The Informatics Capstone Fair, featuring undergraduate informatics students and M.S. in Human-Computer Interaction Design students, gave more than 270 students the opportunity to showcase what they have learned and what they are capable of, both in conception and execution.
More than 80 projects were on display at the event in Presidents Hall at Franklin Hall on April 21. Each project was born out of 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.
This year, all of the undergraduate projects were web or application based. Groups generated a wide variety of ideas, including Crimson Flags, an all-in-one roommate finding application for IU students; RentU, a platform for rating property managers in Bloomington; ArtMart, a networking and sales platform for IU art students to sell their artwork in auctions; and 60 more creative and innovative projects.
"A lot of planning has to go into the capstone project. It was a great exercise in teamwork to prepare us for what is next," said Zachary Buher, who is graduating with a security degree and a security cognate. "What I learned from this semester is that things that you absolutely need are hard work and motivation to be able to do this. Communication with your teammates was key for a successful project."
Zachary and his teammates created TutorU, which connects IU students with tutors based on their specific needs.
Abby DeGeyter and her group worked on a project called Storaway, which focused on creating affordable storage solutions for IU students.
"This experience was a very large growth experience both technically and professionally."
Abby said. "The overall experience has provided me with a deliverable to showcase everything that I've learned."
The progress students have made is the best part of the course for those who teach it.
"The event today is a huge culmination of the work that our senior informatics students completed across the past academic year," said Logan Paul, a senior lecturer in Luddy and one of the leaders of the undergraduate capstone courses. "The class definitely challenged them all in different ways and stretched their own perceptions of their capabilities through hard work, dedication, and ingenuity."
The program also welcomed back three alumni judges – Brian DeKemper (B.S. '02), Ashlee Grady (B.S. '20), Dawn Hillier (B.S. '06), and Sheunopa Mugobogobo (B.S. '16) – to help select the top project. The winner(s) will be announced shortly on the projects website.
The Informatics Capstone Fair also housed the HCI Capstone fair, which featured 20 projects on a wide variety of topics. Students selected their projects based on their interests or something that was meaningful to them. Some projects included Sique, a personalized online shopping experience that includes a body-scanning feature and Thematic Reality, which uses augmented reality to enhance theme park navigation, and apps connected related to diving, knitting, and more.
"This project started with me thinking I was both a designer and empathetic, but I had missed something right in front of my eyes, which is that someone with limb loss or difference has to buy two shoes even though they only need one," said Atishi Batra, who is studying Human Computer Interaction Design. "It's all about opening up your eyes and seeing what's right in front of you and doing your best to make it easier for someone else to do theirs."
Atishi developed Living in Limb-o to accommodate those living with limb loss or difference, something which affects approximately 2.1 million people in the U.S. alone.