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Open Source Software Projects

and Research Objectives

 

The model created in this research will address the OSS concerns in higher education by identifying the experiences, institutional characteristics, and technical systems relevant to the selection and implementation of OSS technology in academia. The validation process will indicate that the tabled data and generated suggestions of the model   are statistically comparable with the data that was set-aside for validation purposes.  The model will analyze the OSS and institutions to identify their most popular selection and implementation concerns with open source technology. The process will incorporate the technological variables, performance factors, and OSS experiences of the institutions participating in this research. From this data, the model will generate a profile that identifies consistency and good practices within the academic community. Based upon the model information, the researcher will be capable of summarizing a comparison and analysis process of like institutions that is user friendly; thereby, simplifying the process of applying the model to the real world.

·           General Focus of our Research Efforts

1. Formulate a academic profile that identifies the software, hardware, values, motivations, behaviors and influences of OSS in higher education
2. Document and investigate various OSS conceptions of product, applications, application ownership and vendor participation in higher education
3. Create a formal listing of vendor: products, services, licensures and pricing that are prominent in the OSS community as it pertains to higher education
4. Identify the current status of OSS as a new-brand of higher education software approach, to learning in the 21st Century

·         Research Questions

Each research question will solicit the information required to create the model and generate the statistical analysis data to support the findings. Question 1 will analyze the type of institutions that are participating in the study and establish a profiling process through comparison and analysis for potential institutions that are considering OSS in the future. Question 2 will correlate between the different technologies used among the four categories of OSS enabled institutions. Question 3 will correlate between the applications performance among the four OSS institutional categories. Question 4 will correlate between the budgeting practices of the four institutional categories of OSS enabled institutions. Question 5 will analyze what factors of OSS implementation that is of greatest concern in OSS Institutions of Category I, II, III, and IV. Question 6 will analyze the knowledge levels of open-source technology in OSS enabled institutions. Question 7 will validate the model by comparing the results of stored information in the application with the data that will be set aside in the analysis phase for testing and validation.

·         Become a Member of our OSS Research Team

The student involvement in OSS research at Methodist University primarily focuses on the different types of OSS applications in use at accredited American institutions. Their research efforts also include the exploration, definition and profiling of the institutions that currently use OSS to deliver or support their academic curriculum and student body.

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Recent Activities and Research Achievements

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The North Carolina Undergraduate Research & Creativity Symposium

Four of our Methodist University students from the Computer Science Department have been selected to present their research projects at the Upcoming “North Carolina Undergraduate Research & Creativity Symposium at Meredith College on November 20, 2010. Under the mentorship of Dr. Terry C. House, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Ms. Maida Elezovic, Ms. Rachel Cornett, Mr. Lawrence Dawson, and Mr. Christopher Banks, have worked very hard to create four unique software applications that have real world implications in our society. A short abstract of their work is listed below.

 

Student: Ms. Maida Elezovic will present her research at 10:45-1100AM

An Automobile Repair Software Application to Facilitate Daily Store Activities

This research provided a unique prototype application to address the specific needs of an Auto Repair Shop Database. The manager of this Repair Shop was not satisfied with the system they were using; it was outdated and very slow. It took too long to collect all data necessary for the services rendered, and then bill the customer. The manger noticed that his company was losing potential and existing customers because of technological software constraints. The manager decided to contact me, as a system programmer, to design a Java based application that would support his employee’s ability to process customers in a more efficient manner. The information gathered before building the project was as follows: current software, problems with the software, the system specification, and customer & employee needs. The final product delivered to the manager was a software application that contained a login interface for employees; customer account number database, record of customer’s previous visits (customer’s name, the account number, type of car, repairs to the car, and the total of the repairs in dollars). Also included in this application were four categories of automobiles, Type of repairs; billing templates; and a customer records database.

 

Student: Ms. Rachel Cornett will present her research at 10:45-1100AM

 

An Open Source Independent Flight Reservation Application

This research provided a unique prototype application to address the specific needs of independent Flight Reservation Consultant’s Businesses. This application was researched and designed to provide entrepreneurs with an adaptive flight-scheduling program to quickly organize and book flights for their clients.  This system incorporated a graphical user interface that scheduled the flights, based on dates available, number of personnel flying, locations and pricing schedules.  The independent system incorporated specific needs of the entrepreneur by providing them an alternative approach to purchasing expensive off the shelf software that is monopolized by the software industry. This Open Source (OSS) application was created in the Java programming language and the code is available to the public. This OSS approach allows anyone to edit the code to meet his or her software needs.   The research and information acquired before building the project was as follows: current software and hardware used in reputable flight reservation programs to include security. The final application included, but was not limited to, a graphical interface, a secure employee login, a flight database to include reservation dates, and a billing system. This package also included a user manual to ensure proper use.

 

Student: Mr. Lawrence Dawson will present his research at 11:00-11:15

A Computerized Office Supply System and Database for Accountability and Sales

This research provided a unique prototype application to address the specific needs of the Office Supply industry. This application was researched and designed to provide store managers with an inventory accountability database, and a graphical sales processing interface for the employees. The independent system incorporated specific needs of the industry by incorporating specific products, password protection, item number identification, employee logins and other tailored abilities needed by the Office Supply industry. The significance of this software application was to meet the present need of accountability, as it pertained to inventory, sales, employee login and product identification. The research and information acquired before building the project was as follows: current software and hardware used in reputable office supply businesses, managerial best practices and secure login techniques in business merchandizing. To ensure usability, I investigated the software requirements most managers felt was needed in their applications to make their businesses more productive. The final application was created in the Java programming language and included, but was not limited to, a graphical user interface, employee login, a cashier and product database, an item code recognition system, a database of past sales for inventory purposes and a user manual to ensure proper use.

 

Student: Mr. Christopher Banks will present his research at 11:15-11:30

An Electronic Medical Records (EMR) System in the Java Programming Language

This research provided a unique prototype application to address the specific needs of an Outpatient Medical Clinic. Many clinics do not have an Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system to process their patient visits. This lack of a computerized approach to store information resulted in redundant records, lost files, expensive physical storage and increased office spending. To remedy this problem, I create a personalized EMR system that would record the following information about the activities conducted at a Medical clinic on a daily basis: Patient services received all doctor activities and diagnosis, medicines prescribed to patients, nurse’s activities, billing activities, and a login interface for each employee.  The information gathered before building the project was as follows: current software and hardware used at the clinic, doctors and nurses working at the clinic, billing structured used for patients, and the medicine prescription process currently being used at the clinic.  The final application created in the Java programming language included, but was not limited to, A graphic, separate login interface for doctors, nurses and billing personnel; patient records and medicine database, and billing process. A user manual and employee training process was also included to ensure the system would be properly utilized.