Research

Irini Spyridakis' Research Group Archives

The following research group descriptions are archived because they are no longer offered, the faculty member is on sabbatical, or the group is taking a break. Please contact the faculty member or an advisor to learn more about these groups.


Building open source software for food recovery: working at the nexus among health, the environment, and resource constrained communities

Spring 2019

This research groups seeks to (1) reduce food insecurity, (2) increase healthy equity, (3) involve community, (4) raise awareness about food and health inequity in our region, and (5) reduce methane emissions from compost and landfill by redirecting food from campus dining halls to people in need. Students will iterate on and refine the food donation matching software we have been building while working in an interdisciplinary environment with diverse stakeholders. Additionally, students will create a longevity plan for expansion and continuation of the project.

Students interested in joining the DRG should have excellent communication skills, a passion for helping resource constrained communities, and a strong background in CSS, Javascript, React, and Firebase.


Promoting Sustainability through Persuasive UX in Virtual Reality

Spring 2019

The majority of the coral in our oceans is dying. Since 2016, half of the coral in the Great Barrier Reef has died. In an environment as unreachable as the bottom of the ocean or as secluded as coastal fishing communities, the entire experience and change in the ocean in two dimensions can be hard to accurately represent. Virtual reality (VR) provides an ideal and immersive environment to design, prototype, and interact with environments such as the ocean and coastal communities without the constraints of the physical world.

The goal of the VR application we will develop in our research group is to investigate how to tell a persuasive, compelling, and empathy inducing story about the changing oceans and how this change affects the lives of animals and humans on Earth, increasing awareness of the alarming effects of climate change.


Establishing longevity in resource constrained projects

Winter 2019

Establishing longevity in resource constrained projects with multiple stakeholders requires agility and creativity, weighing where to cut costs, expand reach, and finalize design and build iterations for optimal buy-in. We will explore best practices in resource constrained projects and project management. This Directed Research Group (DRG), backed by the UW’s award winning Campus Sustainability Fund, will pair-up UW food waste with local non-profit agencies in need through the design of a website that will facilitate the logistics and transportation of food waste from UW Food Services without having so many food products go to compost. During Winter quarter, students will continue to build, test, and implement a responsive website to help connect UW Housing and Food Services’ Dining facilities and local non-profit agencies. Specifically, students will apply UI and build updates, identify vulnerabilities, and debug.

Students interested in joining the DRG should have a strong background in Javascript and CSS, as well as experience with React and Firebase.


Dance and STEM education

Autumn 2018

Are you interested in helping break barriers to STEM education by weaving together dance and STEM education? Access to STEM education continues to privilege the few while missing vast numbers of students with valuable untapped potential. This DRG will use coding and electrical engineering principles, as well as choreography and participatory design to create a theatrical, technology infused dance curriculum that could be implemented in after school middle and high school programs. 

In the first half of the quarter, we will research, ideate, design, prototype, and iterate upon dance & STEM projects to create a unique curriculum that is culturally relevant to public schools in Seattle. In the second half of the quarter, we will test and iterate on the research and the curriculum. Yes, you will dance and code!

I am looking for students with a passion for coding, dance, the arts, and STEM outreach. The group will meet weekly on Mondays from 4:00 – 5:30 pm and meetings are mandatory. Students should plan on registering for 2 credits of HCDE 496 and on working about 4 hours each week outside of the DRG.

If you are interested in participating, please email Irini Spyridakis at irinis@uw.edu with the following information:

  • Why you are interested in joining this DRG.
  • What skills and experiences you bring to the group: please include coding languages and skills (intro, intermediate, or advanced), dance, theater, etc.
  • Your background in outreach (if any).

Platform for Food Recovery: Managing Open Source Components and Security

Autumn 2018

Food waste is a growing problem globally, with an increasing number of people struggling with food insecurity. This Directed Research Group (DRG), backed by the UW’s award winning Campus Sustainability Fund, will pair-up UW food waste with local non-profit agencies in need through the design of a website that will facilitate the logistics and transportation of food waste from UW Food Services without having so many food products go to compost. During Autumn quarter, students will continue to build, test, and implement a responsive website to help connect UW Housing and Food Services’ Dining facilities and local non-profit agencies. Specifically, students will apply UI and build updates, identify vulnerabilities, and debug.

Students interested in joining the DRG should have a strong background in Javascript and CSS, as well as experience with React and Firebase.

Interested students must register for 2 credits (6 hours of work/week) for either HCDE 496 or HCDE 596. Weekly deliverables will be required. Time and place TBD.  


Designing and Building a Website for Pairing UW Food Waste with Community Agencies in Need

Autumn 2017–Spring 2018

Food waste is a growing problem globally, with an increasing number of people struggling with food insecurity. This Directed Research Group (DRG), backed by the UW’s award winning Campus Sustainability Fund, will pair-up UW food waste with local non-profit agencies in need through the design of a website that will facilitate the logistics and transportation of food waste from UW Food Services without having so many food products go to compost. Over the course of the academic year, Irini Spyridakis and Madison Holbrook will lead a team of ~15 undergraduate and Masters’ students in this effort. The team will research, design, build, and implement a responsive website to help connect UW Housing and Food Services’ Dining facilities and local non-profit agencies. The team will also work on logistics and training to ensure success for all stakeholders.

Students interested in joining the DRG should have some of the following skills and experience:

UX Roles

  • UX research methods/skills
  • Prototyping tools (e.g., Axure, Balsamiq, or equivalent)
  • Visual and interaction design skills
  • Adobe design tools or equivalent

Programmer roles

Experience with relevant web technologies and programming skills (e.g., Javascript, jQuery, HTML5, CSS, PHP, Ruby on Rails, WordPress, other)
Database experience (e.g., MySQL, MongoDB, other NoSQL database)

Tasks for winter and spring quarter include the following:

  • Conducting usability tests with our interactive prototype with student groups and probably a few more off campus food bank and shelters as well
  • Iterating and designing the interface of the website and continue testing with various stakeholders
  • Creating a short 3 minute video to inform people about how to reduce food waste--something engaging
  • Working social media to create awareness around how to reduce food waste on the individual level--the video will help
  • Training 1-2 UW student groups how to deliver food per the UW's rules and regs
  • Launching our pilot study with all stakeholders

Interested students must register for 2 credits (6 hours of work/week) for either HCDE 496 or HCDE 596. The DRG will be offered in Autumn 2017, and Winter and Spring 2018. The DRG will meet on Mondays from 4:00-5:30. Meetings are mandatory for all students and the 1.5 hour weekly meetings will count towards the 6 hours of work/week; weekly deliverables will be required.