Computer Science students showcase mobile apps

On Tuesday, September 20th 2016, Pace graduate Computer Science students showcased their projects from the computer science classes they had been taking. Dr. Christelle Scharff, the Chair of Computer Science in New York, curated the projects from different courses. The presentations were attended by fellow students in the Seidenberg and the Pace community, and were a way for students to share what they had learned and accomplished, and encourage other students to build fantastic projects when they take the classes for themselves.

Undertaking projects in classes useful for getting the hands-on experience of building something, but it’s also great for job interviews. “It is important for students to use courses they take to build innovative projects; they can use these projects for their portfolios,” Dr. Scharff said.

The showcase was an excellent demonstration of some of the projects students realized in their classes. Here’s some of what our students shared:

  1. william-dickersonCity Access

William Dickerson, who had taken CS 641 Mobile Web Content and Development with Professor Haik Sahakian, used Ionic and D3 to develop an app that helped people become better informed of how accessible New York City is from the user’s location.

“I want people to have a, ‘this is where I am, how accessible is my city?’ feel” William explained. “For example, like Google Maps, City Access will guide you to the nearest subway stations; however, it will also include nearby restaurants, parks or anything in your area you live in that you should know about.”

  1. multiplayer-maze-2Multiplayer Maze Game

In the SE 765 Distributed Software Development class taught by Dr. Tamer Avcilar, Ersin Akkaya used Java and socket technology to develop a multiplayer maze game. The program has several available mazes. The mazes contain coins that users need to connect without intersecting. Students could even play the game during the presentation.

  1. tony-chenStooper

Tony Chen and teammates Greg Goldberg and Jones Rawles, built an app that allows New Yorkers to get free things! Stooper shows listings and locations of places nearby that are giving away items that you can take without spending a penny.

The team split the tasks to ensure the app will be developed during the 3-week project. Tony created the login, contact, register and listing screens. Greg worked on the the splash screen, navigation drawer and the Google Maps integration. Jones Rawles was in charge of creating the donation page, where users can donate money to a charity. This app was the result of taking CS 639 Mobile Application Development with Dr. Scharff.

  1. bizlist-2BizList

In Professor Chernak’s capstone course, CS 691 Computer Science Project I, teammates Harshada Gothankar, Akash Khedekar, Akanksha Gupta, Alex Lieberman, Ayesha Imran and Bijen Khakkhar developed a web app that serves as a commercial real estate portal. “It’s a very unique project in that it relates to finding commercial spaces,” says the team.

Users pick a location they are interested in finding commercial real estate space in and, depending upon the type of business, the app will come up with potential locations within budget and provide with information about the type of environment the space is located in (e.g., parking space).

These capstone courses (Computer Science Project I & II) present students with opportunities to work on projects they are passionate about. It’s a great chance to come up with innovative ideas such as this one!

The CS graduate showcase is a recurring event, taking place at the beginning of each semester. If you are interested in learning more, talk to a professor about it or get in touch with Dr. Scharff.

Mobile app and web development is a big deal at the Seidenberg School, so it was fantastic to see so many students presenting their work in that area! Follow the Pace Mobile Lab on Facebook to learn more about what we get up to in tech.

Congratulations to all of the students for their creative work!

Daniel Botero brings fresh Moffee coffee to Pace

daniel-boteroWhat do we want? Fresh coffee! When do we want it? Now! How do we get it? By ordering it through Moffee, an awesome new startup created by our very own Daniel Botero (MS-CS ’17).

Dan has used his entrepreneurial vision and applied it to a thriving industry: bringing coffee to the masses just when they need it the most. Moffee is a coffee delivery service that accepts orders through its self-titled app and brings your order to your location on or around the Pace downtown campus.

“I didn’t just love [coffee] because of the caffeine. I loved drinking it and became used to it,” says Dan. Daniel came up with the idea for Moffee when he took a notice of major coffee houses and observed how people would wait in long lines just to get a cup of coffee.

When ordering your coffee, you have complete control over what you want. Pick the type of drink (espresso, latte, hot chocolate, tea, etc), the milk, and the sweetener, and Moffee will make it to order. Dan is running the service on weekdays between 9am-6pm, which is perfect for getting that much-needed caffeine fix before class or during study sessions in the library. Moffee is also inexpensive by usual standards – most drinks will run you between $3 and $5.

moffee-coffees

After ordering, you will receive details such as the name of the person bringing your coffee, their number, and you can even track them by GPS. Payment is complete when the delivery person scans your order QR on your phone, so you don’t pay until your coffee is in your hands. Worried it’ll get cold? It won’t – Dan uses specially constructed lids from Taiwan that ensure the drink stays nice and hot.

His experience in starting Moffee has taught Dan a lot about how to run a business, including many dos and don’ts. Some ideas and strategies went well, while others fell flat and needed to be disregarded altogether. “I was always asking myself what else I could do and what my next idea was,” says Daniel.

In the future, Daniel wants to have a space where the employees can relax and do homework while waiting for orders to come in. Jobs with Moffee are offered to Pace students only, and the coffee shop would be on campus. Interested in applying? Contact Daniel through the Moffee website.

If you would like to learn about Moffee and discover awesome promos, visit them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Have you tried Moffee Coffee yet? Comment below and let us know what you think!

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!

 

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.

Pace Mobile Lab brings mobile technologies to developing countries with AppDock

 

by Ariana Sajnani

Recently, I had the privilege to interview computer science students from Pace University who have been working relentlessly, in collaboration with architecture students from NYIT, on a project called AppDock. Their main focus is to provide opportunities to developing countries with a way to understand and use mobile apps that can help improve their life quality and standard.

“We focused our research on Senegal where I have been doing my research for seven years now ” says Dr. Christelle Scharff, NYC Chair of the Computer Science Department and Director of Pace Mobile Lab. Dr. Scharff explains how “AppDock creates a trustworthy, physical environment where local developers and end users can connect on a community level.”  Exchange of information between developers and users will promote improvements to app quality and relevance. Dr. Scharff notes that AppDock “will also permit users to become educated on the notion of apps, in general”.

Sean_DanEven though mobile subscriptions in Africa are over 650 million, locally developed apps are not being used because either the people are not aware that they exist OR they don’t know how to or why they should use apps. App is not part of the everyday vocabulary in developing markets. In addition, there is a disconnect possibly on what the apps do and what the local needs are. An adjustment is needed to better understand app features that can benefit the general masses in their day-to-day lives.

This sounds interesting! How are you going to get the locals to use it?

AppDock has been designed as a space with mobile carts where locals can explore a variety of mobile apps right in their own neighborhoods. It contains various tablets that showcase local apps. The carts are biked through cities and villages to reach remote areas. The architects and developers attempt to create a convenient space where people can congregate, exchange ideas, and learn about these applications that can improve their lives in general.

IMG_3192The proposed space will fold out into a huge dock, similar to ones that we see in mobile stores such as Verizon and AT&T, and will have phones provided for people to try each of the new apps they see on the screens.

“We want to educate the people of Senegal on how to use a smart phone, download apps and teach them how to use them.”

– Andrew Greenberg, a member of the Pace Mobile Lab group.

But wait….There’s more!

Each of the screens will advertise the top eight apps of the month that are hot and trending. Also, while each person is learning about how each of the apps works, they can charge their own phones on a charging station and access the wifi that will be provided in the dock. This way, they can spend more time learning at the dock!

I know right?! SO COOL!DSC00257

 You said it was a collaborative process, right?

I did! Computer science students from Pace University (pictured above) teamed up with architecture students from NYIT to get this project up and running. They started this idea in the Fall of 2015 while enrolled in a course entitled “Mobile Solutions for Global Challenges” and have been working on it ever since.

The students from Pace University are focusing on the digital aspect of the project while the students from NYIT are working on the physical aspect (the structure). “It’s interesting to work with students from other disciplines because we are working with different mindsets and we can see different approaches to solve problems”, says Andrew.

Next Steps?

The goal is to secure funding, pilot this effort in Senegal and measure the impact of the program and its benefits. If successful the program will gain momentum and it will allow the teams to expand this to other developing countries. Stay tuned…

 

Teens design mobile apps for senior citizens at 2nd annual Mobile App Development Bowl

Friday February 26 was a great day at Pace University as hundreds of high school and college students participated at the second annual Westchester SMART Mobile App Development Bowl.

This year’s kickoff event was bigger than ever, with around 260 contestants from 36 high schools and colleges coming together to design mobile applications for senior citizens.

The challenge was to design an app to help senior citizens deal with a problem they experience in their everyday lives, whether that problem stems from their relationship with technology itself or whether technology can simply be used to solve an unrelated issue.

The event is sponsored by Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino in conjunction with The Seidenberg School.

“The competition showcases the extraordinary talents of our region’s future generation in ways that help benefit our seniors,” said Robert Astorino. “It’s a double win – we’ve created a platform for students to test their technology skills, while our seniors benefit from applications produced by those skills. Last year was a great success, and we’re already building on it this year.”

JVP_0019After an incredible pep rally from The Marching Cobras of Westchester, the teams attended workshops and got to work developing their apps. The resulting apps will be presented to a panel of judges on April 15th – so if you missed the kickoff, come in April to check out what everybody did!

Seidenberg Dean Jonathan Hill said: “It’s great to celebrate like-minded individuals who bring a contagious enthusiasm for creativity and technology. Everyone at Seidenberg and Pace University alike is proud to support the work being done by these students to help those in need in our community.”

Winners will be announced on April 15th at the final presentation, which will be held at Pace University’s Pleasantville campus. Cash prizes, paid internships and publishing apps through app stores all on the table.

The #WestchesterSmart #AppBowl (tweet us!) was organized by Seidenberg faculty, staff, and students. Dr. Jean Coppola is our champion of gerontechnology research and was the Lead Faculty & Advisor. Deth Sao did Development & Partnership Relations and graduate student Adil Hasan was the project manager – well done, folks! See you on April 15th for the final event!