Friday, April 28, 2017

(4/28) A brief analysis of work completed

Over the course of the program, Hugo, Eugene and I have learned much more than I think any of us expected to about the research process, mobile development, databases, and creating a RESTful API server. This post will serve to summarize the work that we've done on the server, and where our research will go from here.

We have written 3845 lines of code for the server. About 92% of this code is Java, leaving about 8% of the code as HTML/CSS. We have made 201 commits to our master branch for the server, which represents about 1 commit per day. The graph of these commits shows a clear spike as we neared the start of the experiment, and another spike as we ran into bugs that prevented us from testing in early April. Despite these spikes, the graph also shows that we have been consistently working on the server since early October.

The CREU program ends on 5/5, which is the same day that Eugene and I will oversee the last session our app is used. Once the final session is complete, we will issue an exit survey, which asks students to rank the methods of authentication and asks questions about the usability of the application. After this, we will no longer have funding, but Dr. Zheng and I have arranged for me to take Directed Research course over the Summer to analyze the data we have collected from the experiment, write a second research paper, and to write any documentation necessary for a future CREU team to continue to use our application for their research. This CREU team could add notifications to our application to study the effect of personalized feedback on student attendance rates, or could move forward with authentication using facial recognition or location determination via Wi-Fi networks.

In all, I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to have worked on this project. This is definitely the longest I have ever worked on a single software project, the largest codebase I have ever worked with, and the most demanding in terms of my time. I have learned much more than I thought I would, gotten a feel for the research process, and worked with some really amazing people.


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