Honors Web Application Requirements

Another assignment in my CPSC 430: Software Engineering course was to gather requirements for a different implementation group. Myself along with 3 other students were in charge of gathering requirements for an honors program web application. In order to get the requirements, we needed to meet with the client. Once meeting with the client to discuss the ideas for the project, we planned out this document! I learned a lot about how to talk to someone to understand what they’re thinking. If possible, I would’ve loved to gather more feedback from the client and establish more constant communication.

 

Check out the Honors App Requirements!

 

 

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What’s For Dinner: Project Plan

Prior to the implementation for What’s For Dinner, we were tasked with creating a project plan. Within the project plan, we finalized our requirements and developed a schedule for implementation. Prior to completing the document, I wish I had a more accurate timeline for each task. I had never developed an application like this before and there was a small learning curve.

Check out  the Whats For Dinner Project Plan!

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What’s For Dinner?

For my final senior project, I worked with a small group with 3 other students  to develop an Android application. Our client asked for an application that would store recipes and generate a grocery list from your weekly selected recipes. We created two versions of the app, one that did utilized a database and other which was self-contained. While we only had one semester to complete this, we would’ve made it self-contained in the beginning then added more fun features or a better interface.

Check out an old demo of the app below!

My main contributions were the development of the ‘Search’ function as well as the grocery list!

 

Check out the Github repo for the code!

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Federal Crime Shiny App

As apart of my Data Analytics class, I created a Shiny web app using RStudio and shinyapps.io to create a visual model of my research. Using the FBI Federal crimes data set, I explored correlations between types of crimes and populations by years. Prior to this class, I was unfamiliar with R and there was a small learning curve. Creating a Shiny app was really cool to have something interactive to show while presenting my research. If I had the chance, I would’ve had multiple types of graphs to show my results.

Check out my Github for the code!

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Good Boy GBA Game

In my Computer Systems and Architecture class, we were tasked with creating our own Game Boy Advance game! I created a GBA titled ‘Good Boy’ that is a side scrolling game. The game’s objective is for the small dog to jump over fire hydrants, similar to Google’s Dino Runner game. To play, just use your left and right arrow keys to move and space bar to jump. It was challenging working on this game alone. While we were given the option to work with someone, I wanted to try my hand at making it alone! It was fun creating the sprites, but if I had more time during the class I would’ve make a better background and implemented a title screen.

Check out my GitHub for the code and how to play!

 

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What Representation Means to Me

Majority of my life I’ve struggled with self identity. I was born to an Asian mother and a Caucasian father. I’m often told I look more Asian than white. I’m also told the stereotypical “But really, what are you?” Usually, it’s easy to brush off but sometimes it gets under my skin. Being in a world divided by race and how you look affects how people will interact with you. It’s our ugly truth.

During my senior year of high school, I remember getting nervous about applications. They had me choose what race I identified as. I was conflicted about how it would affect my acceptances. It wasn’t the fact that I had a great GPA or test score. It was the fact that I wasn’t as smart as the other Asians in my grade. My acceptance to college was one of the proudest moments for myself and my family. I’m first generation, meaning I’m the first in my family to go to college. It was always plugged into me that I was going no matter what. I had never thought about not going.

In the beginning, my college career was no short of a hot mess. While being accepted to Mary Washington and attending, I had no interest in actually being there. My original intended major was BIT – business information technology. UMW only had BIS – business information systems. I figured I would work towards what the school had and would transfer out eventually to a school that had what I wanted. When the time came to declare my major, I had decided to stay at UMW and complete my degree. Coming to my advising appointment, I was excited! Everything was falling into place…Then I found out the school had gotten rid of the program. My general advisor steered me towards pursuing a computer science major. I had no interest in a general business degree. I was really thinking to myself “Why would I be going into computers?”

One of my major personal push backs of becoming a computer science major was not being smart enough. I never had the courage in myself to believe I was able to become successful in my career or let alone graduate. I was intimidated. Nobody in my family was into any sort of tech. I knew no one to guide me. I had no role models. It was me and I was alone.

At least that’s what I had thought.

Walking into my classes, I was outnumbered. I was maybe one of two other girls in attendance. My classmates has seemed like they already knew what was going on even before the professor had said anything. Even in my beginning coding class, I felt stupid and left behind. I found refuge in the internet. I found communities of other college women who were struggling just like me. Sharing my struggles opened up a new world. I began to feel confident. I realized that the other students in my classes weren’t that much more advanced than I was. It was just how they made it seem to be. Coming closer to completing my degree, more and more girls were leaving the program. They were smart and talented but they didn’t continue. Looking back, I wish I had a stronger sense of community earlier. If I had established that group within my own school’s program, then maybe some of the others wouldn’t have left.

UMW CPSC at CAPWIC 2017 at Georgetown U

During this past spring semester, I had attended CAPWIC – Capital Area Women in Computing Conference with some other women in the department. In the short weekend, I was surrounded by others just like me. The others and I wondered “How can we feel like this all the time?” Eventually this came to the idea of starting our own group. In the end, we created DiverCS (said like diverse). We wanted to create a sense of community in the computer science department surrounded by the idea that we are diverse, yet united. There is no exclusion. You are welcome no matter who you are. When push comes to shove, sometimes you need to take charge. Make your own home. Don’t wait around for someone else to do it for you.

 

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Adtech Analysis

Advertisements on the internet are ever evolving. The ads I used to see were nothing compared to what I see now. I remember seeing the same generic ads on every webpage. They were hardly tailored to what I was interested. Now I feel as if they know too much of what I’m interested in. I’ve noticed that if I browse a website and click on an item, that item will appear in my ads.

Using Bill Fitzgerald’s guide to intercepting internet proxy, I investigated what exactly was being collected while browsing. I took a look using OWASP ZAP at Reddit and Twitter. These are my typical most looked at sites.

Right off the bat, I noticed in the 3rd ID that Reddit had known I was using a Mac with OS X 10.11. I previously mentioned in my advertiser profile post about how I noticed it that Facebook knew as well. I can see now exactly where they get that information from.

 I also noticed I got a request from ad.doubleclick.net who Fitzgerald had also mentioned in a article of his. as well as googlesyndication.

From Twitter, I found similar results on them being able to find out the type of machine I was using. I also found out that twitter uses twimg.com for their ad tech. That popped up a lot more than anything else when it was collecting.

After taking a slight look into this, I am well creeped out. I had previously done packet sniffing but I wasn’t exactly looking for ad information. The fact that this is all happening behind the scenes is what scares me the most. I would’ve probably been blind to this my entire life until someone had told me about it. Knowing this is that we’re not always private. You may think you’re doing harmless browsing but this could bite you in the butt eventually. Be wary. Be informed.

 

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Brief Intro to Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a form of Internet-based computing that provides shared computer processing resources and data to computers and other devices on demand. It just means that instead of having your stuff on a hard drive, it’s stored on the internet! Through the use of cloud computing, users have easy and simple access to servers, storage and databases.

Pros of Cloud Computing

1.Easy access

You only need a connect to the internet to access your data! It’s simple as that.

2.Increased speed

Having everything on the internet stream lines everything.

3.Adjustable capacity

Capacity is seemingly limitless. You have the choice of how much or how little space you want to use.There’s no hard limit on the amount of space you have access to.

Cons

1.Internet access is required

internet access isn’t available everywhere. you’re sorta S.O.L if you need something and there’s no internet

2.Downtime

sometimes outages happen! it’s not always guaranteed that there will be no outages. Sometimes things go wrong and it is out of your control.

3.Security

nothing is totally secure. everyone is still vulnerable.

Types of Cloud Computing

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

   Businesses will use this as a web infrastructure like servers and storage their own works.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

   By providing a platform, users are able to maintain, develop and run. The complexity and work needed is taken away. They are delivered by as a public cloud service or by networks.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Users are able to gain information from the use of application softwares and databases. Sometimes these services are provided by a subscription. Applications such as Microsoft Office 365 are SaaS! UMW uses it to provide us email addresses as well as the popular applications like Word or Excel.

You’re probably already familiar with cloud computing. Tools such as Google Drive and Apple’s iCloud are both examples of cloud computing.

 

Check out these sites for more information

Amazon. PC World. Microsoft.

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Censorship

In Zeynep Tufekci’s Twitter and Tear Gas, he writes “Censorship is usually thought of as a dichotomous concept: some- thing is either censored or not, often by a centralized gatekeeper, such as governments or mass media.” This is exactly what I think when I hear the word, censorship. We live in world where censorship is becoming more prevalent.

Countries like China are banning topics such as LGBT from the the internet. They’ve given it the name “The Great Firewall of China.” Lu Wei is the the head of the Propaganda Department for the Communist Republic of China. He credits their success of censorship but “striking the correct balance between “freedom and order” and between “openness and autonomy.” You can justify giving up some freedom for security. Similar to the Social Contract Theory, people are willing to do this. They believe that their form of government will protect them. But is it really worth it? Would you rather give up the freedom of all knowledge to protect yourself? Personally, I don’t think so. I’d like to know everything I possibly could. I wouldn’t want knowledge to be left out. We can learn so much from others and their experiences. Censoring them could hurt us in the long run. Just as history can repeat itself, we shouldn’t keep this information away. While it may seem like a good idea to hide information that may be harmful, we’re loosing out on all aspects of outlook.

In other ways, this can hit home easily. Currently we’re experiencing our own form of government censorship. It’s net neutrality. Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites. Given the opportunity, we could have the same fate as China. This puts the power into the hands of corporations and not the people. We could have to pay extra money to visit websites or just not be able to go to certain sites if a company deems them unfavorable. This is happening right before us and people seem to not as care. In person, I hardly hear it come up in conversation. It’s not the hot topic but it very well should be. As someone who uses the internet and future career revolves around tech, this is incredibly important to me.

Take a look at the video from Jon Oliver about Net Neutrality:

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