Energy Conservation, transportation at core of student-designed Android App

My name is Jonathan Noyes and I am a senior at the University of New Hampshire in the Computer Science (CS) Department and student technician at the UNH-IOL. For my senior project I worked with two other CS students developing a mobile application for the UNH Sustainability Academy.

At the beginning of the semester we were presented with a proposal to design an application that would encompass three ideas: Energy Conservation, Public Transportation, and Social Media. The UNH Sustainability Academy already had a specification in mind, and we met with them multiple times to determine what was and wasn't possible. Once a final specification was reached we decided to implement it on the Android platform, as Android provides a more open development platform than the competition.

The Sustainability Academy desired a way for students and faculty to access up-to- date utility usage on all the buildings across campus, which we implemented by querying data from the Energy Department's database and generating line charts on the fly for any given date (up to the previous day) and displaying it over the length of a chosen time period. In order to promote public transportation we implemented a system to access all of the UNH bus scheduling information, as well as functionality to plan a trip using only public transportation via Google Transit. Once the UNH buses implement GPS tracking, the Sustainability Academy hopes to have a group of students add in real time tracking features to the app. Finally, to promote the Sustainability Academy's presence on social media, we created an interface for the user to connect with them easily on all major social networks, as well as providing an RSS feed with all their latest news items and videos.

Although this was the first year the CS department participated in senior projects, with the process being a little rough around the edges, I feel the program was a great learning experience in team software development, as well as a worthy exploration of new technologies that sit outside of the provided curriculum.

Jonathan Noyes, Research and Development