed of a collection of different tools is proposed in order to facilitate the development process of a city geospatial data visualization application.
Alan Zhou '16. CharityMatch: A Mobile Framework for Matching Donations with Charities. Spring 2015.
Abstract: The system of donating currently in place is ineffective in allocating resources to those in need. Research has shown that trust, transparency, and convenience are three key factors that contribute to whether a citizen donates to a charity or not. The recent developments in mobile technology make it possible now to develop a framework that utilizes these mobile devices to enhance the number of donations and maximize the utility gained through these donations. CharityMatch is a framework that allows users to easily match their donations to nearby charities who need the items. Some components of the framework include affinity matching, a notification system, user and charity profiles, and inventory management. The matching is done by considering a variety of factors, including location, level of need, etc. These factors are encoded by sorting the list of matched charities by order of affinity, and then letting the user swipe right to pledge to that charity and left to look at the next possible charity match. After a user pledges to donate the specific item, the user will then have a ’to do’ list that facilitates the physical donation process via reminders and maps. Finally, once a user physically donates, the user will then have a history tab allowing him/her to view all previous donations.
Stephanie Marani '16. PanTweet: Improving Communication Between Donors and Food Pantries. Spring 2015.
Abstract: Food pantries in America are generally low-cost operations that cannot afford to spend much time or money on community outreach. This poses a problem, as food pantries rely heavily on donations from the community and need to be able to communicate their needs with potential donors in order to get these donations. PanTweet serves as a way to help solve this problem, bridging the gap between food pantries and their donors in a way that is not only quick and easy for the food pantry to use, but also also convenient for their donors. PanTweet is a web application that integrates with the Twitter platform to automate communication between food pantries and donors, requiring very little effort from either party. Food pantries only need to upload their latest inventory and customize their settings and PanTweet will automatically publish tweets to the pantry’s Twitter feed, allowing followers to see what items are needed and where these items can be donated.
Glenna Yu '16. Remote Physical Therapy Monitoring Using Smartphone Sensors. Spring 2015.
Abstract: Conventional physical therapy rehabilitation programs require physical therapists to monitor patients as they repeatedly perform sets of exercises to ensure proper form. As this places increased load on the providers of physical therapy and can be costly for many patients, new solutions are needed for easy, low-cost remote physical therapy monitoring systems. Some approaches use gaming interfaces and external sensors; however, the increasing pervasiveness of smartphones have led researchers to try physical activity recognition using only the smartphone sensors. This project attempts to demonstrate the feasibility of using the approach taken for physical activity recognition to determine whether a patient is correctly performing their physical therapy exercises. Standing side leg lifts are used as an example exercise. A classifier is trained to distinguish between side leg lifts done correctly and incorrectly. Different classifiers, combined with different window sizes and sampling rates, are evaluated using 10-fold cross validation and compared against each other; accuracy rates of about 95% are achieved offline, but the accuracy decreases when used in online recognition on a prototype mobile app. Future work may attempt to use a more comprehensive dataset with more variations on the exercises to train the classifier to improve the online recognition accuracy. Despite the limitations, the results suggest that it is possible to distinguish between these subtle variations on movement using only the sensors in the smartphone.
Fall 2014 - Civic Computing (expand)
Abstract: Situational awareness during times of crisis requires the integration of information from numerous sources. Many of these sources are fragmented across several points of access from emergency alerting services, to news media outlets, and even to social media. In recent years the use of social media to support humanitarian efforts in collecting assessments and relevant information of disasters has been increasingly researched. Social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are used by victims to help disseminate disaster information as well as by activists to help this propagate information. Increased situational awareness can save the lives of victims, help first responders, and support fundraisers for aid in disaster relief. Relief Web, a humanitarian website managed by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), serves as the foundation to for the mobile platform developed under this project. This platform is designed to integrate disaster information with relevant crowdsourcing from tweets through the use of Twitter’s Search API. CrisisWatch, built as the first prototype of this platform, integrates disaster information from ReliefWeb and Twitter to distribute time sensitive information to help aid disaster relief.