2019 Exposition winners announced


On April 8 at Palmer Commons the School of Information hosted its 2019 Student Project Exposition. This annual event showcases the talents of UMSI students. In many cases, they show and present on projects that they have worked on in class or as research or community/service projects. In others, the project may be the result of work completed during an internship or other type of experience such as Alternative Spring Break. The projects display the skills students have learned while at UMSI that relate to the many information professions. 

“Feedback from guests, including clients and employers, was very positive,” said Alissa Talley-Pixley, Assistant Director of Professional and Community Engagement. “They were impressed with the student work and interested in further engagement through being a client in one of the client-based courses, or through potential hiring for internships or jobs.”

Winners for each category are below: 

Autodesk Best Execution Award

1st place: Fighting Fire with Data (Amelia Cacchione, Vinh Luong, Julia Pezzulo, William Waters)

Leadership from Fort Myers Fire Department have been working with students from UMSI to gather, analyze and build upon key data sources to develop a tool that can identify, define and prioritize buildings that are at risk.

Honorable mention: UM-ITS Unit Risk Profiles (Madi Willihnganz, Austin McCall, Phillip Brown, Shaefer Drew)

With a more concrete risk plan, ITS is able to have a path to patch vulnerabilities to avoid risking data breaches and information security issues. This risk profile will help ITS in the future by allowing for a more secure network through targeting the location of the largest risks in order for security to be in and around that area.

BSI Final Project Award

1st place: Expedia App Review Sentiment Analysis (Hagan Surkamer, Daniel Eilender, Daniel Schorin, Lindy Villeponteau)

Working with Expedia, we went through reviews for both iOS and Google Play stores for Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, and eBookers. We conducted sentiment analysis on all reviews to determine what large issues users are experiencing and then provide Experida with recommendations on how to improve their app store ratings.

Honorable mention (tie): Court Innovations - Capstone Project (Emma Welch, Joseph Stempel, Mallory Robbins, Margaux Klein)

Court Innovations provides a software called Matterhorn, allowing people to fight misdemeanors online rather than having to go to court to argue for lesser charges. We have helped them with useability and accessibility issues.

Honorable mention (tie): ORB Toys Asset Management Portal (Teddy Okerstrom, Autumn Jacob, Jenny Lee, Madi Sabo)

ORB Toys, a rapidly growing toy company, is requesting suggestions and designs for a new asset management portal to alleviate their massive workload via the current system.

Ford Fund Community Engagement Award

1st place: Great Lakes Observing System Search Engine Revamp (Maheen Khan, John Voorhess, Alex Kahan, Stephanie Schouman)

The Great Lakes Observing System provides information about the Great Lakes. Our group has been working with GLOS for the past year to create a new search engine using ElasticSearch and change their front-end using Flask.

Honorable mention: Ann Arbor District Library (AADL) Self-Checkout Kiosk Redesign (Sindhu Giri, Olivia Gardella, Kamden Hafke)

Many AADL patrons are unable to efficiently and effectively check out library materials via the self-serve kiosks. They avoid the kiosk altogether or requesting additional assistance. Our project team hopes to better enable patrons to achieve their tasks without asking for additional help.

Innovate Blue Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award

1st place: Grapevine (Emelia Hennessy, Visakan Jayakumar)

Grapevine strives to connect friends, family, and colleagues with each other to form a network for valuable recommendations that expands interests while bringing people together. This solution helps users discover entertainment through people they trust.

Honorable mention: Ecotone Renewables: Building a Better Food System (Vinh Luong)

Currently, 12% of families are food insecure and 40% of all food is wasted. To address this, student-led Ecotone Renewables launched The Aquaponics Project in 2016. The project developed Pittsburgh’s first portable aquaponics farm that could be deployed anywhere and serve as a source of fresh, sustainable produce. Since then, Ecotone has developed the “Seahorse,” a machine that transforms food waste into renewable energy and nutrient-rich fertilizer that can be returned to the local community.  

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award sponsored by the UMSI Diversity Committee:

1st place: Dear Black Women (Florence Noel)

Dear Black Women is an affirmation movement and network for Black women to heal, connect and grow. At the intersection of race and gender, Black women face singular challenges in every major area of life. Dear Black Women specializes in curating offline and online spaces that increase the community, resilience and social capital of Black women in the movement.

Honorable mention: Accessing Justice – Connecting Low Income Clients with Affordable Attorneys (Ankita Avadhani, Cameron Chandra)

The project entails developing an algorithm to create visualizations for the pro bono division of the Chicago Bar Foundation. We were tasked with manipulating variables like poverty level, geographic location as well as type of law cases clients were seeking to produce meaningful visualizations that can help the JEP allocate funds toward proper channels.

Faculty Choice Award

1st place: CUTgroup Detroit: Testing the Detroit Assistant Tool (Ky Wojciechowski, Hope Tambala, Manali Desai, Sophie Niu)

The March CUTgroup session worked with Data Driven Detroit and the City of Detroit to design, execute, and report on a usability test of the Detroit Assistant, a voice interface tool that runs on Google Home and Google Assistant. Leveraging the city’s Open Data Portal, the tool allows Detroit residents access to information about recycling pick-up dates, property ownership, recent construction permits, and upcoming demolitions for any address in the city.

Posted April 17, 2019