Amongst the hundreds of Purdue IT employees, there is a group of a dozen or so programmers and designers tasked with creating new technology for the classroom. As a student, I was fortunate to intern with this team where I first learned how to build a scalable web application. After graduation and a few years in Chicago, I returned to this team where we went on to roll out several new classroom applications. This page references some of the work done during this time.
In addition campus-wide projects, most of us maintained additional responsibilities with departments around campus. Mine was overseeing the online presence for Discovery Park, the research arm of the university. This was a mini-campus within Purdue where several new centers were constructed for nanotechnology, bioscience, cancer research, earthquake prediction, and other groundbreaking projects. I met regularly with representatives of each center to discuss ways to highlight research and upcoming events. During this time, we would go onto launch over 40 center sites hosted across Discovery Park and roll out a content management system to maintain them all. Below shows a landing page design for Discovery Park along with an themed template for the Cyber Center.
Two of the classroom applications I designed for our team were Hotseat and Mixable. These were both designed to be used with or during class and deployed across the university, available to all students. Hotseat was used in large lectures to field answers and discussion in realtime - this allowed topics to be voted on or responded to during a lecture as well as through social media. The other application, Mixable, used individual course registration to pair students with their classmates and instructors throughout the semester. Both of these would go onto be selected as some of the top classroom innovations of the year and highlighted in Campus Technology magazine.
After deploying several of these classroom applications, we went about creating a landing page to highlight some of the projects coming out of Informatics. This site was aptly called Purdue Studio and I was honored to take a pass at the first version.
I worked with the Informatics team for 2 years as a student and 2 years after graduation. This experience greatly shaped the way I approach application development. It also instilled a confidence in overcoming large-scale problems with persistence and pragmatism. Welcome to any Boilermakers who happen upon this page.