Advisors: Walter Potter and Anne Hines
The Pirate Bikes is an integral part of the Southwestern experience. Since arriving on campus in August, we’ve become aware of a growing flaw in the system in that the Bikes are disappearing, and there is no way to track them. The original purpose of our project was to research and determine the most effective method for tracking the bikes in providing increased security of them for the campus police, while also developing a smart-phone application for students to use in locating bikes around campus.
However, since receiving the funds, we’ve done extensive research and analysis of GPS devices as well as fielding information from the campus community. In the process we’ve learned valuable information to assist in furthering this project. First off, we’ve researched and tested different GPS devices and systems but was unable to find the most efficient way to implement these in our project. We have put together a prototype application that in the event of finding an effective GPS system, we will be able to finish the development of it. During our time, we’ve gathered feedback from the campus community on our project, as well as their overall opinion of the Pirate Bike system. Overall, we’ve gained valuable insight into underlying issues that require attention before we can simply place devices on the bikes.
Our project has answered many of our original questions, however it’s brought about new questions we had not even considered in the beginning. The survey we gave to the student body, with several open-answered questions, has helped us gain a better understanding of the student’s attitude toward the Pirate Bike program. The responses we’re overwhelmingly negative, and has given us insight into a much larger problem that is affecting the program, and our campus as a whole. Without the respect and support of students, the Pirate Bike program will suffer, to a point where it may not be able to continue functioning in the coming years. Our project has helped us identify the biggest problem of all, and now requires us to reevaluate our purpose once more.