Created for Harvard’s South Asia Initiative, this is a tool to connect Harvard faculty members to each other from disparate parts of the university so that they can find out about other South Asia related projects and research that they might benefit from or want to get involved in. It was prototyped in Django. — Jun-Aug 2011
How it works:
Information about faculty members and their work are catalogued in a database that can be accessed on a members-only website. Member faculty and SAI staff can search the database by keyword, topic, or location to find what they’re specifically looking for and to discover new relationships and opportunities.
While browsing by topic (“tag”), for example, results will come up for related topics as well as the one you searched for.
You can browse by clicking regions on a map, drilling down to more specific locations that you’re interested in. You can also search and browse by faculty member, published work, project, or course, and filter your searches by region as well as type-specific things like term, publication date, or affiliated school.
In order to get faculty talking to each other, we eventually want them to be able to edit their own information. Additionally, we’ve set up a Classifieds system so that faculty members can post opportunities and requests that other Faculty Link users can browse and respond to.
Ultimately we want to make this useful to faculty members interested in South Asia. To do that, we need to include relevant information on individuals, what they’re working on, and what they’re interested in, plus an intuitive means of finding this information.
The base of the design is what matters right now, and from there it has room to grow. That means figuring out what database entities we want to have and what information we want to collect about them. If we get design right now, it will be more useful tool ultimately.