Academic Web Support

College campuses across the country offer a variety of web support services to their faculty, staff and students. Some colleges get it right, providing easy access to typical web hosting services and development software. For example, Indiana University offers an extensive Knowledge Base with information about using its web hosting, database, and other IT services. Unfortunately, the situation at IU is an exception and not the rule. It's surprising just how many universities fail to provide even basic LAMP web hosting for their everyday users, leaving academic departments with the difficult task of choosing limited functionality vs. a steep learning curve. For example, a department may not have the expertise to deal with the learning curve involved to even get started on OpenShift, so they find themselves stuck with nothing but the equivalent of an online brochure, sacrificing any interactivity that a part-time developer or web-savvy member of the department might have been able to program into a standard PHP/MySQL website if they had just had a little more control over their site in a more manageable environment.

This is where we can step in! Despite the sometimes poor delivery of these services to the masses, most major universities have the resources in place to provide web hosting and database services, and these services are usually free or cheap. It's just a matter of getting it set up so that it is more manageable by departments that don't have the resources to hire a full-time developer with the appropriate experience. Whether we find you off-site hosting to meet your needs, or we just make it easier to wrap your minds around the resources that are available to you, let us help you navigate your options for a better academic web presence!

Finger Lakes Community College APCI Website The college manages programs and associated courses using a robust database and custom web application that needed cleaning up. Working with the in-house staff, we developed a Github repository, trained in how to use it to work in different branches and environments, and then made modifications to centralize and streamline areas of the code to eliminate redundancies and facilitate a cleaner, smoother workflow in the future.

Map of Speech Accents This project was built using data provided by George Mason University's Speech Accent Archive. Each subject recorded the same paragraph of text containing a wide variety of English language sounds. The Map shows pins for each of those samples in the subjects' respective birth locations.

You can play with it here!

Foreign Language Reading Readers who have enough knowledge to glean meaning from context will benefit from on-the-fly translations using this handy Chrome Plugin, which also allows them to maintain one or more lists of vocabulary lists that can then be opened as mobile-friendly flashcard sets when they're on the go.

Data Handling A graduate student in Sociology requested help wrangling some Python scripts to do some string comparison to merge a set of her data with New York Times data. Data points for matching entities from each needed to be joined despite subtle spelling and wording differences. The solution used FuzzyWuzzy to do fuzzy string matching and Pandas to wrangle the data sets.

Charting Vowel Space A tool for calculating vowel sound averages and distance from a centroid, designed to help a PhD student in Linguistics quickly visualize speaker averages in vowel space.

Academic Projects like The Swinburne Project at Indiana University benefit from customized mapping and charting solutions to provide interfaces that allow users to visually explore data.

Limited by the options provided by your campus Wordpress service, but still interested in using its powerful content management features and capitalizing on its many plugins? Step outside the box and let us set up a custom Wordpress installation.

Read the Carolina Health Informatics Program Case Study on LinkedIn!

We can offer custom solutions that integrate WordPress functionality into environments that also leverage other frameworks or custom code, allowing for the development of custom applications within a WordPress-friendly environment.

You can see this in action at the UNC CHIP website.

Some Universities are moving to services like OpenShift to provide users with a variety of programming language and database options. However, with great power comes great responsibility. OpenShift has a steeper learning curve than standard FTP-based LAMP hosting. We can help!

Need to get development teams up and running with less setup overhead? Let us help your team streamline the process with consulting customized to your development and hosting environments. Vagrant plays nicely with VirtualBox to produce identical development environments on all platforms, making it easy to keep everyone in the team on the same page.

Learn more.