The UBC tandem Language Learning Program is a free, student-run initiative that has been successful and growing. This Fall 2015 semester, nearly 900 UBC students, faculty members, and staff applied. In this program, participants that wish to practice a language are paired up with someone who speaks this language and at the same time wants to improve in the language the first person speaks.
Anticipating the program’s growing popularity, the program organizers commissioned Arts ISIT to design a web application to manage the registration of participants, match them together in an optimized and fair manner, send out email notifications depending on a participant’s match status, and produce reports that can be used by event organizers to facilitate meetup sessions.
I oversaw the design and development of this application, and personally developed the matchmaking algorithm at its heart. I worked closely with our project manager and the clients to translate the requirements, organization, and workflows of this complex and evolving initiative into a sustainable web service.
In its very first deployment, the application has freed the organizers from weeks of tedious work and reduced the matchmaking and notification tasks to a handful of seconds, enabling the organizers to focus on providing the best event and personal interaction experience to participants.
Check out the program at http://tandemubc.ca