I worked with three other students to create a Course Search tool for the GenEd department. The premise for our project is “enterprise apps aren’t good”. Through utilizing what we donned “student first thinking” we created a tool that looks appealing and is easy to use. We later decided to pivot and create a business plan to market it to other institutions and later expand our product offerings to encompass more aspects of the Higher Ed app suite.
Through working on the course search I learned that it’s extremely difficult to establish a strong vision amongst a team. Though I still believe that the Steve Wozniaks of the world need to be championed and that by and large scientists and engineers should be glorified much more than C suite executives I’ve grown to appreciate the need for strong leaders like Steve Jobs.
Working on our prototype and finished product I got to learn a lot about natural language processing and, to a lesser degree, machine learning in general. We utilized R, Carrot and Apache’s OpenNLP to analyze the GenEd course inventory then create a data model to place courses in selected categories.
To learn more about our project and try a prototype, visit our project page.