Impressive projects were everywhere you looked in the Informatics Capstone Fair. Undergraduate informatics students and M.S. in Human-Computer Interaction Design students showcased what they have learned and what they can do, both in conception and execution.
Forty-eight informatics undergraduate team projects and 52 Human-Computer Interaction Design individual projects were displayed in Presidents Hall at Franklin Hall on April 20.
All the undergraduate projects were web or application based. Each undergraduate project came from the two-semester capstone project class that asks informatics students to solve a problem for a local individual or organization, or find a broader solution for an issue involving the world at large.
About 180 students made up the 48 teams. They generated a wide variety of ideas, including Hoosier Roommate, which helps in finding a roommate based on common interests; Class Buddy, a platform to help uses make student connections, find groups to join and utilize valuable resources; Hoosier Tunes, a platform for sharing music; and dozens of other creative and innovative projects.
“It took a lot of planning and organization,” said Tsion Mola, an Informatics major with an individual cognate in sustainable technology. “Teamwork and communication are very important in a capstone project. We were very focused on that.”
Mola and team members Evan Han, Connor Regen and Cole Ritchey created Friendster, which uses algorithms to help users find events and meet people of similar interests. It is combination of the dating app Bumble and the neighborhood community app Next Door. It is not a dating app, Mola said.
“It’s a way to make friends and find events you’re interested in when you move to a new city,” Mola said. “You can use it to get involved in your community.”
Another project was Mail Buddy, an information system that helps IU students with all their mail-based needs. It targets campus residence halls, a big job given 400,000 packages a year are delivered to IU-Bloomington’s 18 residence halls.
Team members are Emily Rhee, Chad Kennell, Reid Worth and Bryant Balting.
Then there was ThriftU, a platform only for IU students that allows users to buy or sell trendy clothing, shoes and accessories. It’s designed to eliminate shipping costs and improve security. Team members are Megan D’Silva, McKenna Wylam, Charles Herron and Kyle Kluger.
Recycle IU provides an electronic waste solution that connects and rewards users for recycling their e-waste. Team members are Carson Mundy, Corbin Libbert, Jack Waldron and Irene Zhou.
Student Compass allows incoming college freshmen to figure out housing preferences and get preliminary ideas on what classes to take. Team members are Jarrett Embry, Tamer Azzam, Zach Flores and Jake Schoenegge.
The progress students have made was the best part of the course for those who teach it.
“We formed teams in late August, and being back in Presidents Hall with everyone to celebrate their finished projects is a great feeling,” said Logan Paul, a senior lecturer in Luddy and one of the leaders of the undergraduate capstone courses. “We included some new elements in the courses for students to focus on refining their projects, and we watched our students rise to that challenge, and make marked improvements in their capstone projects.”
Informatics undergraduates competed for awards such as Top Project, Teamwork Trophy, The Perfect Pitch and Students Choice.
The program welcomed back four alumni judges, three from consulting firm Deloitte --Breandan Miller (B.S. in informatics 2020), Reagan Hardy (B.S. in informatics 2021) and Megan Morgan (B.S. in informatics, 2019), and Amazon’s Brian DeKemper (B.S. in informatics 2002).
Other alumni attending were Eli Lilly’s Tristan Loera (B.S. in informatics 2017) and IU/Alumni Board’s Andrew Myers (B.S. informatics 2011).
Awards will be announced on April 28 on the projects website.
For the HCI Capstone Fair, students selected their projects based on their interests or something that was meaningful to them. They presented posters on their year-long capstone projects. That included app design, UX and UI, product design, AI interfaces, and more.
Jenny El-Shamy, senior lecturer of Informatics and HCI/d coordinator, said the Capstone Fair allowed students to show to themselves, their peers, and potential employers what they can do in terms of conception (the idea and intention behind the design) and execution (the implementation and final shape of the design).
“This blendstechnology, creativity, social science,academic research, and industry-oriented design skills,” she said.“For twenty years, our graduates have shaped the human-computer interaction/design industry and become sought-after design leaders.”
Projects included Therapy Island, which uses virtual reality to project a tropical island paradise to help people dealing with mental health issues; Swing Vision, an app to empower tennis training with wearable technology and artificial intelligence analytics; and Designing for Pleasure, a tool kit which lets users design and build their own sex toys.
Self Med was designed by Sitha Vallabhaneni, Master’s in HCI/d. It helps teenagers deal with chronic condition management on their own, including taking medication, and helps parents learn to let go and allow it before they get to college. She’s built a prototype that students organize and track their medicine.
“It allows students and parents to have that transition period before they go on their own to college,” Vallabhaneni said.
Pareshi Rajveer built Journey to Inclusion, which helps make autonomous vehicles more accessible to the disabled, blind and visually impaired.
Rajveer said this addresses the entire process, from locating a vehicle, to entering it, to arriving at the correct destination, to exiting the vehicle.
“It will help them feel more in control,” she said. “It’s critical to understand their needs from beginning to end.”
Micro-Interaction Library is an app that allows users to create motion design and animation. It was designed for Amazon music and other music apps, but can be used with other motion designs.
“I’ve worked on this for a year,” said creator Ashay Nigam. “It’s open ended. I uploaded it to a digital platform. People can add to it and create on it. It’s never-ending, like a community project.”