CSE498, Collaborative Design, Fall 2019
Computer Science and Engineering
Michigan State University

The nation’s pioneer land-grant university, Michigan State University (MSU) is one of the top research universities in the world. In addition to nationally ranked and recognized academic programs, there are over 900 registered student clubs.

Among the 50,000 students on campus, around 9,000 are first-year students. Many join clubs to find friends and de-stress from school activities, but identifying interesting clubs is a challenge. Research has shown that students who take part in campus activities are happier, healthier and have better grades. This is why MSU ITS, MSU’s primary IT division, is committed to helping students find clubs with Spotlight.

Spotlight is a mobile app and website that suggests clubs and events to students. Unlike mass emails and fliers, Spotlight is tailored to the students’ specific interests, allowing them to pinpoint clubs they want to join.

Students using Spotlight input their general interests upon first using our application. Spotlight then provides students with club and event recommendations based on these interests, as well as shared interests with similar students.

When searching for events, students have many options. If proximity is important, a map view of campus shows nearby events for students to attend and provides directions to get there safely.

If a student has a busy schedule, time of day might be more important than location. Spotlight allows users to filter events by meeting time in addition to location, member count and other characteristics on the Discover Page (shown on the right).

Spotlight’s personalized home view (shown on the right) provides an updated feed of announcements and information from joined clubs.

Spotlight is developed with Swift for iOS, Kotlin for Android and Vue.js for Web. The AWS Lambda API is written in Node.js and uses MySQL as the underlying database.