Student-built dashboard gives insight into COVID-19 pandemic

Graduate students in the University of Alberta’s Multimedia Master’s Program have built an interactive tool for understanding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Katie Willis - 27 May 2020

A new, interactive tool providing insight into the COVID-19 pandemic has been developed by three University of Alberta graduate students in the Department of Computing Science.

Since its discovery in December 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has been the cause of nearly 5 million infections and more than 300,000 deaths worldwide, according to the World Health Organization

“Researchers and physicians have been working around the clock to gather related data and statistics, the volume of which is rapidly increasing by the minute,” said Irene Cheng, adjunct professor of computing science and director of the Multimedia Masters Program

Now, three graduate students in the Multimedia Masters Program—Frincy Clement, Asket Kaur and Maryam Sedghi—have developed the COVID-19 Dashboard in order to collect and visualize this ever-changing data and information. 

“The goal is to transform the dynamic big data to charts and graphs for ordinary people to easily understand the spread and identify trend patterns across countries,” explained Clement. “Different from other covid-19 visualization interfaces that mainly focus on trends, our dashboard is data-driven, interactive and provides both data analytics and projections.” 

The dashboard has the potential to support countries battling new or emerging pandemics by providing data from locations who have been successful in flattening the curve, improving the accessibility to the wealth of data being gathered on COVID-19 

“An interactive visualization dashboard is important to make appropriate decisions,” added Cheng. 

The Multimedia Research Group also collaborates with McGill University on monitoring vital signs and contact tracing, which will offer students more opportunities to participate in the efforts to combat COVID-19.

Learn how University of Alberta-led research is supporting global efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic on the University of Alberta COVID-19 research hub.

Students, faculty, and staff can stay up-to-date with the latest information on COVID-19 for the campus community online.