Josh Byster

Software Engineer
University of Illinois at Urbana—Champaign '20

Please scroll down for my latest projects or connect with me on a channel below!


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COVID-19 Interactive Timeline

As a visual learner, I found it challenging to get a full picture on the pandemic's progression through many of the "daily snapshot" maps that were shown on the news. Inspired by Andrew Munsell's Ebola Visualization, this tool focuses on bridging the gap between the useful static maps and the key visualization element: time. Contributions are welcome on GitHub.
Tech Stack:

D3.js Now Webpack

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Life After Hate — Resource Map

Life After Hate is a nonprofit organization committed to helping people leave the violent far-right and lead compassionate lives. In order to better track resource partners through their ExitUSA program, we at Hack4Impact UIUC created an interactive resource map for Life After Hate staff. Through this application, staff members can quickly log into a secure portal and search for specific partners who make up the Life After Hate resource network. I am incredibly fortunate to be leading a team of talented developers working to bring this project to fruition. Please see more details on our GitHub.
Tech Stack:

ReactJS Redux NodeJS Now Mapbox Docker

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UIUC Bus Tracker

Thousands of students at U of I rely on the Champaign-Urbana buses each day as a means of getting to class. Unfortunately, many apps to check bus times take too long to load. As college students, we need this information as soon as possible. This is a simple, minimalist web app designed for frequent bus riders in Urbana—Champaign. No clutter, no ads, no hassle, just info. Used by hundreds of students and faculty on a daily basis. Uses a CDN and API response caching with Redis to ensure the fastest load times for users. Please feel free to check out the site, frontend, and backend code.
Tech Stack:

ReactJS NodeJS TravisCI GitHub Pages Redis Heroku Docker

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Philadelphia READS© Web App

Philadelpha READS© makes an impact on thousands of students each year through their programs to help increase literacy in Philadelphia. As a volunteer software engineer for Hack4Impact, I had the opportunity to work with an incredible team of developers to create a web app for students from fourth through eighth grade. The app allows students to prepare for Philadelphia READS Reading Olympics, an annual competition where over 1,500 participants form reading teams and put their comprehension to the test. Please feel free to have a look at the source code.
Tech Stack:

ReactJS Python Postgresql NodeJS CircleCI DigitalOcean

Twitter Support Vector Machine

Recognized by the American Statistical Association for outstanding use in machine learning at science fair, this Python script allows users to carry out authorship attribution algorithms on thousands of tweets. After acquiring an Twitter API key, users can input as many public channels as they would like, and the script loads and parses every tweet, generates confusion matrices, finds the most distinct words, and returns a trained and cross-validated classifier. A properly trained model can correctly pick between two possible authors of a of a given tweet 95% of the time! Please feel free to have a look at the source code.
Tech Stack:

Python Cloud9