Senior Project.. HotLava

In my last post, I mentioned I was taking CSE-379 which is Senior Project. I said I would have a follow up post explaining what my project is, so here it is!

Myself and another student decided to team up together for the project. Our professor originally gave the class a list of projects that were proposed by faculty and other professors. We also had the option to come up with our own project. Since none of the proposed projects piques my friend and I’s interest, we decided to brainstorm up our own idea.

And this is how HotLava was born. If you don’t understand the title, don’t worry I’ll explain after I explain the project.

The project is a real-time mobile safety application.

We felt this is a relevant and awesome project to do hear at Lehigh. The area surrounding Lehigh is not the safest. Before this year, we would get email updates from Chief Shupp (Chief of LUPD) about some crime that occurred to another Lehigh student. It’s scary. I remember one time I got an email alert about an incident, and it occurred on the street I was just walking on less than 5 minutes before the crime occurred. This year Lehigh deployed a new safety mobile app, called EmergenC. With the push of a button inside the app it automatically connects you with the LUPD.

However, even with all of these tools, students still do not know in real-time if they are in a bad neighborhood, and that is where HotLava comes in.

We are going to develop an Android mobile app. The app will have many key components. The first is a Crime Heat Map.. we are already in contact with Bethlehem’s PD and are going to be gathering all the crime reports for the past couple years. We are going to use a statistical model we create to generate the Heat Map in the app using all the data we gathered. It will be real-time, changing throughout different times of the day because one area might be more dangerous at night than in day.

In addition to the criminal heat map, we will also have real-time push notifications. The app is going to utilize a phone’s GPS and detect if a student enters a dangerous area and send them a notification alerting them to be careful.

And finally, one of the coolest features that will be implemented is the Safe Route Generator. We will allow users to enter a destination and using a special algorithm, it will give them the shortest route while avoiding all of the dangerous areas.

..Now in case you’re still wondering what HotLava means.. Have you ever played the game hot lava as a kid? Where you pretend the ground is lava and you need to avoid it? Well it is pretty much in the same vein. If you consider the red spots on the Criminal Heat Map as hot lava, then you need to avoid those hot (dangerous) spots!

My friend and I are both very excited about this project. We are hopeful we can finish all the features by the end of the semester. And who knows, this could end up being another app students can use to stay safe around campus.

I’ll be sure to keep the blog posted with updates on my project throughout the semester

-Ryan ’15

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About luryan15

I am a senior Computer Science major at Lehigh University.
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