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Computer and Information Systems Technology

Computer and Information Systems Technology

ACE Project Space

Come Visit Us at DisruptED Future!

January 29, 2020

It’s amazing what can happen in a year and it’s certainty more incredible when you consider the speed at which technology is evolving! Red River College’s Applied Computer Education department has been using technology to simplify education for students and educators alike. Between January 30 and 31st, we invite you to visit us at the DisruptED Conference to find out what we are doing in the areas of virtual reality, project management, and online learning. We’ll be on hand to help you participate in one or more technology demonstrations.

Demonstrations

Humanizing Technology with VR

We’ve been using VR in the classroom over at the ACE Project Space to help students improve their presentation skills. Using this tool along with encouragement from our instructors, students have gone from terrified to terrific in less than a term. Take a test drive and see for yourself the difference VR makes!

Simplifying Project Management with Ralphware

With the high number and variety of industry projects entering the ACE Project Space every term, our resident project space instructor, Ralph Dueck, found a need to provide a quick, simple, effective, and repeatable way of managing agile projects using the Scrum methodology with students and their clients. See how Ralphware has been used effectively over the past two years to keep students on track in a fast-moving project-based environment.

Using Online Learning to Create Mentorship Opportunities

The competency-based education (CBE) model has been used at the ACE project Space to provide students with opportunities to develop and prove their skills. The focus is less on lectures and more on experiential education and mentorship. Instructors in Applied Computer Education are updating their courses to enable their course content to be taught in online and blended learning formats. Learn how you can incorporate online learning in the classroom while freeing up time for providing in-class mentorship opportunities.

About the Conference

DisruptED Future is a two-day conference where the local tech industry and educational institutions meet to inspire the next generation of innovators. The conference is being held at the RBC Convention Centre located at 375 York Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Business Technology Students Guerrilla Testing Client’s Website

January 29, 2020

Some of the Business Technology Management (BTM) students took advantage of the anticipated traffic at the Exchange District Campus (EDC) Career Fair to conduct a five-second usability test. The students were asked to intercept participants that fell into the target market and ask them to look at their client’s landing page and images for five seconds to then answer some qualitative questions.

The students tested 20 “users” and provided a Tim Hortons gift card as compensation for the participant’s time.

The five-second test is a powerful usability testing tool designed to capture a user’s first impression of a webpage. The test length is purposely chosen as studies have shown that five seconds is enough time for users to formulate an immediate qualitative impression of the webpage without having enough time to begin to focus on specific design elements.

AquaHacking Challenge and Opportunity to Save Lake Winnipeg

January 15, 2020

On January 15, 2020, representatives from the Winnipeg office for the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) delivered an information session on their sustainability campaign to students at the ACE Project Space.  The IISD, whose mission is to champion solutions to our planet’s greatest sustainability challenges, created the AquaHacking Challenge, an initiative and competition designed to attract bright young minds who have the desire and ability to address our most urgent water issues.

Pauline Gerard, Deputy Director, IISD-ELA and Corporate Secretary, talked to our BIT, BTM, InfoSec, and PTEC students about the challenges the IISD is working to resolve in protecting and cleaning up our fresh water resources and species right here in Manitoba. Lake Winnipeg, which is the 11th largest fresh water lake in the world, is under threat due to excessive pollutants entering the watershed. The lake also serves as the sole source of potable water for many northern communities and supplies a significant commercial fishing stock. Gerard called for students’ help in assisting the organization in signing up to develop technology-backed ideas and solutions to stop further degradation of our precious fresh water resources.

Pauline Gerard, Deputy Director, IISD-ELA and Corporate Secretary describes AquaHacking

Pauline Gerard, Deputy Director, IISD-ELA and Corporate Secretary describes AquaHacking

Gerard guided students through the process of developing sustainable ideas by working on a common challenge affecting the agriculture sector today: providing agriculture producers with cost-effective solutions for managing drainage and the climate. The students were split into groups to discuss ideas around how the problem could be solved. One student from each group shared their idea to the audience. Ideas involved Internet-connected sensors, apps, and more.

The five challenges the IISD is working on for Lake Winnipeg include:

  • Providing agricultural producers with cost-effective solutions for water and land management
  • Assessing fish populations and health using non-invasive techniques
  • Preventing microplastics from entering the lake
  • Enabling local testing of drinking water quality in remote northern communities
  • Financing sustainable development initiatives by connecting individual and group funding sources

The AquaHacking Challenge is an 8-month long competition for the best ideas, connecting teams of innovative people with mentors from industry and workshops to create innovative and sustainable solutions. Technology-minded youth between the ages of 18 and 35 are encouraged to register to be part of a solution team for this competition, which starts in February with winners declared in October. Winners will receive part of a $50,000 prize pool to fund further development of their solutions.

To learn more about the AquaHacking 2020 Challenge for Lake Winnipeg and how to participate, visit https://bit.ly/HackLakeWpg or stop by the IISD booth on January 31st during the DisruptED Conference at the RBC Convention Centre.

Project RID – AI-Powered Consumer-to-Consumer Selling

December 23, 2019

Project Term: Fall 2019

Selling used physical items online has traditionally been a time-consuming process. Writing a good product description and pricing it appropriately can be challenging. Sponsored by North Forge, the RID team came to the ACE Project Space to find a way to create an application to simplify the selling process. Our BIT and BTM students built a prototype application that quickly populates a product description by simply taking a photo of the product. The students developed a web application that supports user authentication using Firebase, Google for photo storage, and integration of Vision AI and the eBay API to populate recognize products, populate descriptions, and determine price ranges.

Deliverables

The RID student team completed the following deliverables for the project during the fall term at the ACE Project Space:

  • User authentication
  • Mobile compatible view
  • Integrated image recognition feature
  • Product fields input

Technologies used

  • React
  • Vision AI
  • eBay API
  • Firebase
  • Node
  • Bootstrap
  • Material UI
Item Capture Screen

Item Capture Screen

 

Image Upload Screen

Image Upload Screen

 

Price Chart

Price Chart

G-Fit – Health and Fitness Coaching Application

December 23, 2019

Project Term: Fall 2019

G-Fit, a Winnipeg-based fitness company with 10 fitness coaches, was struggling with tracking and maintaining the volume of workout and nutrition plan details its 200+ clients. Grant Reid, the founder of Team G-Fit, worked with students at the ACE Project Space to build an application to manage the fitness activities of the company’s growing client base of trainees.

Blending fitness coaching with technology

The student team developed the front end for a health and fitness coaching application that will support integrated nutrition and exercise plans that can be viewed by clients and managed by G-Fit’s coaches. As a Progressive Web Application (PWA), users can interact with the application on mobile and desktop devices and even work offline. Our students created a weekly check-in form for coaching clients to record their progress on a weekly basis. Once client trainees can submit their progress, coaches will be able to review the the data submitted by their clients, and then provide constructive feedback. The students prepared an education library for clients as well as coaches, which will provide them with a wealth of fitness education resources to maximize client success.

Deliverables

The G-Fit student team completed the following application deliverables for the project during the fall term at the ACE Project Space:

  • Home page
  • Registration feature
  • User Profile section
  • Exercise Plan section
  • Nutrition Plan section
  • Education library

What our students are saying

“The ACE project space was a great opportunity for me to gain experience working with a real client and team members. This project helped me to improve my technical and soft skills. All my team members are from a different cultural background and we often had small talks during the day and lunch hour, which are really helpful to reduce the stress level sometimes. Requirements for our project changed several times and it was a good opportunity for me to learn how to handle requirement changes during the project.” – Shubham Mann

Technologies used

  • React
  • React Native
  • Material UI
  • Git
  • GitKraken
  • Firebase
  • MongoDB
  • Express
  • Postman
  • Insomnia
Login Screen

Login Screen

 

My Exercise Plan Screen

My Exercise Plan Screen

 

Library Education Screen

Library Education Screen

Stovetop Shield

December 23, 2019

Project Term: Fall 2019

Nadia Williams, the creator of Stovetop Shield came up with the idea for a stovetop safety solution due to a personal experience. We take stoves for granted, yet they can unexpectedly pose risks to overwhelmed workers, the elderly, and parents with infant children. If a cook does not pay adequate attention to cooking occurring on the stovetop, household damage, serious injury, or death can occur. Williams approached the ACE Project Space to build a solution to reduce the risks inherent in using a stovetop. A team of BIT and BTM students at the space built the foundation for a mobile safety application equipped with features to operate a stove as well as monitor the stove from any part of the world and at any time.

Creating a foundation for Internet-connected devices

Our BIT and BTM students built a user-friendly mobile application that enables users to register stovetop devices (hardware interoperability will be created in the future). These devices once connected will be able to display whether the stovetop elements are turned on and at temperature they are emitting. Eventually the solution will be able to allow the user to take pictures of the stovetop remotely.

Deliverables

The Stovetop Shield team completed the following deliverables for the project during the fall term at the ACE Project Space:

  • Account management features
  • Stovetop monitoring screen
  • Device registration
  • Notification system

What our students are saying

“Throughout the course of this project, I have learnt a lot. The beginning phase was a bit different as I had to start working with a new team and on a completely new project. This phase taught me to cooperate and collaborate with the team, gather requirements from the client and also learn a bit about coding and the technical aspect of the project.” – Arshdeep Singh

“I learned about the daily stand-up meeting with project manager where the team members can tell their problem and resolve it.  I also learned about teamwork and how to work in a team. If we have any conflicts, we resolve them by communicating with the team members. We appreciate the other team member’s ideas. It was a good experience working with a real client in the ACE Project Space.” – Mankaranvir Singh

“This project was a really good and challenging experience while learning and working on documentation and technical aspects of the project. The project itself was a unique idea to provide safety in terms of stoves and houses to leave alone afterwards. At the start of the project, it took me some time to get familiar with the project methodologies to be used to successfully start on the project. After the kick start meeting, the development of the project started smoothly and working together on all parts of the project, I gained a lot of experience to make the required and reliable documentation to support the project from start to finish, as well as working on the development, I experienced development of my technical skills creating a skill set for my future. Also, from start to finish of the project has been learning experience in each and every aspect.” – Harpreet Kaur Sekhon

“When I first joined, I was expecting that I would not have a very good experience. It mostly came from not knowing anything about the project. But it ended up being a very enjoyable and knowledgeable experience.

During the project I learned about working with/for a client and to meet and exceed their expectations and to develop a working relationship with the client. It was good that we were able to share our ideas to improve the functionality of the end product, as the client was very open to ideas.

I liked the open learning experience which really taught me how to teach myself to learn new concepts without much outside input other than the developer docs and some tutorials for when you get stuck or want to learn the proper/more accepted way to develop” – Keagen Bouska

Technologies used

  • React native
  • Expo
  • Firebase
  • Git/GitHub
  • G-Suite
  • Balsamiq
  • MS-Office
Login Screen

Login Screen

 

Home Screen

Home Screen

 

Device Registration Screen

Device Registration Screen

U of M Reconciliation – Canadian Reconciliation Barometer

December 23, 2019

Project Term: Fall 2019

The Reconciliation team at the University of Manitoba needed a way to gather information about Canadian perspectives on reconciliation with Canada’s indigenous people and compare changes in Canadians’ thoughts and feelings over time. The Reconciliation team worked with the ACE Project Space to build a solution that facilitates building a longitudinal study on Canadian perspectives.

Enabling longitudinal studies of Canadian perspectives on reconciliation

Several organizations are conducting research on the state of social conditions related to Canada’s reconciliation, but none have been doing so with long-term tracking. The client, the U of M Reconciliation team, explained that long-term tracking is both difficult and expensive and was a major challenge in completing their research. The client also expressed great concern regarding any potential for breach of data security and wanted to protect the integrity of the data captured.

The ACE Project Space team assigned to the project created a custom survey distribution system, leveraging a third-party API, and self-enrollment form through a new website. Users can submit their email address and receive a survey link at the address provided. After the user completes the survey, their contact information is added to a list, to be contacted annually until the survey’s term expires. To address the concerns about data security, the students leveraged the storage and security built by Google and Qualtrics. The students maintained data integrity by permitting only a single email address to have access to an instance of the longitudinal study.

Deliverables

For the fall term at the ACE Project Space, our students created the following deliverables:

  • Canadian Reconciliation Barometer website:
    • Landing page
    • Survey page
    • Education & Learning page
    • Related sites page
    • Team bios page
  • Qualtrics Bridge Survey Distribution and Tracking plugin for WordPress

What our students are saying

“While working on this project, I learned about the history of Canada and about Reconciliation. I researched on different existing websites related to reconciliation. We used WordPress software to build this website and I learned the functionality and features of this software, also how to work with WordPress plugins and themes. I also studied the features of Qualtrics software that how can you create and publish survey on that.

In this project, I polished my presentation skills and learned soft skills while working within a team. I have also developed communication skills and professionalism from meetings we had with customers or instructors and got real world experienced.” – Anmoldeep Dhaliwal

“Through the course of the Industry Project, I learned valuable lessons about teamwork, a different culture than mine, and, of course, technology.

I collaborated with my team to schedule stages of project development, and to cooperate in tasks requiring collective action. They assisted me in producing documentation, and I added the technical details. The lesson I take from this that delegation and division of responsibilities will produce valuable results.

I designed and developed an innovative solution to a business problem without a clear answer. This project was an example of the power of integrations, and of leveraging existing technologies to serve new purposes and to meet unique demands. The lesson here is that knowledge of available technologies is key, as well as a fundamental knowledge of how to work with said technologies to achieve something unique. The realm between what tech exists, and what potential it has to make something new, is the developer’s frontier.” – Raymond Weiss

Technologies used

  • WordPress
  • React
  • Qualtrics
  • Git
  • Balsamiq
  • Bizagi Modeler
Survey Administration Page

Survey Administration Page

 

Sample Page

Sample Page

 

Settings Panel

Settings Panel

Progressive Sanitation – Delivery and Route System

December 23, 2019

Project Term: Fall 2019

Progressive Sanitation, a sanitation supply company based in Brandon, Manitoba, experienced a high administrative burden managing its paper-based ordering process. The supply company worked with BIT and BTM students at the ACE Project Space to streamline the process. The student team created a series of applications to digitize, simplify and centralize administration, billing, and driver routing.

Digitizing paper-based processes for a streamlined workflow

Before Progressive Sanitation approached the ACE Project Space, the company’s administrative staff were processing orders through email, fax, phone, and text. The orders were entered manually into QuickBooks Enterprise after which packing slips were printed out for each order and handed over to the driver for loading and delivery. Once packing slips were signed by each client, they had to be returned to the office with manual entry for invoicing. All the associated manual entries and transfers resulted in excessive paperwork and loss of packing slips during transfers.

The student team assigned to Progressive Sanitation created applications for administration, billing, and routing resulting in reductions in paperwork for the company’s staff, fewer losses in packing slips, better route prioritization, and improvements in billing work.

Deliverables

The Progressive Sanitation team completed the following deliverables for the project during the fall term at the ACE Project Space:

  • Administration app
  • Billing Manager
  • Driver app

What our students are saying

“Project space helped me to gain a lot of professional work experience. I developed leadership, interpersonal and business skills during this 4-month term. Dealing with clients and working for a company developed professional attitude which will help me to build my career as well. Creating different kind of documents has enhanced my capability to think differently in every situation.” – Parul Kansal

“I learned that coding in new languages can be difficult to figure out first. But pushing past the confusing and difficult parts can improve you as a programmer. I learned how to think differently in certain scenarios by using different languages.” – Garett Friesen

“While in the project space I had practiced using different communication skills like listening, clarifying and summarizing. For example, I had practiced during a client meeting where I had to explain different technical topics to a person who would have a hard time understanding what I was talking about. This is a major skill that would be useful in my later career in the IT industry.” – Austin Reimer

“Work progression is what I’ve learned during my time within the project space. This really entails that working diligently on one part of the project, builds up into another part of the project and so on and so forth. This also means that teamwork is a part of the work process and we, as a team, must allow ourselves to progress to each stage of the project, even if the work gets tough.

I also learned about dealing with clientele. This really means that I would answer each and every question thrown at me without hesitation. I also began to deal with the environments of which the clientele is. Such as if the clientele lives very far and we must deal with doing our meetings remotely.” – Janeal Pimentel

Technologies used

  • Visual Studio Code
  • AWS Account
  • git
  • npm
  • yarn
  • Discord
  • WebEx teams
  • Serverless
  • ES6 JavaScript Babel
  • NodeJS
  • ReactJS
  • Python
Orders Screen

Orders Screen

 

Deliveries Screen

Deliveries Screen

 

Notes Dialog Box

Notes Dialog Box

Life Elevated – Virtual Senior Roommate

December 23, 2019

Project Term: Fall 2019

Millions of seniors who require personal care struggle with maintaining their independence, creating strain on themselves, caregivers, and nurses. Life Elevated was created to address the issue. In collaboration with students at the ACE Project Space, the firm is building a practical electronic assistive service to automate tasks that can be performed by a computer.

Building an application for an assistive device

The student team assigned to the Life Elevated project developed a database management system and a website to complement an assistive voice-activated device called a Virtual Senior Roommate or avatar that the firm had developed. The students extracted health, quality of life, and general activity information from the avatar and were able to present the data in a manner that nurses could analyze. In addition, the students learned how to a Cura Lulzbot to design and print a 3D case for the avatar to allow for easier transport.

Deliverables

The Life Elevated team completed the following deliverables for the project during the fall term at the ACE Project Space:

  • Database system to support the solution
  • Website with information collected from the avatar, seniors, and nurses
  • 3D designed and printed cases for the avatar.

What our students are saying

“I learned how to work effectively in a team, how to use Python/Django and git, and how to prioritize tasks. I learned team building by actively participating in group discussions and voicing my own opinions on matters at hand.” – Simon Tran

“Having this 4-month experience, it was an opportunity for me to enhance my soft skills, such as organizational, leadership, communication, and some technical skills as well.” – Nelson Munoz

“In my experience in the ACE Project Space, I’ve learned to work in a team, and by that, I mean I learned to accept other people’s opinions. There are a lot of differences in the way people do things. I self-learned new technologies and applied what I already knew to these technologies to further enhance my skills in development.” – Jose Jacap

Technologies used

  • Python
  • PyCharm
  • Django
  • PostgreSQL
  • Balsamiq Mockups 3
  • Drawio
  • Cura-lulzbot Software
Senior Information Screen

Senior Information Screen

 

Quality of Life Screen

Quality of Life Screen

 

Available Conversations Screen

Available Conversations Screen

ioAirFlow – Web-Based Air Quality Analytics

December 23, 2019

Project Term: Fall 2019

ioAirFlow was created to address climate control issues faced in virtually all commercial buildings with a focus on providing solutions to reduce high energy consumption. The startup approached the ACE Project Space for assistance in creating a solution that combines Internet-connected sensors with an application that analyses climate data measured throughout the target building to identify areas that may require fixing.

Working in scrum teams to build software

Our BIT and BTM students built web application features, including account and issue management, for the ioAirFlow application. In a future term, students will connect the application climate measurement sensors. During the term, the students learned how to work together within scrum teams to elicit and develop application features in an agile fashion.

Deliverables

The ioAirFlow team completed the following deliverables for the project during the fall term at the ACE Project Space:

  • Login page
  • Account creation
  • Graphs feature
  • Client page
  • About my building page
  • Issues page
  • Issue filters
  • Recommendations feature

What our students are saying

“Django Framework to make a website, Python and its readable syntax, refactoring code and documenting them, Database creation and management with SQLite, creating models and handling them in Django.” – Garret De Chavez

“I learn that how to solve the real-world problems in this project because I take this project as a job. I worked as an employee. I face some programming problems that I never faced before in my life. The biggest one is to do your work as the way your client wants because some time, he gives you the task that you never done before and that time you are learning and working together to fulfill client’s requirements.” – Mipandeep Bhathal

“As a Scrum master I have learned how to lead a team, how to run the Kanban board, doing stand-up meetings, communicating with client and being a team player, improved my presentation and communication skills. I have also learned to create technical document such as Project Charter, Communication plan, Business Requirement Document, Use case, Test case and creating wireframes.” – Ripunjay Borsiwala

Technologies used

  • Django
  • Python
  • SQL lite
  • Sensors

 

About my building screen

About my building screen

Client Page

Client Page

 

Survey Page

Survey Page