CISC 498
Information Technology Project

School of Computing

Proposed Projects 2020-2021

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This page lists potential projects proposed by customers from across the university and Kingston community. This year we have many anxious customers who can use your help! You may choose to pursue one of these projects, or find a customer and project of your own, possibly related to clubs or organizations you are involved with..

Projects from past years developed the Queen's Community Service Learning web portal, project management and secure reporting system, the Queen's squash court booking system, a particle size analysis system for Geology, an artifact archival and secure access system for Classics, and many other systems. Ideally your project should create a software system or product that can serve the customer for many years to come.

A good project will normally involve a human interface (such as a web portal), a persistent database, user roles, secure access isssues, and multiple technologies for you to learn about. But it can also be a challenging computational system or data management problem - it's up to you.

Some example past project descriptions from the last year are available here. Those projects are not available this year (if not listed below).

Each group must claim a different project inform the course coordinator as soon as possible. Before claiming a project, you can contact the corresponding customer of the project to better understand the software system needs.

1. A Comprehensive Platform for Sports Analytics and Research

Customer: Catherine Pfaff, Assistant Professor, Department of Math & Stats, Queen's University

Supervisor: Christian Muise, Assistant Professor, School of Computing, Queen's University

The Queen's Sports Analytics INitiative (QSAIN) is looking to build a unified platform for sports analytics that covers the range of users from coaches and athletes – all the way to cutting edge academic researchers. Put naively, we require software for video playback and interaction. Put a little more realistically, we need software that will seamlessly integrate AI based insights for post-game analysis by coaching staff, allow for collaborative rich annotation of in-game footage, provide a visual means for exploring research ideas and visualizations, etc. The project is a foundational component to a long-term and multi-faceted research agenda. As such, it must be designed with reusability, extensibility, and flexibility in mind. The team will work with the primary customer, Prof. Catherine Pfaff, as well as a variety of coaching staff from Queen’s and researchers across the departments of Computing, Mathematics, and Business.

2. Visualizing Data Distributions and Uncertainties Using Statistical Tests (Taken)

Customer: Christopher J Spencer, Assistant Professor, Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering, Queen's University

In a variety of scientific fields, it is important to assess the distribution of data collected and the uncertainties associated with the data. This project will use three simple statistical techniques viz., weighted mean and uncertainty, reduced chi-squared, and univariate kernel density estimation, that are particularly useful for this purpose. Although extremely useful in a variety of disciplines, there does not exist a simple easy-to-use platform in which these techniques can be utilized and performing these calculations by hand or in other programming languages can be very time consuming and difficult. The goal of this project will be to provide a single program in which data can be input and run through a series of procedures resulting in an aesthetically pleasing visualization of the data while displaying the appropriate statistical measures.

3. A Data Aquisition Software for a Digitizer

Customer: Ryan D. Martin, Associate Professor, Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy, Queen's University

The project is to design data acquisition software for a digitizer used to record signals from particle detectors. The software should allow us to configure the digitizer settings, save and load configuration files, and write data. The software should be able to run as a graphical user interface, a web interface, or from the command line (Linux). The graphical user interfaces (web and desktop) should also allow basic characteristics of the data to be visualized during acquisition. Settings from the software should be writable to a noSQL database for record keeping.

4. Soccer Simulation Tool

Customer: Coach Christian Hoefler and Assistant Coach Dan McBride, Queen's University

Supervisor: Dr. Catherine Pfaff, Assistant Professor, Department of Math & Stats, Queen's University and Dr. Nick Graham, Professor, School of Computing, Queen's University

The Queen’s Sports Analytics Initiative (QSAIN) is seeking to build a soccer simulation tool. The hardware and software would recreate game scenarios in a virtual reality setting whereby the subject is presented with real-time options. There are several keys to this implementation:

This project is part of an ongoing initiative to build a sports analytics platform at the University. The team will work with the customers, Coach Christian Hoefler and Assistant Coach Dan McBride, along with other coaching staff and researchers in the School of Computing, Mathematics and Business.

5. Mapping Interactions between Police and BIPOC Communities

Customer: Lisa Guenther, Associate Professor, Philosophy Department, Queen’s National Scholar in Critical Prison Studies

Supervisor: Catherine Stinson, Assistant Professor, School of Computing and Philosophy Department, Queen’s National Scholar in Philosophical Implications of Artificial Intelligence

This project is a collaboration between the customer, groups in Kingston and Waterloo, and acbnetwork to build an app where community members can document and visualize incidents between police and BIPOC communities to support research and advocacy around police accountability. Two initial test regions where the app will be piloted are Kingston and Waterloo.

The app should be accessible, secure, and easy to use by the target communities, flexibly accommodate information about various types of incidents (stop & check, traffic stops, arrests, harassment), as well as varying levels of detail (location, time, badge or case numbers, written reports, audio records, video records, witness information), and several levels of trust (private, shared within the project, for public display). In addition to an interface for recording incidents as or shortly after they happen, the app should include display functions for visualizing the data in the form of an interactive map, and other summary tools. Means of verifying the authenticity of reports, while respecting privacy, should also be considered. Links to legal aid and civil rights groups should be integrated into the design.

Students will be expected to work with community members to develop specifications, and to rigorously user test the interface. A review of existing apps for similar purposes should be performed, to learn about best practices, and avoid common mistakes. Given the sensitive nature of policing data and the marginalized position of BIPOC community members, extra care will need to be taken with data access, security concerns when it comes to the storage of such data, and building trust. The app should be designed for portability, and easily modifiable/extendable for eventual use in other locations, where needs may differ. All code from the project will be produced under an open source license.

Students with experience in any of the following areas, or who have an interest in developing one of these skills are especially encouraged to apply for this project:

6. A Database for Experiential Learning Program(Taken)

Customer: Angelica Mendieta-Sweet, Manager, Programs - Standardized Patient & OSCE, Health Sciences Experiential Learning Program, Queen’s University

The Experiential Learning Program is a service unit for the Faculty of Health Sciences that provides students with opportunities to develop their clinical and communication skills through interactions with volunteer and standardized patients. We have approximately 200 volunteer and standardized and our list is growing to meet program demand. It is challenging to keep track of participant information and schedules as well as assigned sessions and cancellations. The database needs to be:

7. Carbon Footprint Tracker Application with Rewards--QICSI-funded start-up netzero(Taken)

Customer: Warren Mabee, Professor, Department of Geography and Planning, Queen’s University and Omar Toutounji, netzero

netzero is a Queen’s University spinoff established in 2019. netzero’s mission is to empower communities and individuals to make more sustainable choices by providing them with the information, tools and incentives necessary to reduce their carbon footprint.

netzero is launching its first pilot program with Queen’s University in the fall of 2020. Staff and students will have the opportunity to download our app, track their carbon footprint and make more sustainable decisions. Our gamified platform lets individuals set goals, take on challenges, and join teams. This summer, we built the foundational carbon tracker using React Native (JS) and Flask (Python).

The next step is to build the rewards component. Points will be awarded based on the amount of CO2 reduced and can be redeemed with their favourite oncampus food location.

We seek a team to develop a rewards component for our netzero app; the rewards tool will communicate with Queen's Hospitality and CoGro's servers to send the amount of points that a user has to receive a coupon code that can be redeem for a reward, for example, a cup of coffee.

Please join us if you'd like to take ownership of this component and turn this idea into a reality. This is not a research-based project, but one that will result in a tangible product that will be used by Queen’s students for years to come, and one that will allow Queen’s to better meet its emission reduction goals. Specific tasks and technical specifications:

8. Infection Exposure Tracking Program - Confidential Guest Check-In and Notification System for Businesses(Taken)

Customer: Erin Gunsinger, Senior Secretary, School of Computing, Queen’s University

With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, and all its uncertainties, social interaction cultures are shifting on a global scale. We may not yet know how or when COVID-19 will be eradicated, but what we do know is this: infection control through data analysis and tracking is more necessary than we previously realized. Disease control measures will become an everyday part of the way we do business.

The proposed project involves creating an affordable, lightweight, licensable desktop software and app (iOS and Android) that can be used by local businesses (restaurants, spas, salons, etc.) to track their guests and clients. This would be a simple database and notification service that hosts personal contact information and visit data for businesses and their clients/guests, with the following objectives:

  1. Protect guest/client privacy. Only minimal, necessary information should be collected and stored
  2. Fast, simple, efficient contact management
  3. Affordable, with minimal hardware requirements for businesses
  4. Widespread use in the local area; the more business that use the software, the better it works


9. Teaching Assistant Management Database

Customer: Alex Wright, Associate Professor, Department of Physics, Engineering Physics, and Astronomy, Queen’s University

We would like to produce a more capable system for assigning graduate students to their TA positions, and managing those positions. The system would need to accept, in a user-friendly way, input about the TAs (number of hours each TA should work, course preferences, etc.) and the courses (the number of TA hours required and the time blocks for those hours, the course instructor, etc.). The system would then guide the assignment of the TA positions, checking to ensure that each course and TA receive the correct number of hours, avoiding schedule conflicts, etc. The system would then generate TA assignment summaries for review, and be capable of emailing the TAs and course instructors to notify them of the assignments. The system would also draft, present for review, and then send to the course instructors TA agreement templates and TA funding schedules. Ideally, the system will be created in such a way that future expansions of its capabilities are relatively straightforward.

10. Teaching Assignment and Course Database(Taken)

Customer: Julia Stroud, Department Manager, Dan School of Drama and Music, Queen’s University and Katherine Peter, Academic Program Manager and Advisor, Dan School of Drama and Music, Queen’s University

The Dan School of Drama and Music has expanded a lot over the past few years, and the teaching assignment and course listings are becoming unmanageable using various excel spreadsheets. We would like to create a database that would allow us to build an annual list of course offerings, track instructor teaching history, years of experience and courses and administrative service, calculate workload and allow us to automatically update the website with the course list. If time permits, it would be valuable for us to also use this for Teaching Assistant assignments.

11. A Web Platform for Swivel

Customer: Hatem Dawaghreh, Co-Founder & CEO, Swivel

About the Company:

Swivel is a company formed during the Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative (QICSI) in 2020. We are aiming to create connections between students/recent grads and startups, so students can look for jobs and expand their professional network, and startups can gain brand recognition and find top emerging talent. We accomplish this through a user-facing web platform.

Project Description:

Users should be able to sign up for a profile, instantly see users that match their skills, experience and values, and indicate whether or not they are interested in connecting. When two users indicate interest in each other, a 15 minute virtual coffee chat is set based on availability the user has already inputted. Based on user interviews with students and startups across Canada, we have indicated key features to be:

12. Creating Your Own Product Made Easy by MINAI -

Customer: Wendy Ampadu, Founder of MINAI

About the Company:

MINAI is a business-enabling platform that makes the creation of a product line easy and available for the masses. MINAI's online platform provides end-to-end solutions from conceptualization to production; making it easier for business owners to gain proprietary over their brand and products.

Project Description:

Students will be collaborating with the founder of MINAI to build a specific component of a web-based prototype from existing mockup designs. The use of both front-end and back-end development will be required. Students will use high-level programming languages and technologies including Git/Github, Bootstrap, Python, Django, MySQL, HTML, CSS, and Javascript to code. This would be a great experience for eager and ambitious students to solve real-world problems Note: Documentations on IP Assignments may need to be signed by students.and be a part of the fast-paced startup world.

Component Features:

Note: Documentations on IP Assignments may need to be signed by students and be a part of the fast-paced startup world.

13. Web Platform with Backend Development to create Customizable e-Storybooks

Customer: Jessica Dassanayake, Co-Founder and CTO, BinoBooks

BinoBooks is a customizable literacy platform that helps parents explain complex topics to their children with ease while making all children feel represented in their readings. BinoBooks was created during the SpreadInnovation Challenge this summer as part of the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre and won the first place prize at DDQIC’s summer pitch competition. BinoBooks is looking to create customizable e-storybooks that integrate user input into the text and images.

A customer should be able to go on a BinoBooks website, browse for a book they would like to purchase, fill in a customization form, pay for the product, and have an e-book sent to their email. It would be ideal for the customer to view a preview of the customization of the book before purchasing.

This project involves the development of a e-commerce website that integrates a form for user input and a payment platform. The website should have a well-thought out UI and UX in order to make it as easy as possible for a potential customer to customize a book. Backend development is required to create the customized storybook pages based on the user’s input into the form. A secure database and data security considerations are also needed.

14. Online Tool for Canadian Disability Participation Project

Customer: Amy E. Latimer-Cheung, PhD, Professor, Tier II Canada Research Chair - Physical Activity and Disability, School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Queen's University

Background: The Canadian Disability Participation Project (CDPP) aims to promote full and effective participation for persons with a disability. We are interested in effective participation in a variety of life contexts including the sport domain. Specifically, our research has focused on creating positive participation experiences for persons with a disability. Through our research we have developed a resource to help organizations review their current practices and identify areas for improvement. We have a template for an organizational self-audit tool that requires automation.

Purpose: The goal of this project is to create an online, quality participation self-audit and feedback tool disability sport organizations.

Quality Participation Blueprint

An early electronic excel-based version