I thought of this idea after seeing the atmosphere among college freshmen. There is a topic in chemistry called "significant figures." Significant figures might be challenging for students to calculate at times. Therefore, I intended to create a tool that they could use whenever they wanted and didn't require them to wait for office hours. Additionally, I have observed students making an approximation of their overall college expenses. They frequently arrive at calculations without taking inflation into consideration. I have created a program that calculates the expenses, taking inflation into consideration.

What it does

The project currently has two parts. 1) Significant Figures Calculator: This is a basic program that helps to calculate significant figures (a chemistry topic). 2) Cost Calculator: This is a cost calculator that takes in values such as the number of years of intended college attendance, tuition fees per semester, and rent per semester and then outputs total costs that account for inflation.

How I built it

I built it using the Java language and IntelliJ IDEA.

Challenges I ran into

There were a couple of challenges I ran into. First of all, this was my first time using IntelliJ to create a project. It took some time to understand how it worked. Furthermore, this is the beginning of my coding experience, so I faced some basic challenges but figured out how to overcome them. In relation to the algorithm, there were quite a few cases where I had to change the whole code to account for that.

Accomplishments that I am proud of

I think this project might serve as a helping hand to other students. The approximate amount a student calculates for calculating the cost of living in college can be far from the actual costs he or she would have to pay. It also provides an explanation of how the program calculated it.

What we learned

I learned various things from this project. For example, how to develop an algorithm that takes into account all possible scenarios; or how to take user input in Java.

What's next for Freshman Toolkit

The next thing I am planning to do is add more functions to the cost calculator, like those for purchasing electronics, groceries, and other relevant stuff that a student could spend money on. Also, I would try to make another project inside it, which would be the Newton's Method (in Calc), which allows users to determine an approximation of the root of a real function.

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