Students build mobile apps to raise awareness of the Zika virus

The Zika virus has been making headlines recently as outbreaks have occurred in various countries around the globe, with the World Health Organization ultimately declaring the virus a global public health emergency.

As something that has been on a lot of people’s minds, the Zika virus became the subject of several mobile apps developed by students at the Seidenberg School. Several of the students are visiting students from Brazil, who decided to build the apps to raise awareness given the virus’ presence in their home country.

Zik Def 2Zika Defender was built by Nida Butt, Marcus Ferreira, Russell Gee and Pedro Borges Pio in CS 389 Software Engineering, which is taught by Dr. Christelle Scharff. The app is a game in which players eliminate mosquitoes before they can reach their targets. While playing, users learn more about the virus: “As more people use our app, the more attention will be given to the dire situation in Brazil, where many people are suffering from this illness,” the team’s website states.

ZikAlert1Another team created ZikAlert, an informational app that offers insight into symptoms, prevention and transmission of the disease. The team is comprised of Frank Fico, Luiz Fernando da Silva Sieslak and Hongyuan ‘Peter’ Li.

From the team page: “Brazil attracts an increasing amount of tourist traffic throughout the year; given the ongoing outbreak of the Zika virus, it is paramount to raise people’s awareness of the ailment (and preventative methods therein) to prevent it from becoming a bigger issue than it needs to be.”

ZikAlert2The apps have been submitted to OpenIDEO, an open innovation platform that aims to solve global challenges for social good. The apps were featured on the site and in its newsletter.

Fantastic job to the hardworking students involved!

 

Recap: the 21st Annual Leadership and Service in Technology Awards

The 21st annual Leadership and Service in Technology (LST) Awards was a fantastic evening at Club 101, a gorgeous venue two blocks south of Grand Central terminal.

IMG_1893This year’s theme was “Celebrating Technology: Improving the Quality of Life” and honored our esteemed alumnus, Mike Capone, who graduated from Pace Seidenberg in 1993 and went on to have an incredible career in the healthcare tech industry. Mike spoke about his work as the COO of Medidata, a healthcare data analytics provider, where he oversees delivery of products and services, such as product management, software development, data science, professional services and marketing.

Prior to his role at Medidata, Mike spent 25 years working at ADP as the CIO and CVP of product development. In his address to the LST audience, Mike spoke about his wonderful experiences there and how he ultimately chose to move on to his dream job at Medidata.

IMG_1882The keynote speaker was Dr. Robert Darnell, the Founding Director and CEO of the New York Genome Center, with which the Seidenberg School recently formed a collaboratory relationship. Dr. Darnell gave a passionate address to the LST crowd that truly highlighted ways in which technology can change healthcare.

Our power speakers: Mike Capone, Robert Darnell, Andreea Cotoranu, Jonathan Hill and Briana Vecchione

Very recent Seidenberg alumnus, Briana Vecchione (BS Computer Science ’16), also took to the podium to talk about the impact of technology in her life at the event, which just happened to be after her first day working at Microsoft!

Before and after the main event, the evening was filled with food, drinks and networking as guests from all kinds of backgrounds and industries flocked to celebrate Mike’s achievements.

We are incredibly grateful to all who attended this celebration, particularly to Robert Darnell and Mike Capone for their excellent participation.

Seidenberg School’s second year of creating mobile apps with Ionic

The Seidenberg School’s CS 641 Mobile Web Development class just wrapped up its second year, with 54 graduate students and one undergraduate in the class this semester. Students created iOS and Android apps with the Ionic 2 framework, and created online portfolios of their work.

The class is taught by Adjunct Professor Haik Sahakian. “If you’re a web developer, Ionic turns you into a mobile app developer as well. You write apps in Javascript that run on iOS and Android from the same code base. And it’s a fun way to learn Angular 2.”

One of the apps from the class was selected for a showcase of graduate student work being put together by the department chair, Dr Christelle Scharff. Written by William Dickerson, it uses the D3 and Leaflet JavaScript libraries to display a travel map of New York City. A user selects a point on the map and how far he or she is willing to walk, and the app displays which parts of the city are reachable with a single subway ride.

articleIonicImage“[My app] began as a webpage, which took me about 40 hours to develop into what it is now. If I started from scratch today, it would probably take me less time, but D3, Leaflet, and even JavaScript were new to me at the time. Transitioning the webpage to a mobile app using the Ionic 2 framework took very little time, just a matter of hours.

I liked how each lecture and assignment in the Mobile Web class built on the previous one, allowing us to put everything together into projects worth sharing. We started the first lecture with a blank html file in a text editor, and by week 15, we had covered enough libraries, tools, and web fundamentals to build quality mobile webpages and apps.”

William Dickerson

The class’s apps feel very similar to native apps. Prof. Sahakian said Ionic achieves this because “it comes with web-based UI components that look and behave just like native components, and it uses the open source Cordova library to connect with a mobile device’s hardware and features. An Ionic app is an enhanced web page embedded in a native app wrapper, rather than a native app itself, so it’s a little slower than native for complex features and animations, but it works well, and enables web developers to build apps quickly.”

CS 641 Mobile Web Development is offered every Spring semester. Dr Scharff’s collection of graduate student work will be displayed in the Seidenberg Mobile Lab at 163 William St in the fall.

Dr Pauline Mosley receives award for significant impact on children in STEM

Dr. Pauline Mosley was honored Tuesday May 10th with a STEM Award for her significant contribution to children in the STEM field. Dr. Mosley was selected for this award because of the three years she has spent working with GIRLS Academy. Over the past few years, Dr. Mosley has helped develop and design STEM Curricular for the White Plains Afterschool Programs.

These programs offered awesome opportunities for girls aged 13-17 to learn about LEGO Mindstorms, SeaPerch robots, Alice, and HTML coding. The programs took place over 9 week periods, with Dr. Mosley working closely with the instructors of the sessions (instructors whom she happened to mentor and teach previously!).

The event was attended by the Mayor of White Plains and thanked the award recipients for improving the White Plains School District.

Pictured above is Dr. Mosley alongside White Plains Middle and High School Teachers, as well as fellow Pace professor Dr. Gerald Ardito.

 

Congratulations to Dr. Mosley! Hopefully we will see some of these amazing workshop participants at Pace in the near future!

Dr Jean Coppola inducted into St Francis Prep Hall of Fame

Superstar faculty member Dr. Jean Coppola was inducted into the St. Francis Preparatory School Hall of Fame on April 23, 2016. The school’s Hall of Fame honors alumni that have gone on to set an excellent example for others to follow, and who “continue to live their lives in the true Franciscan spirit.”

Dr. Coppola was selected due to her significant lifetime achievement and service, much of which has taken place here at the Seidenberg School. Dr. Coppola directs our gerontechnology research and oversees the annual Mobile App Development Bowl, a massive event that sees teams from high schools and universities across the region compete by building apps to improve the lives of aging populations.

Congratulations to Dr. Coppola!

Record-setting success at Michael L. Gargano Research Day

The Seidenberg School opened its doors to the 14th edition of the Michael L. Gargano Research Day Conference on Friday, May 6th.

IMG_2775This student-faculty conference provides the Seidenberg community with an opportunity to share research.  This year’s event set a participation record: 42 papers published in the conference proceedings, including 60 doctoral, 84 masters, and 10 undergraduate student authors. Of these papers, over 25 were presented at the conference. From biometrics and security to knowledge representation and optimization, big data and the internet-of-things, the presentations covered problems in diverse domains including security, education and healthcare.

This signature Seidenberg School academic event could not be possible without the commitment and enthusiasm of computer science professor, and conference chair, Charles Tappert, PhD.

IMG_2783Dr. Tappert serves as research advisor to many doctoral students, and also runs undergraduate and graduate capstone courses on the Pleasantville campus.

Since this is an annual Seidenberg event, why not take part yourself next year? We will be looking for submissions in Spring ’17, so now is a good time to start!

The Michael L. Gargano Research Day is named after the late Seidenberg computer science professor,  Michael L. Gargano, a passionate researcher and valued research advisor, particularly to students in the doctoral program.