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Spirit of Math: a test scanning app for an international math contest

The Spirit of Math contest is an international math contest, written by students from grades 1-4. The students are given individual contest papers, specific to their grade level, along with a multiple choice answer sheet from which to choose their answers. This scanning app works **EXCLUSIVELY** with our contest answer sheets to tabulate a registered student’s score and compile them for that particular grade-level contest for that registered school. The scores are then transmitted to our team for verification. Once the answer sheets have been verified, the scores will be provided to the appropriate school for each student.

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Screens from app

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Services:

Design

iOS

Android

Back-end

Front-end

QA

Technologies:

React JS

Swift

Java

PHP Laravel

C++

Machine Vision

OpenCV

Industries:

Education

Media & Entertainment

Team composition:

iOS Developer

Android Developer

Back-end Developer

Front-end Developer

QA Engineer

UI / UX Designer

Project Manager

The Challenge_

Secure and reliable results reporting

The overall project goal was to make the scanning and reporting process as secure and reliable as possible. This would prevent teachers from dishonestly reporting contest results in order to inflate school ratings.

A short time frame

The client reached out to us for help with platform development at short notice. NERDZ LAB had just six weeks to create a solution for iOS and Android devices.

Accurate image detection under all conditions

The scanning module had to be able to read test papers regardless of conditions such as poor lighting or print quality, or a complex image background.

Real-time PDF generation

As well as scoring answers and computing the final results, the module had to generate a web page with a printable PDF file in real-time.

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THE SOLUTIONS
  • A cross-platform, optimized coding solution. We built our machine vision tool in C++ and enhanced it with the Open CV library. This let us use the module on both iOS and Android systems.
  • AR markers for camera positioning. We used ArUco symbols to identify test sheets and register sheet positions. Placing markers at four corners also allowed us to determine the camera perspective.
  • Quality adjustment. We imported low-quality images as pattern models and adjusted them programmatically. This approach helped us speed up the scanning process to read answers regardless of the image background, lighting, and print quality.
  • Fast UI rendering. We used the React JS framework for the web component, as its options for fast web page building let us instantly create a ready-to-print PDF file of test results.

DESIGN OVERVIEW

NERDZ LAB had to build a design which would:

  • Meet all of the client’s requirements and expectations
  • Address all the challenges of security and reliability
  • Be easy to use for both students and teachers
  • Be unique

The design process involved gathering client specifications, conducting market research, conducting user interviews, developing consistent user flows, and building interface components for the platform’s web and mobile elements.

Design services:

  • Design discovery and research
  • UX design
  • UI design

Design solutions:

Design workflow

01

Business analysis

The NERDZ LAB team researched the сlient’s needs and suggested solutions to design challenges, including software and component development.

02

Discovery

We described the planned platform and analyzed its future target audience, the go-to-market strategy, and the needs of stakeholders and end-users. This stage gave us a clear product mission and vision, and project scope.

03

Information architecture

Our designers created a comprehensive view of the product’s information architecture, including its infrastructure, features, hierarchy, and app design.

04

Wireframes

NERDZ LAB built wireframes of the app and web page layouts that showed future interface elements on their relevant pages. This gave us a software structure that covered end-user needs.

05

UI/UX design

We designed a transparent and easy-to-use interface that met the needs of both students and teachers. Moreover, the team tested and reviewed all client-side components to set up and streamline UX interactions.

THE RESULTS

01

A scanning solution unique to the Spirit of Math contest

02

A superfast scanning process: 0.2 seconds per test sheet

03

Accurate reading and scoring of test results regardless of scanning conditions

04

A cross-platform machine vision module for Android and iOS

TESTIMONIAL

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Nathan Langen
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Spirit of Math

It’s a positive experience working with a NERDZ LAB. They communicate at any time and any hour, they prompt with their deliverables, and they are always there to helping give a helping hand. My self – I do not have a technical background. However, I felt that for me it was an easy project to work on.

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Nathan Langen
logo

Spirit of Math

It’s a positive experience working with a NERDZ LAB. They communicate at any time and any hour, they prompt with their deliverables, and they are always there to helping give a helping hand. My self – I do not have a technical background. However, I felt that for me it was an easy project to work on.