The Capstone Experience provides the educational capstone for all students majoring in computer science at Michigan State University. Teams of students build software projects for corporate clients. For information on becoming a project sponsor, see Project Sponsorship or contact Dr. Wayne Dyksen. The following are the project sponsors and projects for the Fall of 2015.
Amazon: Seller Forums Echo Companion
Amazon’s Seller Forums is a web resource for third-party sellers to post questions about selling on Amazon. Our Seller Forums Echo Companion provides these sellers with a hands-free way to interact with the Seller Forums.
The Amazon Echo is a tower speaker providing voice assistance through the cloud-based Alexa intelligent assistant. Amazon sellers use our Echo Companion to ask Alexa about the questions and answers posted in the forums.
For example, a seller asks “Alexa, are there any replies to my question about shipping?” Alexa answers “There are three new replies to your question.” The seller then responds “Read the most helpful reply to me.”
Our Echo Companion is based on Alexa “skills,” which are comprised of language constructs called intents for which Alexa listens and performs subsequent actions. Alexa uses its natural language processing in combination with the Seller Forums database to accomplish a seller’s desired task.
Alexa’s actions include many common Amazon Seller Forums tasks such as posting questions, reading questions, editing account settings and receiving notifications.
Our Seller Forums Echo Companion is coded in Java. AWS Lambda, an Amazon cloud service, stores and runs the Java. A MySQL database hosted by Amazon Web Services contains the content of the Seller Forums.
Auto-Owners Insurance: HR Recruiting System
Auto-Owners Insurance is a Fortune 500 company working with more than 6,200 independent agencies in 26 states. Founded in 1916, Auto- Owners continuously improves their products and services for their policyholders.
Auto-Owners is committed to recruiting and hiring the very best candidates to be associates at Auto- Owners. Our HR Recruiting System streamlines the entire process from recruiting to applying to hiring.
Applicants create accounts and complete job applications easily. They can upload their resumes and pull data from their LinkedIn profiles.
To measure the user-friendliness of the system, Google Analytics tracks the number of applicants who complete the entire application process.
Recruiters assign themselves to specific applicants, rank applicants based on interviews, and update the status of each application.
Recruiters can request video, phone, and in-person interviews. They can send acceptance, rejection, and hold letters.
Recruiters use our system to log recruiting events and record relevant information such as expenses, number of recruits in attendance, and contact information. Paper copies of resumes collected at events are scanned and stored in the system.
Our HR Recruiting System is written in HTML, CSS, AngularJS, and NodeJS. Our system is supported on the backend by a SQL database.
Ford Motor Company: Connected Vehicle Protocol Test Harness
Many Ford vehicles that roll off the assembly lines have complex infotainment systems. The performance demands on these systems varies with the customers’ desires such as streaming audio and video directly to their car or truck.
Infotainment systems send and receive a wide array of messages around the vehicle which include things like media files and system updates. As these messages are transmitted, they must arrive at their destination quickly and accurately.
Ford engineers use our Connected Vehicle Protocol Test Harness to evaluate the performance of a variety of messaging protocols. Engineers use the results of these evaluations to choose the best protocols for their designs.
Our test harness transmits various encrypted file types from the Ford Discovery Box, which simulates a vehicle, to a server. The test harness monitors and measures these transmissions, and collects data about a protocol’s performance.
Ford engineers visualize the test results with graphs and tables using our companion web application, which enables them to compare and analyze various messaging protocols to determine the optimal performance.
General Motors: Global Service Desk Mobile App
General Motors is one of the world’s foremost designers and manufacturers of cars and trucks sold in more than 120 countries. Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, GM’s 218,000-plus employees work in 396 facilities spanning six continents.
GM’s Global Service Desk (GSD) helps GM employees solve their information technology (IT) problems. Our Global Service Desk (GSD) Mobile App provides GM employees with access to the GSD from anywhere at any time.
When needing IT assistance, GM employees use GSD Mobile. After describing their problem, users are presented with possible fixes so they can solve their problem immediately themselves, without calling the GSD. If not resolved, users submit a help ticket, which they can track easily.
A GSD agent determines the best time to call an employee needing IT help by looking at the employee’s calendar, which our team integrated into GM’s IT Service Manager system.
As an agent makes changes to a help ticket, push notifications are sent to the GSD Mobile App to keep the GM employee up to date. Agents may also send preset messages requesting more information about an employee’s problem.
Using our system, GSD agents process help tickets faster and more efficiently, alleviating phone congestion for other GM employees with more serious IT issues.
Meijer: In-Store Price Compare
Meijer is one of the country’s largest supercenter chains, providing high quality food and merchandise in six states across the Midwest. With their headquarters located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Meijer has over 200 stores, 60,000 team members and serves millions of customers each year.
Our In-Store Price Compare mobile app gives Meijer customers an easy way to compare prices as well as giving Meijer insight into the marketplace.
Customers scan an item’s barcode using their iPhone, iPad or Android device. Our app shows the Meijer price along with the prices of Meijer’s competitors. If the Meijer price is not the lowest, a special one-time coupon may be offered to encourage the customer to make the purchase at Meijer.
Every time a Meijer customer scans a product for pricing, relevant data about the product and prices are uploaded into a Meijer database. Our companion web app visualizes this data with charts and graphs.
Meijer sourcing managers use the web app to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of their in-store pricing as well as consumer buying patterns. As a result, Meijer customers get the best products at the lowest prices.
Our In-Store Price Compare iOS and Android apps are written in C# using cross platform interfaces created with Xamarin.Forms. The web platform runs on the ASP.NET framework and is written using HTML5, D3.js and Bootstrap. Both the SQL database and web platform are hosted on Microsoft Azure.
MSU Federal Credit Union: Online Dollar Dog Store
Michigan State University Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU) is the largest university-based credit union in the world, serving Michigan State University, Oakland University and their surrounding communities.
The MSUFCU Dollar Dog program encourages good banking habits in young MSUFCU members. When children ages 5-12 make deposits, they earn Dollar Dog coins, which they can exchange at a Dollar Dog Store for prizes such as backpacks, coloring books, bouncy balls, and stuffed animals.
Currently, there are Dollar Dog Stores in thirteen MSUFCU branches so it’s difficult for kids who do not live near one of these branches to use Dollar Dog coins to buy prizes.
With our Online Dollar Dog Store, MSUFCU kids can shop online using Dollar Dog coins to buy prizes, which are shipped directly to their homes.
After logging in with their MSUFCU userid and password, kids can add prizes to a cart for purchase with Dollar Dog coins or they can add them to a wish list for a future purchase.
Our Online Dollar Dog Store works on desktop and mobile web browsers including iPhones, iPads and Android devices.
MSUFCU administrators use our companion web app to edit the store catalog and adjust user coin balances.
Quicken Loans: Enterprise Roadmap Tool
Quicken Loans designs and develops its own enterprise software systems, which often requires significant amounts of time and money. In order for senior level executives to make sound business decisions about investing in the development of these new systems, executives must understand what’s being proposed and why.
Our Enterprise Roadmap Tool provides visualizations of Quicken Loans’ enterprise software systems including projects being proposed and developed. Executives view an intuitive project roadmap rather than reading a complex document.
Enterprise architects use our system to build project roadmaps and their main components: the strategic purpose, the business value, and the tasks that need to be accomplished to achieve the purpose and business value.
A roadmap presents a high-level overall view of a project, color-coding tasks and business values to show dependencies. As executives drill down into the details, popups provide more information such as a task’s description, its dependencies on other tasks, risks involved, and links to outside relevant information.
Spectrum Health: Patient Service Delivery Planning
Spectrum Health, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, provides high quality, high value healthcare through its seven hospitals, more than 140 service sites, and Priority Health, a health plan with nearly 500,000 members.
Our Patient Service Delivery Planning system increases customer satisfaction for patients while at the same time improving efficiency for Spectrum Health. It consists of two distinct parts, a mobile app and a web app, which share a common backend.
Our mobile app enhances the experience for patients by finding the nearest Spectrum Health urgent care center with the shortest wait time.
In addition, patients can see predicted future wait times so that they can plan for future visits on days and at times when wait times are normally shorter.
Our companion web app provides Spectrum Health with graphs and analytics of both past and predicted patient arrivals. Spectrum Health leverages this data to staff their facilities, optimize business hours, and predict average treatment time.
Both the mobile app and the web app use complex statistical software that predicts patient wait and treatment times. The design of this predictive model is completely modular so that it can be easily updated, enhanced, or even completely replaced.
Symantec: Integrated Silent Authentication via Symantec VIP
While passwords are the most common method to authenticate users, using passwords alone is not secure. Security is increased by adding a second factor such as a unique secret PIN generated dynamically on a user’s mobile phone.
Symantec provides a two-factor authentication (2FA) product with their “Validation and ID Protection” or VIP service.
Typical 2FA on a mobile device is cumbersome. A user must enter a userid and password in one app, generate a secret PIN with a second app, copy the PIN from the second app, and finally paste the PIN into the original first app.
Our Integrated Silent Authentication via Symantec VIP architecture integrates the second authentication factor into an app so that it’s done silently and automatically for the user.
Our system consists of multiple sample apps including “Clock It Pro” and “StateBank.” Users need only enter their userid and password, which demonstrates the user friendliness of the VIP service by making 2FA transparent to the user.
Our sample apps with corresponding documentation are used by Symantec customers to design and develop their own apps.
Our Android and iPhone apps are written in Java and Swift, respectively. Communication with Symantec servers is accomplished through the Symantec VIP SDK as well as our own Java Enterprise Edition server. Our data is stored in a MySQL database.
TechSmith: Intelligent Real World Text Recognition
TechSmith is a leading developer of screen capture, video capture, and editing software including the very popular Snagit, Camtasia, TechSmith Relay and Morae, which are used by companies and educational institutions around the world.
Our Intelligent Real-World Text Recognition app uses a device’s camera to find text in the real world, recognize what it is, and then perform a task depending on the format of the text.
For example, if our app recognizes text as a phone number, it offers to call it or save it. If it sees an email address, it can send an email. If our app recognizes a street address, it gives the address to Microsoft’s Bing Maps.
A useful feature of our app is its ability to read text out loud for the visually impaired or someone learning to read.
Our app is a Universal Windows 10 application, which means that it runs on any Windows 10 platform including phones, tablets, laptops and Raspberry Pi devices.
Users can save recognized text to the cloud and access it from any Windows 10 device.
Our app meets accessibility standards so that it is usable by those with disabilities. It enhances productivity for all users.
Our Intelligent Real-World Text Recognition app is written in C# and XAML. Microsoft Azure cloud services and an SQL database store the recognized text. Microsoft’s Optical Character Recognition Engine converts camera frames to text, which is then recognized using regular expressions.
Urban Science: Visualizing Brand Loyalty
Urban Science is a business-solutions company focused on supporting the sales and marketing needs of automotive companies. They leverage a scientific methodology to help their client partners sell more vehicles, improve profitability, and increase customer loyalty.
At each client partner, marketing managers track customer loyalty through a variety of metrics. By looking at “repurchase loyalty scores,” managers determine the amount of customers repurchasing the same vehicle brands. Low scores prompt consideration of new marketing schemes.
Our Visualizing Brand Loyalty app consolidates loyalty data in expressive visualizations that enable loyalty managers at client partners to quickly assess market performance.
Using a multi-diagram interface, loyalty managers select a market of interest for a specific manufacturer’s brand or model. Markets are colored red or green depending on the loyalty of customers, which allows loyalty managers to identify which markets are struggling and what former customers are buying instead of their vehicles.
Loyalty trends over time illustrate new customer (conquest) data and former customer (defection) data. Monthly push notifications alert loyalty managers of newly acquired market data.
Visualizing Brand Loyalty is an application written for Apple and Android tablets. It is built on the Ionic framework using AngularJS and the D3 visualization library. PHP connects the application to a Microsoft SQL Server database.
Whirlpool Corporation: Whirlpool Indoor Maps
Whirlpool’s facilities include many buildings with hundreds of conference rooms and thousands of cubicles. So, finding a specific conference room or cubicle in an unfamiliar building can be quite a challenge. In addition, determining room availability for meetings is often difficult and time- consuming.
Our Whirlpool Indoor Maps (WIM) app provides interactive maps of Whirlpool buildings. Using our simple and intuitive design, employees can access and explore maps of any building at any Whirlpool location with their mobile phone.
WIM enhances the everyday work life of Whirlpool employees in a unique way by displaying up-to-the-minute Google Calendar information.
Our app combines Google Calendar with maps to provide a streamlined service so employees can find and book available meeting rooms with visual map feedback.
To ensure simplicity, meetings for the day are readily available for viewing, editing and deleting.
Our mobile maps, combined with reservation and navigation functions, provide a comprehensive tool that increases the productivity of Whirlpool employees worldwide.
Our Whirlpool Indoor Maps app runs on both iPhones and Android phones. The iPhone app is written in Swift, while the Android app uses Java. Both utilize Google’s API services.