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Finding ways to help people find the answers they need

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Steve Carmody
/
Michigan Radio

University of Michigan officials are expanding a unique program aimed at finding high tech solutions to low tech problems.

The U of M School of Information has been working in Jackson for the past few years. Monday, UMSI’s Citizen Interaction Design program will show off seven new projects, including a “one-stop shop” for local startups; a new Web portal with accessibility information for Jackson residents; a project that brings Jackson matriarch Ella Sharp to life via interactive postcards. 

Cliff Lampe says students have been working with city officials and non-profits to come up with information technology to help people get the services they need.  He says Jackson has been a good laboratory for the students.

“It’s a small enough city that students can get to know people, but big enough that there’s stuff to do,” says Lampe.

Lampe says the research done in Jackson can help other Michigan cities deal with blight and economic development. 

He says the program will soon expand to two other Michigan cities.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.