REU Week 5

Hello all! We are officially halfway through the REU program!! So crazy to believe!

We had some major wins for our project this week! Before I dive into those, however, let me start at the beginning of the week.

The team met with Dr. Clawson first thing Monday morning to establish a game plan for the week. We came away with some pretty set goals: essentially, have an app by the end of the week that is taking in data. I volunteered to look into Facebook, Michael offered to tackle Twitter, and Arash chose to look at incorporating voice recordings. I walked out of the meeting feeling refreshed, a little overwhelmed perhaps, but feeling a real sense of direction.

Monday I started looking at Facebook’s Graph API and soon got overwhelmed, so I switched back to working out of our Swift tutorial book and built an app focused on tab bars and pickers, pictured below.

Tuesday and Wednesday, however, I got back on the Facebook horse and started to really dive in. I spent quite a while figuring out which exact SDKs (Software Developer Kits) we were going to need and deciding whether to incorporate Facebook Login, which I ultimately decided to do after looking at some other similar apps. I learned that I was going to need to install CocoaPods, which is a dependency manager for Swift and XCode projects and contains thousands of libraries. This was a bit tricky, since it needed to be installed through the terminal and was a multi-step process. I hit a bit of a wall Wednesday afternoon, as I was stuck with just one build error that I couldn’t figure out.

Thankfully, Thursday morning, I tried updating CocoaPods and rebuilding, and it worked this time!! I was so happy; it felt so good just to see that little “Login to Facebook” button.

The rest of Thursday I spent mostly working on my personal website, which is one of the deliverables the REU sets for the summer. I’m happy to say it’s up and running! Below is a preview; click here to see the actual site!

Friday was a full day with several meetings, but I got the chance to add some very basic features so that it now has multiple screens and navigation between them! Below shows the final product for the week!

As for the plan for next week, I don’t think I’m able to actually grab any information from Facebook using the app at this point, so I’m going to be working on that. I’m also hoping to become more familiar with table bars this weekend so that I can build it into our app next week.

As for the other team members, apparently Twitter for developers is much less accessible than Facebook and requires one to apply for a developer account, so Michael is in the process of doing that. Shoutout to him for taking on the brunt of the work on our paper this week as I messed with getting Facebook to work! Arash made some good headway on creating an app that can record and creating shortcuts for the app; the challenge next week will be figuring out how to incorporate it into the primary app we’ve got.

Our timeline for the rest of the five weeks:

  • Week 6: Get Facebook fully integrated and pull data from it into the app, incorporate Twitter and Instagram into the app, continue developing ideas on what the back end of the app will look like, research and implement the features we want
  • Weeks 7-8: Continue to create the app and implement desired features
  • Week 9: Start field testing with other ProHealth students
  • Week 10: Devise ways for sharing this app with other students for further testing; ie: first-year SICE students to track their first couple weeks at college; do debugging and other minor adjustments

Here is a link to our reviewer response tables, which are based on the responses we got from peer reviews last week.

Looking forward to showing you continued progress next week!