Students develop research software

Susie Pan, Comm ‘14, launches beta version of data processing program to expedite scientific analyses

Susie Pan co-founded Bombe Inc.
Susie Pan co-founded Bombe Inc.
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A Queen’s undergraduate student is playing her part in creating new software for research scientists.

Bombe Inc., a student-led company founded by Susie Pan, Comm ’14, alongside two other students from the University of Waterloo, released a beta version of the software Feb. 17. The software, which is cloud-based, helps to create graphics for data collection for scientific research.

The goal is to create a user-friendly and visual tool that will shorten the process from data importing to data analysis to graph exporting.

The idea for Bombe came from Pan’s fellow co-founders, Edward Kim and Jack Gao, who attend Waterloo, who have both done work and scientific research for organizations like the Canadian Light Source and found current softwares for scientists lacking.

“Bombe uses a visual interface that allows anyone to use the platform without any training and able to process their data in a matter of clicks,” Pan said.

“In the end, we want to help scientists save time and Bombe is our avenue to do so.” Bombe is currently targeted towards scientists using spectroscopy or similar techniques because that’s the area in which the co-founders have the most expertise, but Pan says they’re definitely not limiting the scope of potential users.

“Bombe is first made for scientists, in the broadest sense,” said Pan. “This refers to anyone who does experiments and processes data.” The venture is backed up by the Next 36, a program for entrepreneurial Canadian undergraduate students. All three co-founders are part of the program, where candidates work in teams to start their own company and are given economic, educational and mentorship resources along the way.

Bombe launched its open-beta period last Monday, where anyone interested in science or engaged in experimental research and analysis is welcome to test the product.

“We launched it in beta to get feedback from users in order to continuously improve the product,” Pan said.

She said that overall, the open beta was a success.

“We had a significant number of beta users within the first 24 hours after launch, getting the highest traffic we’ve ever gotten,” Pan said.

“To be honest, we didn’t know what to expect.” Pan said she has also been passionate about science for a long time. Her main achievement is the founding of Science Expo, an organization that empowers youth to pursue studies in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Science Expo runs a flagship annual conference for high school students interested in STEM.

There has been support and participation from the Queen’s community, Pan added.

She said that a number of faculty and grad students have signed up as beta users.

There may be future benefits for students as well, according to Pan.

“This will definitely help science and engineering students as the product is very intuitive and easy to use for simple data analysis for a lab or a project experiment,” she said.

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