Wednesday, December 6, 2017

3B December 6 Blog Update

Much has happened over the past two classes. After splitting into groups, we got a basic wire-frame laid out, and the programming team downloaded applications to begin basic work. Additionally, Collin Bolles, Renee Banagan, Stella Haley, and Jillian Zick met with Marc DeNofio (the communications manager of Team Rubicon) on December 5th to discuss the project. He elucidated the nature of the problem for us- Team Rubicon's main issues lie in slow communication, text disorganization, and lack of battery life on their phones. Therefore, our application must facilitate effective and simple communication while only using a small portion of the battery. It is very likely that we will not have a hardware-based portion in this project, but if the project begins to go in that direction, we will adjust accordingly.

Jillian Zick

Figure 1: A typical team meeting, gathered around
a table to facilitate discussion

Figure 2: A team member beginning to code
Figure 3: An engineers' notebook page detailing
the meeting with Marc DeNofio

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

3B November 28 Update

Today we worked on refining our problem definition. Since it is vital that the entire class participate in our project, we made sure that everyone had a comprehensive understanding of the issue at hand. We also divided into smaller groups to tackle our respective sections of the problem; these included an application design group, a software group, a hardware group, and a presentation group. The application design group began to create a user-friendly application for volunteer use, while the software group worked on the schematics of the code itself. The hardware group focused on the "Hub" research (a device for providing phone power and storage to volunteers in the field), and the presentation group began creating presentations for Team Rubicon COOs and Facebook engineers (to introduce them to our problem and ask for assistance).

Jillian Zick


Figure 1. The Software Team: (from left) Gavin Burns, Nate Green (behind),
Eric Simonetti, Collin Bolles, Derek Bruce, and Dan Mattison

Figure 2. The Application Design Team: (from left) Amanda Davis, Caitlin Leonowicz,
Renee Banagan, and Jillian Zick (not pictured) 


Monday, November 20, 2017

3B November 17 Update

During this class, we discussed our goals for the project, refined our elevator pitch, and split into groups based on interest. One group focused on brainstorming initial software design, and the other reached out to Marc and set a date to present our pitch. In addition to this, we plan to do additional research about the software we're developing and contact more experts for help. Next class, we are going to Skype with Marc and refine our problem statement as needed; hopefully, he will present our statement to the CEOs of Team Rubicon in the following days.

Jillian Zick

Sunday, November 19, 2017

November 15 Update

Last class was spent finalizing and presenting our elevator pitches. We ended up taking what we believed were the best aspects from each elevator pitch, and we worked on condensing the pitch into the 45 second range. Other than the elevator pitch, we began talking about what the volunteer organization software would ideally include when it is finished. We concluded we would like to include the current status of volunteers (deployed or not deployed and how recently they were deployed), a list of their skill sets, an update for volunteers about a crisis, and a preemptive alert to a volunteer if it was a possibility for them to be deployed. Lastly, we agreed to finalize any elevator pitch changes and prepared to have a meeting with Marc in a few classes. Any ideas we have for the software design will be talked about with Marc and he will let us know what he believes is necessary or helpful.

Jacob R.

Friday, November 10, 2017

November 8 Update

Class 3B is taking big steps forward. This class we started analyzing the information that Team Rubicon provided. We split into two teams, with one team focused on what competitors are doing when it comes to the volunteer organization. The other team focused on creating a list of criteria that our product should meet in order for it to be most useful to the client. We hope to have a finalized problem statement to present to Team Rubicon soon.

Collin Bolles
Project Manager

Block 3B Update

Over the past two months, we've been working on developing the project that we want to tackle this year. At the end of October, we narrowed our final decisions down to a Smart Home development system, an at-home energy producing unit, and drone-based disaster relief. We ended up choosing disaster relief, mostly because it's a multi-faceted problem and it was popular among our class. Our main idea was to use drones to gather information about disasters in real time, but after discussing the nature of disasters with an expert, we realized that they didn't need additional information; rather, they needed a way to contact and deploy first responders. This expert is a part of Team Rubicon, an organization dedicated to providing disaster response through the use of veteran volunteers. By connecting the CEOs of Team Rubicon, private companies and local citizens, and the volunteers themselves, we will expedite the disaster response process and save lives. With the amount of natural disasters increasing per year, it is imperative that we develop a system to maximize Team Rubicon's efficiency. 

Jillian Zick
Public Communications