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.

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!

Call for high school and college students for 2nd Annual Westchester SMART Mobile App Development Bowl

Registration for the 2nd Annual Westchester SMART Mobile App Development Bowl is underway, and we want you to sign up! Think you can develop a mobile app? Enter our competition and show us what you’ve got!

What do I do?

Compete in a team (two person min) to create a mobile app that will help improve the lives of people aged 65 and above, especially in area where their needs are neglected or underserved. Teams can be affiliated with your high school or college, or you can register as an independent team.

Individuals can sign up and Pace will help place you in a team.

What do I win?

Cash prizes, internships, and a collection of high-tech gear!

sign up

Registration closes February 12, so hurry up!