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COMP 523: Software Engineering

2020 Projects

These are the projects for fall 2020. Some links may not work. You can also see the projects for fall 2019 and fall 2021.



After a team finishes Assignment 2, their web site will be linked here.

team lead client students web site
A R. Jones Bost, Evora, Rivkin-Fish link
B Verber Byrd, Goodwin, Ryan link
C Taylor Koester, Pasupula, Troutman link
D Vanderburg Bunze, Goodman, Wu link
F Blair J. Chen, Z. Chen, B. Li link
G Carter Ehsan, Gupta, Jain, Zhong link
H Radsky Bluhm, Dershem, Williams link
I Villarreal Dong, Sun, Zhan link
J Vernon Schwartz, L. Wheeler, M. Wheeler link
K Millberger Knight, Michaels, Pack link
L Millberger Chang, Guan, Xu link
M Ward Cahill, Errico, Humphrey link
N Steponaitis A. Chen, King, Vij link
O Halpin L. Li, X. Li, Parslow link
R Hurlbert Le, Pan, Randby link
S Shah Eshet, Griffith, Lane link
T Scheier Gandecha, Kotha, Smith link
U A. Jones Bacudio, Narayanan, Suresh link
V McCormick Y. Chen, H. Li, Wei link
W Fisher Foster, Fulmer, Poddutoori link
X Morey Huang, Kim, Zhang link

Mentor assignments

Students, please let me know when a meeting time has been established and I will post it here.

team mentor meeting time
A Pollack Mondays 4pm
B Chmielecki Wednesdays 8pm
C Farmer Wednesdays 5pm
D Woods Tuesdays 9am
F Gramann Fridays 1pm
G Ginsberg Fridays 1:30pm
H Franzen Tuesdays 10am
I Lake Thursdays 5:15pm
J Auger Fridays 5pm
K Stump Wednesdays 12pm
L Dinger Thursdays 4:45pm
M Fletcher Tuesdays 10am
N Abzhanov Fridays 3pm
O Blair Fridays 2:30pm
R Yackenovich Wednesdays 4pm
S Brown Fridays 3pm
T Vega Tuesdays 12pm
U Wright Fridays 3pm
V Byzek Thursdays 9:30am
W Mowery Fridays 3pm
X Nguyen Fridays 4:15pm

Pitch recordings

Intellectual property

Clients marked with IP in the list below have indicated that they are sensitive to issues of intellectual property and/or confidentiality. You can read their response about particular concerns in their application. Such projects will require students to review and sign a legal agreement to participate in the project. Students are not required to participate in IP-sensitive projects, and their grade is in no way affected by their choice of whether to engage in such a project. The agreement has been written by the UNC Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) with this particular situation (and students’ needs) in mind. For more information, see the participation guidelines. You can also view the participation agreement itself. (It’s short.) For questions, please contact Peter Liao <>, Commercialization Manager at UNC OTC, who will also attend class on Wed Aug 12 to discuss these issues.

Project details

Project titles (provided by the client) and lead client names are given in pitch order below, with links to the client-submitted application and any additional materials provided by the client. Project summaries (provided by clients) are further below.

The applications are responses to this form, which you can see for more details on what questions are being asked, etc. You can page through the application, but please don’t submit an application.

Projects marked iOS are iOS-only development projects and will require access to MacOS for development work.

client my title details pitch application additional materials
A R. Jones, Katz, Cole IP NC Therapeutic Riding Center Check-In App link PPTX PDF
B Verber, Dick iOSSweepstat App link PPTX PDF
C Taylor VR-Moria link YouTube PDF
D Vanderburg IP Connect link PPTX PDF
F Blair iOS Software Project Analytics iOS App link - PDF PDF
H Radsky, Moon Easy Access link PPTX PDF
I Villarreal, MacMillan Map the Impact link PPTX PDF
J Vernon Worldwide Venture Capital Competition Online Judging System link - PDF
K Palmer, Millberger (1) ibiblio: reporting portal for radio stations link PDF PDF
L Palmer, Millberger (2) ibiblio: billing portal for radio stations link PDF PDF
M Ward, Ward National Pet Obesity Survey App link - PDF
N Steponaitis, Davis Reviving “Excavating Occaneechi Town” link PPTX PDF
O Halpin Peer learning in the time of COVID-19 link PDF PDF
R Hurlbert Avian Diet Database link PPTX PDF PPTX
S Shah, Konz IP Gracefully link YouTube PDF PPTX
T Scheier, Miller embit smartphone energy meter link PDF PDF
U A. Jones, Watkins Building an Interface between User and Convolutional Neural Network-Segmented Cells and the Microscopist for Analytical Descriptions of Subcellular Time and Space link PPTX PDF
V McCormick, Weakley Dynamic map of Herbarium specimen use link PPTX PDF
W Fisher, Sozzi, Stallard IP Well-aware: a mobile app that helps private well users keep their drinking water safe link PPTX PDF PPTX
X Morey IP Charlie: The Citizen Journalist App link PDF PDF

A. R. Jones, Katz, Cole - NC Therapeutic Riding Center Check-In App

We are looking to develop a check-in app for our staff, clients, and volunteers. This app will need to work on an iPad and record various data points.

B. Verber, Dick - Sweepstat App

We are building on an existing Android application framework to communicate with an electrochemical device (the SweepStat) via Bluetooth with a user-friendly GUI. This practical device and the Android app designed by our student team will be used around the world for biosensing, material science, and educational curricula.

C. Taylor - VR-Moria

Hooking up UMoria to OSVR to produce a VR interface to the classic dungeon crawler game.

D. Vanderburg - Connect

The purpose of this project is to develop an app that can help caregivers of children with developmental disabilities connect so that they can learn from one another, build relationships, and feel less alone while facing the unique challenge of parenting a special needs child. Components will include informational segments, a “dating app”-like component for parents to match profiles, a chat forum, and organizational tools. Students in COMP 523 will have the flexibility to choose one of these components to focus on this semester and will have a say in the overall development and direction of the app.

F. Blair - Software Project Analytics iOS App

No further details.

G. Carter - ANTE

My name is Tyrell Carter; I am a senior from the University of North Carolina. I am currently working on my startup ANTE which works to develop software to help small businesses with efficiency. Right now, we are working on developing our website and our software which will help our clients determine their pricing.

ANTE develops software to assist small businesses to run their businesses as efficiently as possible. ANTE is currently apart of 2 UNC accelerator programs, Launch Chapel Hill and UNC Campus Y’s Cube, and has already been awarded seed funding.


H. Radsky, Moon - Easy Access

Easy Access is an early stage social good start-up building college search and advising tools to help low-income and first generation students access college. The product that we are currently building is the counselor portal, a caseload management tool for school counselors working with high school juniors and seniors. The CS523 team would build upon existing product to add features including: a payment system that allows different levels of access for different counselors, refining data upload and download features, and enhancing the user experience of existing pages.

I. Villarreal, MacMillan - Map the Impact

We have multiple maps. They’re great! They don’t look alike or “talk” to each other. They are scattered around our website. Help us draw our readers into a fun, compelling look at public health at Gillings, be it a dashboard or another integrative tool!

J. Vernon - Worldwide Venture Capital Competition Online Judging System

We’re looking for an adaptable system to collect and display judges’ votes for events taking place around the world as part of the Venture Capital Investment Competition. More at

K. Palmer, Millberger 1 - ibiblio: reporting portal for radio stations

ibiblio online public library ( makes available a wide variety of free content. One category is streaming some not-for-profit radio stations. This project is to update a web app for radio station managers to obtain reports for their stations in a self-service manner rather than having to request them and have an ibiblio admin manually generate them. The app is not currently working due to Google API changes and PHP updates, and needs updated for these changes and some enhancements.

L. Palmer, Millberger 2 - ibiblio: billing portal for radio stations

ibiblio online public library ( makes available a wide variety of free content. One category is streaming some not-for-profit radio stations. This project is to develop a web app to to automate the monthly billing process for radio stations. The process is currently done by an ibiblio admin manually copying data to a spreadsheet that does the calculation. Each type of user (ibiblio admins, finance staff, radio station managers) will be authorized to access different functionality in the app.

M. Ward, Ward - National Pet Obesity Survey App

Pet obesity continues to be the number one health threat faced by US pets. The Association for Pet Obesity (APOP) is the most recognized veterinary organization dedicated to pet weight issues. APOP has been conducting national pet obesity prevalence surveys with participating clinics (average 400) since 2005. We have previously relied on written data collection sheets that are then scanned, faxed, or mailed to us for analysis. We would like you to create an app for veterinary professionals to use to enter basic pet exam data (name, gender, breed, weight, body condition score (BCS), etc.) and, ideally, capture a set of pet photographs from smartphones. An optional pet owner survey and companion app with similar functionality would be immensely helpful. The app(s) need to be able to export data as CSV or similar format for Excel or Google Sheets for data analysis. If we succeed, your app will be used and seen by thousands of veterinary professionals and pet parents. In addition, the team we work with will be featured on all our social media channels (@DrErnieWard). Thanks! Dr. Ernie Ward, Founder, Ocean Isle Beach, NC

N. Steponaitis, Davis - Reviving “Excavating Occaneechi Town”

In 1998, UNC Press published its very first electronic monograph, called “Excavating Occaneechi Town” (EOT) as a CD-ROM. It brought together all the research that had been done by UNC archaeologists at the Occaneechi Indian village visited by John Lawson in 1701 (in present-day Hillsborough, NC) and included an “Electronic Dig,” which allowed the user to simulate an archaeological excavation.

In 2003, this publication was moved to the Web. This version still exists (see URL below), but is very clunky by modern standards and doesn’t work well on modern screens, whether on computers, tablets, or phones.

The project for this year’s COMP 523 team would to update the entire EOT web site with a new interface that uses up-to-date technology and is mobile-device friendly. The site consists of thousands of flat HTML pages, integrated with excavation maps, databases, and thousands of images. So, once the new interface is designed, the challenge will be to automate the process of converting the old HTML pages and images to the new ones without losing functionality. Given the complexity of the site, this may be harder than it seems at first glance, but should be doable.

Brief background on the archaeological site

Excavating Occaneechi Town (Web Edition, 2003)

O. Halpin - Peer learning in the time of COVID-19

Let’s support peer learning (in statistics) by designing some fun, interactive web-based activities for students to work on together, without being co-located

R. Hurlbert - Avian Diet Database

The aim for this project is to build a mobile-friendly web page for interactive data exploration and visualization of avian diets based on a large and growing database being compiled in my lab. Users will be able to filter by bird species or prey item and see quantitative summaries of all studies that have ever been done and what the relative importance of different diet items is.

S. Shah, Konz - Gracefully

We are a venture capital firm focused on improving the lives of senior citizens through building sustainable businesses using technology. We believe that our elders deserve to age gracefully with dignity and respect, and in modern society, families are often too busy or live too far away to properly facilitate care for seniors.

This project is to set up a web app platform Gracefully, to connect senior citizens who need help with activities of daily living (such as housekeeping, cooking, laundry, and just basic companionship), with prospective caregivers in the region who are interested in providing such personal care services & companionship. We aim to utilize our robust database of information submitted by both caregivers and care seekers to better match the two sides. Through the portal, users will be able to schedule care appointments, send messages and manage payments. Consider it like a mix of Uber, TaskRabbit, and an online dating app, focused on helping senior citizens!

“To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.”

T. Scheier, Miller - embit smartphone energy meter

embit is a smartphone energy meter that helps users power their phone from the sun.

U. A. Jones, Watkins - Building an Interface between User and Convolutional Neural Network-Segmented Cells and the Microscopist for Analytical Descriptions of Subcellular Time and Space

There is a general need among a large number of microscopists for a tool to analyze images of a cell to determine the distribution of proteins that have been made fluorescent. This is a time consuming and laborious process that begins by a human (the microscopist) determining the compartments of the cell and regions in focus, then to acquire the fluorescence signal within the compartments and do the calculations. We have used convutional neural network (deep learning) to train a computer to do the laborious part saving the human many hours of time. HOWEVER, we still need a user-friendly interface between the CNN data and the output. The goal is to create software that allows the user to select regions for analyses. The basic version of this interface absolutely can be finished within the time of the semester by a COMP 523 team and if there is more time left, we can add more features. We would like to publish this in a peer-reviewed journal and so this is an opportunity for you to be a co-author. For those of you who want to go to graduate school, a co-authored publication is a “free ticket” for admission into the school of your choice.

V. McCormick, Weakley - Dynamic map of Herbarium specimen use

I would like you to develop a way to visualize our botanical collections by having a map that would show a ‘blip’ every time a specimen record is accessed – a botanist may be looking up rare plants of Tennessee and call up 3 or our specimen records – and blip blip blip on a map 3 red dots would appear. Ideally the map would be a time-lapse movie showing record access over the past month or past six months. I’d like to have the map running on our Herbarium website – a visual demonstration of our collections being used, and visual demonstration of the worldwide scope of our collections.

W. Fisher, Sozzi, Stallard - Well-aware: a mobile app that helps private well users keep their drinking water safe

Well-aware: a free mobile application to help private well users keep their drinking water safe

More than 10 million US households rely on private wells, and these wells are vulnerable to contamination by lead, bacteria, viruses, and other pollutants. Lead contributes to irreversible cognitive and developmental impairment in US children, while diseases caused by microbial pathogens can stunt growth or even be life threating in the most serious cases. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, piped water systems are regularly tested to make sure they are free from lead and bacteria, but this act doesn cover private wells, and well users are responsible for testing and managing their own water. Many well users don’t know how or where to get their water tested, and some lack the resources to do it (a test can cost $200 or more in some cases). Most have never tested their water and don’t know whether or not it is safe. We propose to create a free mobile app that helps users understand the risks to their well water quality, order and learn to use effective, low-cost home test kits, automatically read and interpret test result photos, and link users to local resources and guidance for next steps, based on their results. The app will leverage off-the-shelf AI tools to interpret photos taken by the user of their test results, taking some of the guess work out of using these low-cost but sometimes challenging to interpret low-cost test kits. As the software is in development, our existing student field team will also be piloting the test kits with volunteer end users in two NC counties with high numbers of private wells, and will be coordinating with state and local health departments to maximize our impact. If successful, this project has the potential to reduce risks for millions of well users in the US and beyond. Additional details in a recent post.

X. Morey - Charlie: The Citizen Journalist App

City News Beat delivers Local News Weather and Lifestyle stories for Roku and Fire TV users. Our software engine,“CHARLIE”, powers our brands NYC News Beat, Seattle News Beat, Bay Area News Beat, Carolina News Beat and Tar Heel News Beat for Roku and Fire TV. However we need mobile iOS and Android apps that do more than just play our content city by city.

Our newsroom tracks trending topics using Data based tools along with Google Trends, Trends Map from Twitter and Snap’s heat map. When we see a trending story happening, we want to enable local citizens to submit video of that event to us. To do so, we need to start with a web based tool for Story Assignments. Something as simple as placing a pin drop on a map to find the location of phones with our app loaded nearest to that event. W will then need to send paid requests to those users within that radius of a breaking news event.

When we use a citizens video, we’ll need a way to pay that user directly, so user profile data collection is important. We have not yet decided on the off the shelf electronic payment API - something that is easy and built into the web tool (we are open to ideas here.)

That web tool is for our Newsroom Producer to create the story assignment (the pin drop), send it to all phones in the radius or just to certain users (we deal with Pro stringers as well), track submissions, mark the video we decide to use, then pay the citizen shooter who sent it to us. Any video submitted to CNB, is for City News Beat’s exclusive use so the app cannot send it anywhere else (i.e. Facebook et al).

To submit video to our newsroom we’ll need to capture info, we’ll need our Terms and Conditions accepted and we must have a way to connect two way payments with our users.

The apps themselves must set the phone’s camera to 4K (or HD mode at a minimum), set lighting to Auto and it must turn and lock the screen into Landscape 16x9 mode for TV replay. On screen guides are necessary to help citizens “Frame The Shot” properly - a simple [ + ] onscreen guide with a start and stop record button. Recording should be done into the cloud, with a review on the phone. Any video scrubbed by user must be deleted from our cloud account. When submitted to us, an alert on our web tool that it has arrived with a thumbnail and the name of the user_Assignment_video-version-number as the name of the file.

For users who just want the news, we want to enable our apps to stream content to the app, similar to what we do already on our Fire TV and Roku version. They will need to select a city and CHARLIE will do the rest.