Final presentations of Computer Science software projects

Students develop train disruption simulation, anti-bubble app, and more

Each year, teams of third year Computer Science Bachelor’s students work on software projects in collaboration with companies. This year, the students had to deal with extraordinary circumstances due to the coronavirus pandemic: during the course of their projects, they had to switch to online collaboration within the teams and with their clients. In late June, the teams gave their final presentations.

Project coordinator Raja Lala said: “I am very proud of our students who managed to deliver in these difficult times. In no time, students switched to working remotely and still managed good team-working and interaction with the client.”

Keeping trains going during major disruptions: a simulation environment

Researchers often have to use multiple standalone applications to facilitate different aspects of their research. The team created an integrated platform for doing research to out-of-control train situations. The platform, called TraInControl, unites two applications to simulate a train network. In addition, it facilitates creating charts to display various metrics regarding these simulations. The team worked in close contacts with these researchers to keep a small feedback loop, which helped them create the tool in a way that is the most useful.

To perform this, we have implemented a level editor, a saves manager, and many different types of informative widgets to aid the usability of the program, next to the integration of the simulation tools into being automated by the platform. The platform eases the work flow of the researchers, allowing them to spend more time attempting to end solutions, instead of getting multiple tools to work together and performing their own calculations afterwards.

Utrecht Companion to the Earth

An application to be used by GeoScience students during field trips. It can serve as a replacement for physical maps, and the teacher can freely choose what types of maps are used, for example heightlines or geological structures. Pins can be added to the maps, either by the teacher to provide extra learning material, videos or quizzes, or by the students themselves to keep track of interesting ndings. These maps and pins are stored on a server, and can be updated at any time.

VR simulation environment: Nijmegen Four Days Marches (‘Nijmeegse Vierdaagse’)

In order to maintain order during a large-scale event in the city, police units from the surrounding regions are deployed. They have to be alert in an unfamiliar and confusing working environment. With the solution by Caps 'n Goggles each event site can easily be reconstructed, after which the officers can go through a complete training in Virtual Reality. As a test we modelled the Nijmegen Four Days Marches (Nijmeegse Vierdaagse). Police research has shown that VR training is an excellent way to prepare officers for an event. When safety is at stake, only a serious solution is sufficient!

Anti-bubble app

With companies striving to tailor their services for customers, all media you see is filtered based on personal preferences, resulting in an online filter bubble. UNION, Mira media and Utrecht University requested a solution to handle this issue. The anti-bubble app is an educational web-based application designed to help students aged 10-16 become aware of their own filter bubble and provide them with tips and tricks to reduce the in uences and effects of this phenomenon. With a visual bubble and numerous ways to customize an avatar, students will learn about their own bubble in a playful manner. Teachers can guide their students through multiple classical activities to create consciousness and limit the harmful effect of filter bubbles.