As people are stuck indoors, online learning has become more and more common. Whether it's for improving one's skillset, or just exploring a new field, the internet is a fantastic place for education; however, it can often be a bit overwhelming! Questions such as, "Where do I start?" and "What are the best resources available to me?" are common. Using Pathfinder, we set out to help people understand learning a new skill.

What it does

In short, given a topic, Pathfinder gives a visualization of how to get started learning that skill. This includes related topics, useful prerequisites, videos, and more. For example, if "Software Design" was entered, related topics such as "Web development" or "Machine Learning" would be suggested (all easily searchable with a click), which prerequisites such as "Introduction to programming" would be recommended.

How we built it

For the front end, we have a web application built with React in JavaScript. On the back end, we have a RESTful API built with Flask in Python, and the whole thing was hosted on Google Cloud.

Challenges we ran into

Like a lot of projects, it was connecting to front end to the back end. More specifically, getting the information to be effectively passed between the data collection and data visualization.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Creating an effective data collection tool
  • Making an appealing front end
  • Doing it all in 24 hours

What we learned

Definitely a lot about data collection and visualization, from getting it on the backend to displaying it in an understandable way on the front end. It was also very informative learning about creating a data visualizer, which involved graph/node relations

What's next for Pathfinder

Hopefully we can improve the UI a bit, as well as a more thorough related topics/prerequisites data. Furthermore, many topics are not meant to be searched (ex. 'electric boogalo'), which we could add some sort of filter for.

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