West Arete
Our Clients
Our clients change the world through their teaching and ground-breaking research.
Here are some of our favorite projects:
Penn State Open Innovation Platform
Penn State is among the top research universities in the country. One of their goals is to increase the number of research partnerships that occur between faculty and industry. These industry partnerships provide an alternate funding source compared to grants, and they give faculty a chance to explore the practical applications of their research. West Arete worked with the Office of Industrial Partnerships to design and build the Innovation Gateway, a custom application that presents industry challenges to relevant subsets of the faculty, and finds likely connections between the two based on faculty interactions with the application. The initial launch of the application has proven to be a resounding success, resulting in significantly more connections than before, positive feedback from industry partners, and a streamlined workflow for the staff.

MIT Living Wage Calculator
Dr. Amy Glasmeier at MIT is one of the leading researchers on poverty in America. Years ago she developed a technique for aggregating data from several sources to arrive at the true cost of living for a particular community. West Arete developed this research into a web application, combined with data from Open Data Nation, that would report the living wage for any community in the country. It would then compare it to the minimum wage and standard wages for each industry, and estimate what various family sizes would have to earn in order to survive. This resource has come to be regarded as the primary trusted resource on living wages in the United States. It has influenced several states' decisions to increase their minimum wage, it is regularly cited in national media, and several large companies have pledged to pay at least this living wage to every one of their employees.

Fast rebuild and launch for an ed-tech startup
Flip Learning
In May of 2015, six universities and a combined 1,500 students were poised to sign up for Flip Learning's interactive online textbooks that coming Fall. The only problem was, their existing software wasn't ready to handle it. The West Arete team worked closely with Flip Learning to rebuild their platform to be more stable, more flexible, and more usable. On top of it all, we simultaneously mentored Flip Learning's new full-time software developer on the framework and software development techniques. The August launch went off without a single hitch, and today Flip Learning is able to do all of their software development in-house. We're proud of the role that we were able to play in providing a springboard for this inspirational ed-tech startup.

Harvest, clean, and visualize data for advocacy.
Allegheny County is home to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and 1.2 million people. Despite the potential environmental and community impact, it was nearly impossible for anyone to get a feel for how many parcels of land had actually been leased for oil and gas drilling. The data was scattered across hundreds of thousands of records, and tracing the lineage or relationships between the individual leases was a brutal manual process due to the inconsistencies and gaps in the data. West Arete worked with the experts from FracTracker to collect, clean, analyze, and then visualize the individual leases that were available as public records. The result is the first interactive map of oil & gas leases of that region, which provides stakeholders with an objective means of understanding the true extent of drilling activity and potential. The software platform will serve as the basis for exploring other regions in the future.

Penn State University Police
With almost 200 full-time and student officers, multiple campuses, several special events per day, and large events such as football games and the occasional presidential visit, Penn State University Police & Public Safety is arguably one of the most complex university police departments in the country. Off-the-shelf software for managing police department operations was deemed to be too inflexible. West Arete worked directly with several stakeholders from the university police to build the custom workflow application that could manage the scheduling, staffing, and billing for the university's special events, and lay the groundwork for more comprehensive workflows in the future. The current system has already allowed the department to radically streamline their special event billing procedures, which are an important source of revenue.

Internet2 operates the nation's largest and fastest, coast-to-coast research and education network. West Arete works with Internet2 to further the development of their cloud-based software services. Our teams collaborate in order to improve the quality, testability, and security of the applications.

The Pilgrimage
The Pilgrimage is a unique service-based hostel located in the heart of Washington, DC. They host groups of up to 40 people who come to volunteer their time to help the homeless, the hungry, and the working poor. West Arete worked with The Pilgrimage to design a custom application to manage the booking, management, and billing operations.

World in Conversation
World in Conversation is a remarkable student-run center that seeks to expand peoples' perspectives by facilitating dialogs on topics such as race relations. The service is in use by universities and by NATO in order to promote learning and understanding. Sometimes these conversations are in person, and sometimes they span the globe using videoconferencing. West Arete developed the application that guides users through the registration process. The application must handle different audiences, different requirements for each audience, and provide an audit trail for accountability.
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