Students show off mobile computer apps

By Dale Johnson Posted: April 28, 2015 3:30 p.m.

Alfredo Marrero (centre), an undergraduate student who developed an app to allow friends to find one another, is awarded a $3,000 prize from ISM Canada by Cara Simpson, Services Portfolio Manager, ISM Canada (left) and Dr. Orland Hoeber (right).
Alfredo Marrero (centre), an undergraduate student who developed an app to allow friends to find one another, is awarded a $3,000 prize from ISM Canada by Cara Simpson, Services Portfolio Manager, ISM Canada (left) and Dr. Orland Hoeber (right). Photo: Rae Graham - U of R Photography.

Computer science students at the University of Regina recently had the chance to display mobile apps they developed – with a prize of $3,000 on the line, thanks to sponsorship from ISM Canada. The event, a partnership between the University of Regina and ISM, was modeled loosely on the TV show Dragons’ Den that included a celebrity panel.

“Competing for this award allows the top students in the Mobile Computing course to showcase the work they have been doing this semester. Presenting and discussing their projects in this Dragons’ Den style gives them valuable experience in communicating their work to a broad audience,” explains Dr. Orland Hoeber, Associate Professor of Computer Science and instructor of the CS 455 and CS 855 courses on Mobile Computing.

A celebrity panel was on hand to ask the students questions from a user’s perspective, and to help the academic judges take that into account. The celebrity panel was made up of:
 
• J.C. Garden, CTV weather presenter

• Racquel Fletcher, Global TV News reporter and host of Focus Saskatchewan

• Glen Davies, Regina City Manager

The academic judges who had the final say were Dr. Hoeber; Dr. Howard Hamilton, Head of the Department of Computer Science; and Dr. David Gerhard, Chair of the External Relations Committee in the Department of Computer Science.

Five students demonstrated their mobile apps:

• Yuan Xue, a graduate student who developed an app that will allow friends to track and find each other using their mobile devices, taking advantage of both the GPS sensors and the network capabilities of the device.

• Amanda Hawkins, a graduate student who developed a two-player networked game that uses the motion sensors on the device to control the gameplay.

• Alfredo Marrero, an undergraduate student who developed an app to allow friends to find one another. After finding a specific friend, the app will provide turn-by-turn directions to your friend’s location.

• Bria Lubiens and Tobias Mörch are undergraduate students who developed an online rock-paper-scissors game, along with a framework for tracking player statistics and tendencies.

After the demonstrations, the panel awarded the top prize from ISM Canada of $3,000 to Alfredo Marrero. Amanda Hawkins was the winner among the graduate student competitors, and will be awarded a prize of $1,000 jointly from the Faculty of Science and the Department of Computer Science.

After the success of the inaugural event, both ISM and the U of R hope to continue the project. ISM Canada has supported the U of R with scholarships for several years. This new event is another step in the U of R’s strategy to enhance meaningful and productive relationships with industry. This includes the co-op work program. Our co-op students earned nearly $10 million last year while gaining practical job experience. In many cases, they received offers of full-time employment upon graduation.