Inspiration

Sitting in his Sociology class at the beginning of the semester, facing a daunting list of dates, Jeremy was frustrated that he had to manually enter each date into his calendar. "How will I manage!" he cried to the unforgiving sky. Thus the idea for SyllaScan was born - now, Jeremy can instantly save exam, paper, and homework date into his calendar!

What it does

Snap a picture of a syllabus (or schedule), and we analyze it, convert the text into calendar events, and schedule them! All we need from you is the picture, and the class name.

How we built it

SyllaScan is built entirely in javascript. We used the well-known, modern react-native library, which enabled us to quickly develop elegant a front end integrated with multiple libraries and API's. In addition, we employed several machine learning techniques (utilizing Microsoft's Azure and Google's Cloud Platform) to help convert the image to text, and then extract the event and date information.

Challenges we ran into

Turns out, it's hard to parse a syllabus into coherent events. We have to not only identify which event is important, but also convert dates from an arbitrary format, and somehow register which dates refer to which key-words.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Despite all odds, and despite all expectations, we've completed our app! It works - it's clean, elegant, fast, and effective.

What we learned

We all started at different places, so we've each been able to delve into areas of coding we were previously not familiar with.

What's next for SyllaScan

Of course, scanning a syllabus is only a narrow, specific application for this technology. We foresee this being used more broadly as an event scanner. See a poster in the dining hall and want to record that date? Simply snap a photo and our app (name subject to change with increasing versatility) will do the rest.

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