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Class of 2020: EDI Thesis Projects

The EDI Thesis project allows students to dig deep into a topic they are passionate about. Discover what each EDI graduating student from the Class of 2020 chose to pursue as their passion project and learn more about each one below.


Kristen Smith

Kristen SmithDeliberative Design

Designs are often made using a process called “Human Centered Design” which does not acknowledge that the creator’s own biases affect the final product. Deliberative Design is an app that helps makers reflect on who they are as people and acknowledge the impact of their biases on their work. Learn more





Vanessa CorbettVanessa CorbettHalo

Going through a natural disaster can be one of the most devastating events that someone can experience. With all of the factors that must be considered, mental health can be pushed to the back burner. Halo allows people to register what they are feeling individually or through connection with others, all with the aim to improve their mental wellbeing.





Yifan WuLair

For reptile owners who desire connection with their reptiles and optimization of the caring process, Lair is a smart home system that enables a joyful human-reptile relationship. Lair empowers effortless caring and interactive experience for reptile owners and provides a safe and enriching environment for reptiles through smart environment control, camera system, caring log and safe enrichments. Learn more



Gretchen VogtGretchen Vogt Masklean

With the spread of COVID-19, many of us are introducing a new item into our daily lives: face masks. Disposable mask sales have increased by over 200%, growing into a $166 billion industry. With this increase in production and sales, mask waste has also increased drastically, and experts believe at least 75% of used disposable masks will end up in landfills or the world's oceans. Masklean aims to reduce this waste as well as manage families' system by storing masks in a compact device that sanitizes with UV-C light.



Arijit NerurkarArijit Nerurkar Playbill+

For millennials who aren't heavily engaged in the theatre community, it can be challenging to make a hobby of attending commercial theatre as the perceived cost of shows tends to be greater than the value gotten out of the experience. Playbill+ is an app and physical collector's item that organizes the user's holistic day-out and immerses them in show-related content well in advance, as well as entices them with post-show benefits/opportunities. The Playbill+ app guides users through planning their show-day ahead of time and provides access to exclusive show content, while the Playbill+ collectable provides a physical memento for users to remember their experience by. Learn more


Zicheng GuZicheng Gu Observer

Have you ever been amazed by your surroundings? Those little details that you tend to overlook all the time have the power to brighten your day. Have you ever wanted more of those “made my day” moments? Observer is the one to help. By encouraging people to engage with their surroundings, Observer powers you with the chance to build surprise moments in your life every day.




Sophie LancasterSophie LancasterBeacon

For individuals who have been newly diagnosed with Celiac Disease it can be challenging to learn about their diagnosis and how to adjust to the new normal of living life with an autoimmune disease. Beacon is a solution that guides patients through their entire Celiac journey, starting at the moment of diagnosis. Beacon's starter kit introduces patients to the first things they will need to start living a healthy and successful life with Celiac. Beacon augments this guidance with its 'one stop shop' website that organizes information in a way that relates to a typical Celiac experience and provides patients with mentorship and practical life advice.


Yoonjie Parkproject:dog

Many first-time potential dog adopters know they want to adopt a dog, but have difficulty in gauging if they're really ready, as well as in forecasting potential changes in their lives that might affect their relationship with their dog. These uncertainties may lead them to abandon their pet later on, leaving emotional scars for both the human and the dog. project:dog is an online experience that helps them navigate both the day-to-day and the future life with their dog, allowing them to better understand the realities and make a more informed decision about adoption.


Elizabeth ShuElizabeth ShuGenlux

Genlux is for newbie plant-lovers who love the idea of plants in their homes but tend to guess how to unsurely care for the plants. Plant-lovers can turn to Genlux to not only specifically identify the genus of their plants, but also allow their plants to be able to directly communicate with the plant-lover if an emergency arises and how to take care of them. With signals from a sensor that connects to the Genlux hub or their very own Alexa or Google Home, plant lovers are visually indicated through LED and app interactions to water, repot, and correctly and confidently care for their plants. As a result, no more dead houseplants and no more vicious cycle of guilt and sadness of killing new plants.


Cameron BeversluisCameron Beversluis Campus Immunity

Most college students think getting the flu vaccine is a good idea. However, most also never actually get around to it. Campus Immunity is a college health service model designed to make flu vaccination as easy and obvious for students as getting a morning cup of coffee.






Jenny NguyenJenny Nguyen Twined

For first-generation and second-generation immigrant families in the U.S., preserving their unique culture among their family members can be challenging because they become distant from each other and often forget the stories as time passes. Twined makes it easier to preserve their culture across generations through storytelling to help family members learn their shared culture to ultimately strengthen familial connections.




Lucy HuLucy HuPresent

In today's world, young people are constantly separated in distance from the ones they care for and look for a way to interact just like they are with them, especially celebratory moments like gift sharing. Present is a digital solution that connects gift givers and recipients through a customizable gifting service. Partnering with popular online shopping platforms, Present augments the personalized gifting experiences by leveraging the ecosystem of the partners and adding on human touch. Learn more




Mengxue BiMengxue Bi Accord

Better communication is vital for better care. Imagine your loved one were admitted to the ICU, how confident would you be to make decisions on their behalf under a stressful, fast-changing, critical environment? Accord is designed to bridge the communication between ICU clinicians and patient’s families. This digital tool helps families establish a holistic understanding of their loved one’s critical situation and facilitates the shared decision-making that honors patient’s own values and preferences. Learn more



Chris BaggottChristopher Baggott Unifi

The hospital intensive care unit is a busy, stressful place, and ICU physicians often don't have an easy way to facilitate complicated care planning with families. Unifi adds valuable structure and consistency to family meetings and keeps care professionals on the same page. It also builds trust and transparency into the care planning process by using family-focused visuals to ensure understanding between doctors and families. Learn more




Kavya Bhavaraju Shuchi

Changing a menstrual sanitary product outside of your home is a messy experience for everyone involved—be it the person menstruating, others that share the same spaces, or the people that need to clean these spaces after. In India, where the topic of menstruation is extremely stigmatized, these issues are exacerbated but also overlooked. Shuchi is a product that reimagines the way sanitary products are changed and disposed in public, to create a cleaner experience for everyone involved.



Zheng TianZheng TianRight Hand

Although protective gear is getting better and better over the years, construction workers are still suffering from certain invisible dangers that are not easily noticed by workers, like electricity, hidden openings on the ground and the inappropriate wearing of protective gear. ‘Right Hand’ is a solution that is focusing on helping workers to identify the invisible dangers around them and to communicate safety issues around construction dangers with the management team in a more efficient manner.



Kelly McComasKelly McComas Library Odyssey

Public libraries are a free safe space for teens to socialize, get engaged in their community, and explore their interests—even if they never open a book. Currently, library spaces are closed or restricted and librarians are seeking ways to keep young people involved. For teens who are seeking ways to stay connected to each other and their community without physical social infrastructure, Library Odyssey is an engaging way to learn about themselves, interact with others, and give back to their community using their library’s resources. Learn more



Lily SmithLily Smith Capri

Fashion is a way for tweens (11-14) to explore and express their evolving identity and establish their freedom of choice. However, the current retail market doesn’t offer the unique forms of expression they desire. Capri is a fashion marketplace that allows tweens to develop their personal style by connecting them with a community of buyers and sellers of handmade, reworked/upcycled, and customizable clothing.




Jean JiangJean

Competitive video games create an unwelcoming space for many players, especially for those from non-mainstream backgrounds (eg. marginalized genders and/or sexes). This negative environment discourages players from pursuing the game as a passion. is an integrated and customizable strategy for video games to promote sportsmanship and remind players to take an empathetic approach with one another, making competitive gaming a safe and enjoyable space for all. Learn more




Janice ZhouJanice Zhou1/2 Life

Have you ever found yourself getting "sucked" into your phone for meaningless browsing and you just can't stop it? For people who find themselves staring at phones for too long but fail to reduce their phone usage, ½Life is a mobile app that helps people better understand their phone usage, make more specific and tangible goals to reduce usage, and bring friends together to incentivize each other to stick with goals.




Alan ScarthAlan Scarth Full Custom

Full Custom introduces gaming controllers as a custom tailored product. This modular hardware ecosystem gives gamers more control over the fit and function of their handheld gamepad. A multi-platform measurement, design, and ordering experience allows more users to experience a controller optimized for their hand size and play style.





Diana Jeong RoDiana Jeong Ro Pascal

If you've ever struggled with math, you probably were led to believe that you are incapable, when oftentimes it is in fact a result of being poorly taught or led down the wrong path. Pascal seeks to undo this fixed mindset by offering a holistic training program at the intersection of math learning and behavioral therapy, tackling the root problem by repairing your relationship with math and building up confidence in your ability.  Learn more




Brandon WashingtonBrandon WashingtonJurniBox

Sneakerheads go to great lengths to cherish and enjoy their collections. Sneaker culture is one of the fastest growing industries today, and it's by no coincidence. They've become much more than just a pair of shoes—they're an experience. However, experiences aren't always perfect, and that's where JurniBox comes in. Whether newcomer or veteran, the sneaker box is a crucial focal point of every Sneakerhead's journey, and JurniBox evolves the standard box to enhance the ownership experience. Addressing voids in storage, protection, and moments of nostalgia—it takes owners' relationships with their prized possessions to a new level with an emphasis on sustainability and social interaction.


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