External Projects

  1. Client Email Database Management
  2. Collaborative Scanning Probe Microscopy Data Analysis
  3. Issei Life Histories: An interactive data base
  4. Legal Citation Extraction and Tracking
  5. Politips Mobile App Data Analysis
  6. Visualizing the Teen Healthy Relationships field in Canada
  7. Web-based graphical calendar function

These are projects with external "customers" who define the project requirements and interact with you during the term to resolve issues of what you should accomplish. You will need to find a willing supervisor from the School of Computing (including cross-appointees and research adjuncts) to apply School standards to the grading, in consulation with the customer. Some of these are variants of projects proposed for CISC 498, so may require some negotiation over their scope (which may need to be reduced and simplified).

Client Email Database Management Customer: John Andrew, Queen's Real Estate Roundtable

The Queen's Real Estate Round Table (a not-for-profit unit within Queen's) manages a large (10,000+ clients) mailing list currently maintained in Excel, with mass mailings via Outlook and Mail Merge; it makes extensive use of LinkedIn to identify and add people to the list. The revised system should import contacts from an Excel file provided by LinkedIn and eliminate those that duplicate existing contacts, process "bounceback" emails and mark the corresponding entries for further investigation and possible deletion, and, if suitable technical means area available for interacting with LinkedIn, automatically process LinkedIn's suggested new contacts and the results of searches.

This project requires a separate style of contract designed to allow not-for-profit use of the results, and a non-disclosure agreement for access to information in the current database.

Collaborative Scanning Probe Microscopy Data Analysis Customer: Alastair McLean, Department of Physics

The aim of this project is to develop an open source solution to Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) data analysis and file management using the Anaconda Python distribution and environment manager. SPM is a technique used to obtain structural information about materials with single-atom spatial resolution. Anaconda is a package manager, environment manager and Python distribution. There are image processing packages such as scikit-image, that provide algorithms to perform many of the tasks required for SPM. Moreover, the Anaconda distribution comes with the Jupyter Notebook, a web application that allows the creation and sharing of documents that contain live code, equations, visualizations and explanatory text. See additional details. This project requires an open source licence, to be negotiated.

Issei Life Histories: An interactive data base Customer: Audrey Koyabashi, Department of Geography Taken

Issei Life Histories is a set of data bases containing information on approximately 30,000 emigrants from Japan to Canada from 1890 to 1940, currently contained in Excel spreadsheets with their own structure but with a subset of common columns. The information can be used for advanced research as well as for providing information on their ancestry to individuals. The project is to develop a means of query-based searching across the data bases according to specified criteria (e.g., name, date of birth, place of birth, address) and to display the results in a number of different formats:

  1. in tabular or statistical formats, according to specified search criteria;
  2. In a format that can be mapped, using multiple criteria, in a GIS program;
  3. In narrative form, using plain text (provided by client) so that it is accessible to individuals with limited computer skills.
The program should be dynamic so that new data can easily be added, and it should have the capacity to be accessed on-line or directly. There is also a potential to make the system interactive with major archival repositories.

This project requires an open source licence.

Legal Citation Extraction and Tracking Customer: Amy Kaufman, Law Library

The Law Library needs a tool for people to quickly find if a particular secondary source - journal article, book, or author, etc. - has been cited in court cases. Canada has excellent free databases of case law, but there is currently no tool to quickly find out if a secondary source has been cited by any cases. For scholars in law, who want their work to have an impact, being cited in a court case is important - it shows that their ideas are making their way into law.

The proposed database to use is Lexum's Supreme Court of Canada cases, which is freely available. Cases from 1985 onward have a specific section at the beginning of each case that lists "Authors Cited" (see example). This tool would open up new topics for research that until now have been too time-consuming to approach. It would be useful for scholars and researchers in law, policy, and other fields. It would open up new ways to analyze and look for trends in Supreme Court cases. Lexum is aware of this project and would be willing to work with the team on the formalities, such as a licence and technical parameters to download needed content.

This project requires an open source licence.

Politips Mobile App Data Analysis Customers: Pamela Simpson and Andrew Grant, Political Studies

Politips is a mobile app for displaying policy platforms of political parties to voters. The current version handled the October 2015 Canadian federal election, and the new version needs to be more flexible and user-friendly, so that it can be applied in other countries. The information to be displayed will be supplied by the customers; the developers are free to start fresh or reuse parts of the existing app (though they must be very clear on what parts are their original work). Adaptability to new applications is an essential part of the design. Additional information is here.

Visualizing the Teen Healthy Relationships field in Canada Customer: Wendy Craig, Deparment of Psychology

To increase collaboration among people and organizations working in the "Teen Healthy Relationships" field, we need software to help us visualize survey data in several different ways; this project would implement some of them, and be designed in such a way that others could be added later. We are particularly interested in integrating a geographic map of physical locations of organizations, and the graph of relationships among them showing "hubs" with particularly strong connections. However, there is also a considerable amount of additional survey data to display if time permits. See additional information here.

This project will require an open-source licence.

Web-based graphical calendar function Customer: Wolfgang Rau, Department of Physics Tentatively taken

The goal of this project is to create a calendar function that can be implemented in a web page. The display of the information is graphical along a 'time bar' or 'timeline' with markers for the events that are in the stored in the underlying calendar data base. The scale of the time bar is non-linear, so that the time about the time point of interest (typically "today") is stretched, but important events in the distant future (or past) can still be displayed. The scale can be interactively zoomed and the central point can be shifted. Differnet categories of events can be entered into the data base through the web interface. Key information is displayed while details appear when hovering with the mouse over a given event.

Questions? Contact the course coordinator.
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