Inspiration

Due to COVID-19, researchers around the globe have been working on similar projects. Now, imagine if there was a way for these researchers to meet each other and collaborate on their projects. The researchers would be able to expedite their research and reach conclusions faster.

What it does

Our product focuses specifically on connecting students with students or students with professors for research. It allows people to post a topic on research, and allows professors or students to respond, similar to Stack Overflow. It also sorts research questions based on tags, so someone who is asking a biology based question would not be in contact with the people well versed in machine learning. Our app also allows people to join chat rooms to further discuss their research. Lastly, our app allows people to find research events taking place around the world so that they can find out more about things they are interested in.

How we built it

We used Django for a Python backend, mySQL for a long-term database, and HTML and JavaScript for front end. We also used Docker to build the messaging service.

Challenges we ran into

We had issues with Docker at first to make the messaging service. We also tried to use web scraping for the research events tab, but we were unable to make the web scraping work with Django. Additionally, since we had 3 different types of computers, there were a lot of issues with installing dependencies.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are most proud of being able to tag different research questions based on their content. We are also proud of how our app looks in terms of UI, and the fact that we were able to make a messaging service, which was a stretch goal.

What we learned

Most of our team was new to Django, mySQL, and Docker, so we learned these new technologies. We also got a lot better at using Github.

What's next for UniSustain

We would like to make this a real web app and publish it. We believe there is not yet a great way for student researchers and/or professors to connect, and that our app fulfills this need.

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