Inspiration

We have limited amount of dining swipes per semester, and we wanted to only eat at the dining halls when the menu had food that we wanted to eat so that we wouldn't be wasting our dining swipes on food we don't even want to eat. We are busy students, so looking up the menu and checking if it had our favorite foods is a waste of time, so we decided to create a program that alerted us whenever the dining halls had food we like on the menu.

What it does

The Dining Hall Alert notifies students via email whenever the dining hall has one of their favorite foods on the menu for that day.

How we built it

We created a user interface using tkinter from Python, and this user interface allows the student to enter his/her favorite foods as well as his/her email to alert whenever the dining hall served those foods. We used the BeautifulSoup Python package to parse through the online menu for the dining halls and check whether or not the menu had the student's favorite food for the day. Then, we created a web server that allowed emails to be sent to the student whenever the menu included one of the student's favorite food.

Challenges we ran into

Some challenges we ran into was integrating the web server for the email into our program, learning how to code in Python, as well as parsing data and analyzing it from a website.

What we learned

We learned how to code in Python, how Email Servers work as well as how to implement them with code, how to parse data from websites, how to build the user interface, and we also learned about web scraping and multiprocessing.

What's next for Dining Hall Alert

The next steps for Dining Hall Alert is to implement it into a mobile application so it is more convenient for students to utilize.

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