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Pet Emergency Platform using Data-Driven Technologies

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Mahima Pushkarna, an Information Design and Visualization graduate student, recently participated in the RISE: 2015 Research, Innovation and Scholarship Expo at Northeastern University, where she presented her project, “FOREMOST: How to Save Your Pet in an Emergency When You are Absent.” Below, she describes Foremost, her favorite class at Northeastern, and what she’s looking forward to in the future.

Mahima Pushkarna:

How would you explain your project to a 5th grader?
Foremost is a platform accessible from multiple devices that alerts you of any emergencies in your building when you are not at home, lets you easily identify the closest (predesignated) “pet buddy,” and asks them to safely evacuate your pet from your house. It’s a preventative measure that uses human judgement and personal networks to increase the success rate of evacuations, and reduce risk to life.

Did any faculty or staff help you develop your project?
I started conceptualizing this project in November 2014, and consulted Assistant Professor Dietmar Offenhuber (Assistant Professor, Graduate Coordinator) and Associate Professor Kristian Kloeckl on ways to move forward. Then, during this past spring, I took Professor Ann McDonald‘s class on “Designing for Behavior and Experience,” which provided me with the perfect opportunity to work on Foremost.

What are the next steps for your research?
I will continue to expand and work on Foremost over the summer, and I am very excited to see it grow from a minimum viability product to one with extended functions. With several exciting classes lined up for the next term, I will be launching into preparations for my upcoming master’s thesis in information design and visualization.

What has been your favorite class at Northeastern so far?
There is no one favorite class at Northeastern – the curriculum is as complementary as it is diverse. I find myself applying learnings from one class in another. But if I had to pick one, it would be Professor Hugh Dubberly‘s “Information Design Theory & Critical Thinking,” where I worked on comparing Donald Norman’s theories with Aristotle’s work on rhetorics.

What are you most looking forward in the coming years?
I look forward to the master’s thesis and all the research leading up to it. It will be a great chance to assimilate and apply the skills that I have gained through my undergraduate, professional, and graduate life. After that, I look forward to continue my growth as an information design professional.


Mahima Pushkarna



Mahima Pushkarna, Design

Ann McDonald, Mentoring Faculty

Dietmar Offenhuber, Consulting Faculty

Kristian Kloeckl, Consulting Faculty