Seminars & Colloquia
"Piazzza - a new Q&A tool (free for academic purposes) "
Wednesday April 20, 2011 10:00 AM
Location: EB II, 3211 NCSU Centennial Campus
(Visitor parking instructions)
Piazzza is redesigning the way students and instructors ask for and provide course help online. With a clean and efficient interface optimized for per-class Q&A, Piazzza saves instructors valuable time while encouraging participation from the shyer students.
Pooja Nath (Founder) was a spectator to the dynamics that played out when all 50 of her IIT Kanpur Computer Science classmates would work on their assignments in the same lab and one of them needed help. She was on the sidelines since cross-gender communication was minimal and there were only 3 women. Inspired by this simple yet efficient solution to getting help, she decided to build a tool that gets students help fast.
Piazzza combines aspects of wikis and forums in a way that promotes high-quality answers. It separates instructor answers from student answers, and clearly indicates which questions still need to be resolved, allowing professors to know where to spend their time. A dynamic tagging system allows users to quickly search relevant content. Question by question bookmarking allows for students to follow questions they're particularly interested in and wish to receive email notifications about. Clear indicators let you know which questions have experienced the most activity, and serves as a heat map.
Stanford University was the first to pilot Piazzza about 5 quarters ago, and today over half of Stanford is using Piazzza in lieu of the forums that come with their course management system. Instructors find that their workflow is orders of magnitude more efficient. In 4 months, Piazzza has been adopted by instructors on 250 campuses. Founder Pooja Nath is making a trip to NCSU to give a demo of the platform she created.
Pooja Nath is the CEO and Founder of Piazzza. Prior to Piazzza, Pooja worked at Facebook on their News Feed Team. She was also a software developer at Kosmix and at Oracle. She received her Undergraduate degree in CS from IIT Kanpur (India), and a Masters in CS from University of Maryland, College Park. Pooja recently graduated with an MBA from Stanford GSB in June 2010.
Host: Ed Gehringer, Computer Science, NCSU