Seidenberg students snatch first and second spot at Pace Pitch Contest

Another year, another incredible performance at the annual Pace Pitch Contest from Seidenberg students. We couldn’t be more proud of Rachel González, Andrew Ku, and Rohana Sosa for taking the top two spots in the contest.

The competition, now in its thirteenth year, challenges students to pitch their ideas with constraints based on the famous Elevator Pitch, the technique of giving a concise and compelling pitch in a very short period of time.

Finalists in the competition had three minutes to give their pitches, which they did on Thursday, April 20, 2017, in the Bianco Room at Pace University. During their presentations, they were judged on their ability to provide: a description of their idea; a market analysis; the specs of their product or service; identification of potential competitors; a marketing strategy; how they aim to produce and deliver their product or service; an assessment of their management; a finances overview; and an investment proposal.

Plenty of Seidenberg students and teams made it to the final round – here are the teams including some of our amazing entrepreneurs!

George Samuels and Arton Mirakaj presenting Atmosphere.

Arton Mirakaj (BA in Computer Science) and George Samuels (BS in Computer Science) presented Atmosphere, a VR mobile application that will be used to improve the health and care of aging populations – the same app that went on to win at the #WestchesterSmart Mobile App Development Bowl!

First place winners Rachel Gonzáles and Danielle Ran pitching Minute Mantra.

Minute Mantra is a health and wellness app that enables mindfulness and clarity, and was developed by Rachel González (BS in Information Systems) alongside Danielle Ran (BBA in Marketing with minor in Psychology).

Thanh Do, Phuc Pham, and Syman Li present charity app TouchDonation.

TouchDonation makes giving to charity simple and was created by Phuc Pham (BS in Information Technology with a minor in Quantitative Business Analysis), Syman Li (BBA in Hospitality) and Thanh Do (BBA in Finance).

Second place winners Andrew Ku and Rohana Sosa with their idea VAICAM Pi.

Seidenberg students Andrew Ku (BS in Information Systems) and Rohana Sosa (BS in Computer Science with minor in Computing Information Technology) created VAICAM Pi. VAICAM Pi is bundled as an Android mobile app, a Google Cardboard virtual reality (VR) headset, and a Raspberry Pi 3, equipped with a 360 camera and artificial intelligence to function as an older person’s own artificially intelligent security camera.

Ricky Harris, Mackenzie Dolishny, and Daniel Citardi pitching VR Discover, an app aimed to improve the lives of aging populations.

Finally, VR Discover – an app built for both Android and iOS, utilizes virtual reality to stimulate cognitive function, provide entertainment, and relieve restlessness stemming from sundowning for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia – was built by computer science students Ricky Harris, Daniel Citardi, and Mackenzie Dolishny. This innovative app also made an appearance at the #WestchesterSmart Mobile App Development bowl, where the team won a prize.

When it was time for the judges to make their decisions, students from Seidenberg snatched up first and second place!

Rachel González and Lubin student Danielle Ran took first place, bagging $1,000 to use toward developing their mindfulness app, Minute Mantra.

Andrew Ku and Rohana Sosa won the second prize of $500 for their artificial intelligence security app, VAICAM Pi.

Rohana and Andrew receive their award with the contest judges

Speaking about her experience, Rohana Sosa remarked that she and Andrew “both had a great experience and a lot of fun being participants in the Pitch Contest. This gave us the opportunity to showcase our talents and apply our programming skills to a business setting. Having this experience is a stepping stone to further our learning process and achieve our educational goals. The contest provided an enriching and stimulating experience to test our ideas and see how impactful the our mobile app concept is.”

There were certainly a wealth of impactful apps and ideas presented at the contest. You can see all of the finalists at the Entrepreneurship Lab website.

Third annual #WestchesterSmart Mobile App Development Bowl aims to improve lives of aging populations

Once again, the #WestchesterSmart Mobile App Development Bowl enabled hundreds of talented young high school and college students showcase their STEM skills in a competition to build apps to improve the lives of older people.

In partnership with Westchester County, this year’s iteration of the competition was its biggest yet, with over 440 students from 18 high schools and three universities taking part.

The mobile app bowl takes place over three monthly sessions, the first two consisting of intense training where students learn how to build mobile applications catered to aging populations. On the third day, which took place on Friday, April 28, at Pace University’s Pleasantville Campus, teams presented their apps and the winners were decided.

County Executive Robert P. Astorino presented the awards to the winners in a variety of categories, including awards for creativity, usability, and functionality. Winners of the YouTube Social Challenge earned trips to Google and YouTube studios in New York City, and prizes were also given for high school coach of the year and college coach of the year – the latter being won by our very own Jean Coppola.

On top of the category awards, the #WestchesterSmart award, a grand prize of $1,000 cash and swag from Panasonic was up for grabs.

“The #WestchesterSmart Mobile App Development Bowl sends a strong statement to our students, as well as our communities and businesses, that Westchester is a place where smart things are happening,” said County Executive Rob Astorino.

The grand prize was snatched up by KanjiStick, the team from the New School’s Parsons School of Design, who created an app aimed to assist older people overcome issues typically experienced when interacting with technology. The team focused on creating an app that assisted with hearing, vision, and dexterity problems, allowing users to enjoy a smoother experience.

Teams from Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems also took prizes in the event:

Dean Jonathan Hill with Daniel Citardi and Ricky Harris (Run DMR), and Rob Astorino

Teams Run DMR and Programmers Box took second and third prize in the Mobile App Creativity category respectively.

Team QWERTY accepts their prize for mobile app usability

Team QWERTY won second place in the Mobile App Usability category.

Programmers Box won third place for mobile app functionality

In the Mobile App Functionality category, teams Bice and Programmers Box achieved second and third place respectively.

Downtown Developers won functionality and YouTube Social Challenge awards

Tours of Google and YouTube were won by Downtown Developers, and Vida is Real.

Rob Astorino with team Vida is Real, Arton Mirakaj and George Samuels, and Dean Jonathan Hill

“Once again, we are blown away by the talent of the students who participate in the Westchester Smart Mobile App Development Bowl,” said Jonathan Hill, dean of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace. “Their work will improve the quality of life for older citizens throughout the area, helping them do everyday tasks and manage their lives better. This event grows every year and we hope to see even more student app developers next year.”

The full list of winners can be found at our #WestchesterSmart Mobile App site.

We would like to extend many thanks to our 2017 Partners and Sponsors, including Robert P. Astorino, Westchester County Executive; Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University; The Westchester County Office of Economic Development; Saberpoint; conEdison; Acordia Therapeutics; XL Catlin; The Bristal: Assisted Living; New York-Presbyterian; Virginia LeTourneau; Ursuline Foley; Liberty Lines Transit, Inc.; Sal’s Pizza and Pasta; and Nancy Goodman.

Read about last year’s mobile app development bowl.

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.