Maker Map

The Blurb

This project was a started when I noticed how painfully convoluted it was to find and use some campus resources. In order to solve this problem, me and my team worked together with the Provost Office and the Innovation and Entrepreneurship department to conduct interviews of the department heads and surverys of students to identify the root of the problem and propose solutions that integrate with existing WPI systems.

Other Stuff we did/stats

  • Built a functioning prototype that could show resources on a map
  • Surveyed 1/8th of the student body
  • Interviewed almost every lab manager and department head on campus


But Why…

So for those of you that didn’t go to WPI, I’m looking at you Sid. We have 2 major projects, an IQP (Intermediate Qualifying Project) and an MQP(Major Qualifying Project). The IQP is supposed to be a social project; generally students travel to some vacation spot place in need either in the US or around the world and help out an organization there using all of our engineering skillz. Optionally added to the trip are:

  • 7 weeks of alcoholism
  • learning to hate at minimum 3-4 of your team members
  • and writing a 80 page paper about what you did and bullshitting most of it

Now for some reason by my sophomore year I hadn’t seen the light yet and realized that alcohol is indeed a solution, and decided that I didn’t want to have fun. So I stayed in the wonderful, safe city of Worcester(where WPI is based), yes vampire cult and all, and tackled a huge problem right in my very own college campus.

Now, I talk a lot, and to like every one I meet so as soon as I got to college, I made it my personal quest to unlock everything: every tool, machine shop, and secret on campus. I wanted to see them all and have access to them….. you know…… just in case. (I’m not a hoarder I swear, I just like to have things okay). Unlike most of my genetic habits my parents have gifted to me, this was actually a good idea, and was like useful over my four years of college.

Attention in this section I will talk about things in a mildy serious tone because it matters to me. Beware thee of the lack of shitposting ahead.

I got lucky with the roll of dice. I got 2 parents who worked hard as immigrants and were able to provide enough for me too eat and had enought to take care of all my education needs. I grew up in a household where if it was for learning or health, money wasn’t a thing I needed to worry about. Now, as I grew up, left my home town and you know saw things, I understood more and more just how uncommon this was. My dad did a really great job of explaining and teaching me through example just how important it was to help and give and bring up others around you just as often as you can. So I try my best to follow that lead and try to lower the barrier of entry and help out wherever I can. This is where the motivation for this project and many of my others come from.

Anyway deep and personal insight to my pysche over.

back to the shitposting

So now the way our campus works is like the real world. Everything you need is hidden behind a bunch of bullshit walls or shoved into some god forsaken corner of some building where you probably dont know it exists, much less how to use it if unless you happen to be pals with the dungeon master shop manager who guards it. So me being the talkative pain in the ass I was, happened to know a good bit of these managers, and after a while, I had people asking if I knew how to get access to stuff/knew if campus had a tool they needed. So at some point I realized a thing: if people were asking some random student where stuff was on campus and there was clearly a problem here. So I did a bit of Investigation and I remembered oh yeah, all this stuff I had figured out throught friends/ talking to people and literally running around campus like a coked out monkey on a banana hunt, wasn’t actually like documented anywhere. So thus began my next great quest. I assembled my team and found some advisors and set off to doucment where all the useful things were on campus.

[Insert Pic of team here]

Arjun gets informed he is in fact not allowed to just run around and do what ever he feels like and call it college credit

So I was ready to start building web apps and documenting everything and as I was excitedly get carried away with the multitude of features we could pack into this and how cool this tool would be. My advisor said

Arjun… How do you know…. that people not being able to find and access tools is even the problem. And how do you know that another web tool is even the right solution for the problen,

Now that kind of stopped me dead in my tracks, cause I didn’t know. I heard a few people complain, trowled through WPI’s network like the gremlin that I am and then let my racecar engine of a brian with bicycle breaks go full steam ahead on what I assumed was a drag strip. Now my advisor (thankfully) during the rev up pointed out that what I assumed was a drag stip was actually a drift track. And for those of you that have driven a car straight into a wall know that unless you have several very large cars the wall generally wins.

So what to do now. Well turns out theres actually a pretty easy way to solve this problem. Market Research. Here’s the problem I hadn’t actually done a whole lot of this before and my interviewing skills were well putting it nicely. garbage. Now normally when I don’t know how to do something I prefer my very advanced 2 step method.

  1. Apply head to wall guarding knowledge
  2. Repeat until wall is gone

Again my advisor comes to save my ass, and told me suggest I go audit another professors class which would bring me into interviewing shape within just a weeks.

side note

FOR CONTEXT. One of the big reasons I did my class in Worcester and didn’t go have fun in Australia is I specifically did not have to take this class.

And that was how I got tricked into auditing a class (showing up and learning but with out the credit) that I thought I had cleverly weaseled my way out of.

Arjun gets bamboozled into taking a class was sad about it but then was pleasantly suprised and had a great time.

So honestly I was ready to suffer when I got to this class. But turns out I had a really great time! My instructor was fantastic and within the 5-6 classes I attended I was ready to start interviewing.

More is coming soon for a quick summary check out the tldr

If you have an interesting project, have a cool story to tell, want to work together, or if you're just bored.

Contact Me: [email protected] or schedule a meeting