Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) Project Thesis, 2016 – A Usability Study of SciTech Connect, the Department of Energy’s Public Access Portal

This study of SciTech Connect, the Department of Energy’s Public Access Portal, was devised to identify usability issues in order to make redesign recommendations. The application has undergone many changes in its scope and function over the last few years in response to federal public access mandates, making it an interesting and valuable candidate for such a study. The methods for the study were two-fold: database analysis and user study. The database was analyzed through a cognitive walkthrough, heuristics, and comparisons to similar applications. In addition, a concurrent think aloud user study was conducted with twelve participants.


CAS Thesis

Interfaces to Information Systems, Fall 2015 – Usability Study of a Public Government Database

I conducted a usability study of a public government database. There were five parts to my study: cognitive walkthrough, heuristic analysis, comparisons to similar databases, a user study, and redesign recommendations.


Project Report

Text Mining, Spring 2015 – Predictive OSTI Subject Classification of Technical Report Abstracts from SciTech Connect

I explored what classification models and feature selections were best for automating the subject classification of technical reports in the SciTech Connect database. I exported metadata for technical report records with abstracts and assigned one of three OSTI subjects. These records were processed with java programs and XSL stylesheets I created before I uploaded them into Oracle. Features were selected from the Oracle tables using two feature selection algorithms: Information Gain and TF*IDF. Oracle Data Miner was used to create two types of classification models: Decision Tree and SVM. Finally, these models were tested against new records pulled from SciTech Connect. The final report also includes a literature review on the value of grey literature.

Oracle, SQL, Java, XML/XSL

GitHub Repository

Final Report

Final Presentation

Document Modeling, Fall 2014 – Schema, Stylesheet, and Queries for Scientific Research Project Metadata

I created a XSD schema and Schematron validation file for metadata records of scientific research outputs. The schema focuses on descriptive and administrative elements only. I was interested in linking records from the same project together and the schema allows for that. I created XPath queries to demonstrate how projects could be queried versus all records.  I also created a XSL stylesheet to display records in a web browser.


GitHub Repository

Project Wiki


Digital Libraries, Spring 2013 – The Chicago Community Trust Digital Archives

Using Greenstone software, I created a digital library with materials from The Chicago Community Trust’s archive. I digitized items, assigned metadata, and customized the style and functionality of the program.

Greenstone, XML/XSL, HTML/CSS

Interface Screenshots

Source Code


Practicum, Summer 2012 – Digital Disaster Plan for the Paul V. Galvin Library

I created a digital disaster plan for the Paul V. Galvin Library at the Illinois Institute of Technology. The project included best practices research, a digital asset inventory, and staff interviews. I presented the plan to library staff at the end of the summer.

Digital Disaster Plan

Presentation for Library Staff