Since 1999, graduating MIMS students have completed Master’s Final Projects — innovative information systems and intriguing research papers that integrate the skills and concepts learned during their two years at the I School.
Here’s a look back at eight final projects from the past decade that continue to make an impact.
iNaturalist.org is an online community for people interested in the natural world — a place where you can record what you see in nature, meet other nature lovers, and learn about the natural world.
Developed in 2008 by Nate Agrin, Jessica Kline, and Ken-ichi Ueda, the site is currently maintained by Ueda and Scott Loarie, a climate change researcher at the Carnegie Institution.
iNaturalist released its free iPhone app in February, published a companion app called RedwoodWatch in April, and launched a “Global Amphibian Blitz” in May. The project was recently featured in the San Jose Mercury News, the the Huffington Post, KQED’s “California Report”, Wired UK, and Scientific American.
Two years after the release of the KnowPrivacy research paper, by Ashkan Soltani, Joshua Gomez, and Travis Pinnick, its ripple effects continue to affect the national conversation about online privacy.
The research was cited in the Federal Trade Commission’s 2010 privacy report, which called for a new regulatory framework for online privacy, and it served as the basis for the influential Wall Street Journal series “What They Know”, for which Soltani served as a consultant. Soltani has advised the FTC and twice testified for Congress about online tracking practices.
The project’s icon-based site profile design influenced similar privacy notices developed by Mozilla and TRUSTe; Pinnick is working with TRUSTe to standardize an icon-based privacy short notice format and design browser-based privacy-management tools. The report was also cited at last month’s “Privacy-Identity-Innovation” conference.
Follow-up research is credited with identifying so-called “zombie cookies”, leading to a series of class-action lawsuits filed last year against online advertisers, the first of which was recently settled for $2.4 million.
UC Berkeley Calendar Network (2004)
The UC Berkeley Calendar Network was designed to bring together the campus’s 70 (or more) separate departmental calendars into a unified network based on a standardized platform. It enables easy cross-listing of events, and lets the campus compile a single master calendar of events sponsored by many individual departments.
Initially designed in 2004 by Allison Bloodworth, Myra Liu, Nadine Fiebrich, and Zhanna Shamis, the system was launched in 2006 at events.berkeley.edu as UC Berkeley’s official online calendar. Today it supports over 100 departments, gets 100,000 page views each month, and lists over 9,000 different events each year.
Berkeley Health Informatics (2010)
Berkeley Health Informatics is a software start-up developing innovative tools for patients to track their day-to-day health data and share that data with their health care providers. “Kidoodl”, their mobile app for new parents to easily track their baby’s observations of daily living (ODLs), also provides integrated decision support and condition-specific coaching; the project was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal.
The project was sparked by the 2010 “Observations of Daily Living” project by students Abrahm Coffman, Annette Greiner, James Tucker, Matt Gedigian, and Nathaniel Wharton and is now run by Coffman and Wharton, in partnership with Daniel Imler, MD. The “Observations of Daily Living” project was also used as the case study for the I School’s 2011 Integrative Workshop
Delphi is an online browsing and searching system for exploring diverse museum collections. The system was created in 2007 by Adrienne Hilgert, Gerald Yu, Jon Lesser, Olga Amuzinskaya, and Patrick Schmitz, in collaboration with the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology. The museum has been using the Delphi system for its collections for the past four years.
In the future, the team hopes to integrate Delphi with CollectionSpace, a Mellon-funded open-source collections-management system for museums being jointly developed by UC Berkeley and a range of other universities and museums.
CourtListener provides a free and easy way for attorneys, academics, journalists, and law librarians to stay up-to-date with US court opinions as they are published, by analyzing all opinions and sending customized daily alerts by email or RSS.
CourtListener has nearly 200,000 documents, including daily updates of all precedential opinions from the Supreme Court and all thirteen federal circuit courts, plus most non-precedential opinions. The site will soon be providing machine-readable data downloads, and expects to host a million documents by the end of the year. It was recently featured in Law.com’s Law Technology News.
Popcuts is an innovative online music store that rewards early discoverers of popular songs, encouraging music buyers to be ahead of the curve. Songs are 99¢, and buyers are rewarded whenever a song they already own is sold again. Their rewards model aims to benefit independent artists and music fans alike by tackling one of the biggest problems of the music industry: the core economics.
Popcuts was developed in 2008 by students Hannes Hesse, Kevin Mateo Lim, and Yiming Liu. The site was recently mentioned in Forbes and currently offers over 12,000 songs for sale.
Transporter is a novel public transit application for the iPhone, built to help riders get around the Bay Area. Its design was based on deep user research into how people use public transportation and the difficulties they encounter.
The app was developed by Ljuba Miljkovic in 2010. One year later, thousands of Bay Area riders are using it every day to help them get around.