The projects this year were terrific, showing creativity and thoughtful design. The TAs and I thoroughly enjoyed the presentations, and say kudos to all of you for the great work!"

- Susan B. Davidson


Students of the Spring 2015 Database and Information Systems (CIS 450/550) class were given a data set of Yelp reviewed businesses, and were asked to come up with inventive and interesting projects that explored database concepts learned in the course combined with basic web development, to produce a web app using the data. Developing the project exercised schema design, view based access control, cloud hosting, JSON data interchange, SQL queries, and performance considerations. They were also directed to use cloud storage with support provided by an AWS in Education Grant award.

The tools, languages and databases used included Oracle, MySQL, MongoDB, DynamoDB, Django, AJAX, Java, Python, Twitter Boostrap, Jade, JQuery, JavaScript, Rails, Flask, Node.js and others. Students also integrated various available APIs such as Google Maps and Places, Facebook, Bing, QRCode, GeoCode Service and Twilio. There was data transformation from JSON to CSV to relational schemas and data visualizations from word maps to heat maps. There was natural language processing, sentiment analysis and MapReduce, as well as careful attention to aesthetics and design. All in all, there were some terrific projects, and some that were even better than others.

To recognize especially noteworthy projects, we have three special recognitions (Best Idea, Most Technically Challenging, and Best Presentation), and chose a best of each TA group. Here are our picks!

Best Idea


The best idea among all the fantastic ideas was from Team WordRank. WordRank is a project that has the goal of determining the reliability of ratings and reviews left by users on Yelp.

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Most Technically Challenging


The most technically challenging project was from Team YelpBook. YelpBook is a social networking oriented web application for Yelp users to share their experience, and see more customized and detailed information about the businesses they like.

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Best Presentation

Side by Side (also best of Harshitha's groups)

The best presentation among all the teams was from Team Side by Side. Side by Side is web application aimed to bring data analysis to both the restauranteur and dining experiences in order to help both the customer and business owner make informed decisions.

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Best Projects under each TA

UrbanBeats (Harsh)

UrbanBeats is a coupon generation web application that suggests the best possible deals on resturants. It handles both the customer side as well as the business point of view.

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Circles (Navya)

Circles is a project that improves the usability of Yelp data by allowing a user to view a map of a city with all restaurants displayed at once. The restaurants are shown on the map as circles, which are sized based on the quality of the restaurant and colored based on cuisine type.

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Yummpi (Karthik)

Yummpi allows a user to register, plan a trip to a particular location, and plan a meal itinerary using the Yelp dataset. They can also share these details with their friends.

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DatFormers (Urvashi)

The web application DatFormers (Data Transformers) aims at providing a rich visualization and social experience to users in terms of relevant business information extracted from the Yelp Dataset.

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Taskfly (Wenye)

Taskfly aims enables users to input a list of tasks - items or errands they need accomplish - and outputs a grouping of businesses from the Yelp dataset at which all tasks can be accomplished, as well as the best route to take to visit all of them.

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