Having an academic support nextwork is crucial to college success, but it can be difficult to form one as a minority in your field. Today, women make up only 14% of the engineering workforce and less than 20% of engineering students. Combined with the fast-paced and competitive quarter system environment, this can leave many women without friends in their engineering classes.

What it does

StudyDungeon is here to help UCSD students find friends in their classes and form study groups.

Our goal is to help everyone strengthen their academic and social network here at UCSD, and especially to be a resource for women and other minorities in STEM majors.

UCSD students find their class by entering the department code and course number on the homepage. They are shown a list of students also taking that class (along with their contact information) who are willing to form a study group. They have the option to add themselves to the class as well so students looking for friends in the future can contact them.

How we built it

The most challenging aspects of the project were navigating Git and Heroku to launch our website, which no one on our team has had much experience with. After that came the task of communicating with the MongoDB database and creating an aesthetically pleasing site.

Challenges we ran into

As mentioned above, Git and Heroku proved challenging for us. It took several hours just to host the basic homepage in our git repository on Heroku. Using PyMongo to query and write to the database was difficult because it involved passing variables between our Python and JavaScript code. We also encountered difficulty using CSS and HTML to format images in the desired manner, and later found that was because Heroku is not a reliable host for images (we had to host them through another site and use the URL instead of the relative path, because they could not be found locally).

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud of having completed our first Hackathon together! It is incredible to see that we have created a website with the look and functionality we envisioned at the start of the Hackathon. We are also happy to have made something that we believe is relevant to and could impact the lives of many UCSD students.

What we learned

We learned quite a bit about using Git, Heroku, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, Python, MongoDB, and web development. We are all fairly new to programming/computer science and are most comfortable writing in Java, so this project involved a lot of stepping outside our comfort zone.

What's next for StudyDungeon

We will build on StudyDungeon on the future by:

  • Making it accessible as a mobile app
  • Turning it into an extension of Piazza (a class forum in which people ask questions, but which lacks the social/in person contact aspect StudyDungeon attempts to foster)
  • Improving the user interface for a sleeker look
  • Setting students entries for each class to self-delete from the database after each quarter has ended
  • Allowing users to create profiles in order to save their data and which classes they are signed in on
  • Keeping a record of past study buddies found through StudyDungeon and notifying users when they are enrolled in the same class as a past study buddy
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