A Computer Science Major's Experience in GFI
By "Peter" Haoping Wang
Peter is a First year graduate student. He's from Guangzhou, China and is currently majoring in Computer Science. His Fellowship Project is on Website Development and is essentially about designing and maintaining the current Global Food Initiative website. His responsibilities include maintaining and updating the website, as well as making it appealing and user-friendly to attract more people.
My project is web development. The GFI website is like a hub in the sense that it has contents regarding different food and agriculture topics and further link to CAFE (California Agriculture and Food Enterprise), Healthy Campus Initiative, and GFI Food Security and Food Pantry. So my primary job is to maintain the contents on the website to make sure it’s up to date. The contents should include:
- GFI fellows projects, past and present.
- Videos from the GFI events/lectures, faculty and student GFI related activities.
- Listing of courses that address food related topics.
- Listing of faculty working on projects that relate to the Global Food initiative or other food/ag topics.
My second job is to design the look and organize the contents to make the website look nice, neat and friendly. The GFI website is a Content Management System using a development framework called Drupal. I would need to different functions of Drupal to know how to design the website with them. I would also need to study different websites to learn how they are designed so that I have an idea of how to make a website look attractive.
Why is this project important for our community?
Every GFI research or project should use the power of media to get spread out and let people know about what the research or project can impact to our world. And posting research programs and success stories on websites is a good way to do it. Websites are a lot easier to access than papers and posters. And the contents you put on will not be ripped off or thrown away. Also, websites are powerful in that you can put on videos, audios, and animations to help visualizing what you’ve done better.
Websites can serve as tools to organize contents from different workgroups and programs. You will know what a research group is doing, what are the upcoming events without following multiple social media accounts.
What progress do I have now?
Currently I am studying Drupal 8. I have walked myself through most of the functions and I have tried out some of them on the GFI website. I am planning to design the website with the following look:
The Impact Peter hopes his project will have:
I hope that website I designed can be a hub of GFI, from which people not only know what GFI is and what’s going on with GFI, but also interesting researches and project done by our excellent fellows. I would try to beautify the website and make the content better visualized so that these research and projects attract and inspire people to participate in GFI research and projects or other scientific researches.