I just finished up my final project for the (wonderful!) Coursera class Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society, the PeakPortrait web site. The concept was to create a web app that would allow biologists to produce graphs of genomic location data sets, to let scientists see the overall shape of large data sets at a glance. It works and the code is on Github, so I guess I’m calling it a success.
I’ve been busy blogging about my assignments each week, as I went through half a dozen iterations to reach the final result. It was motivating and inspiring to be a part of a huge internet community of people creating diverse and varied projects — physical objects, services, web apps, interior design, and more. I followed along as classmates created a new interior layout for trains, a better wall-mounted organizer, a water purifier for use in rural India, a travel app, and so many more. Sometimes it just takes a deadline and a bunch of like-minded individuals to make the magic happen, I guess.