Accelerated Cure Project

“The Accelerated Cure Project for MS is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization whose mission is to accelerate efforts toward a cure for multiple sclerosis by rapidly advancing research that determines its causes and mechanisms” (Accelerated Cure Project). ACP launched iConquerMS, a platform where anyone can register and fill out survey questions on their health information and MS history. The information collected on iConquerMS is shared with research partners around the world to further advance multiple sclerosis (MS) research.

Optimizing databases for analysis and visualization. The Accelerated Cure Project team worked on cleaning data collected through the iConquerMS patient surveys by importing the survey data together with Microsoft Excel error tests to find and correct errors before re-exporting the Excel file for further data analysis. They also implemented a visualization tool using the JavaScript D3 library to show analyses of the data graphically.

— Friederike Buck, Romeo Flores, Ben Gruber, Navil Perez

The Green Streets Initiative

The Green Streets Initiative is a local non-profit with a small and nimble staff whose aim is encourage car-free / car-lite transportation in Boston and its surrounding areas, particularly Cambridge, where it is based. It centers its efforts around Walk/Ride Day and a Corporate Challenge. The former is one day on the last Friday of every month, where Green Streets promotes anybody take car-free / car-lite transportation (e.g. - public transit, carpooling, bike, electric car, etc.) on their way to work and participants will collect rewards from local retailers that Green Streets has partnered with. The Corporate Challenge is a longer-term initiative in which companies sign up to encourage this positive activity amongst their staff and compete against other companies for a larger- scale prize and recognition. The company also gets specialized data from Green Streets to monitor progress on both a company-wide and individual basis.

Innovations for better data analysis. The Green Streets Initiative team reformatted portions of their nonprofits’ current processes by changing the post check-in page to show personalized coupons that can be selected and printed by users, including user history in check-in emails to encourage continued participation, wireframing a mobile app which could replace web browser check-ins, and set up Google Analytics dashboards for some pages on the website to track audience behavior. They also worked on merging separate databases used for user check-ins and dashboards, which could reduce the potential for human error.

— Emily Liu, Shan Lu, Shamir Tanna, Madeline Zhang

Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD)

Partners for Youth with Disabilities offer career development lessons to youths with disabilities within the Greater Boston area but would like to make their courses accessible to a greater audience. In an effort to do so, PYD has created online courses with the same material they offer in their face-to-face sessions using WordPress and an online learning management system.

Empowering youths with disabilities through knowledge. The team for Partners for Youth with Disabilities worked on adding more content to their nonprofits’ online courses hosted on Wordpress, which included editing backend HTML, using the learning management plugin to organize the courses and include interactive Q&A sections, and adding tags, authors, and titles.

— Kathleen Brandes, Ryan Sander, Luis Terrones-Verastegui

World Education

World Education is an international nonprofit that provides educational programs in 20 countries including Brazil, Jordan, Nepal, Thailand and Uganda. Their training programs improve adult education, help displaced peoples, stem the tide of HIV and reduce violence through conflict resolution. World education has improved the quality of life of over half a million people.

Modernizing information medium and expanding teaching platform. Throughout the month of January during the MIT Independent Activities Period, we were able to work with Leah Peterson, the Assistant Director of E-Learning and Communications Coordinator at World Education, to assist in improving their existing online platform for sharing ideas and guides with educators around the globe. To this end, we helped migrate information from their old, archived blog to their new, currently maintained blog, as well as created a new web service that will expand upon their existing teaching platform.

— Alex Meredith, Marco Rivera, Matthew Feng