Mobile app developed for registration

first_imgThe three-week USC Mobile Development contest came to a close this past weekend, with two student participants winning the $5,000 prize for creating an app meant to improve the USC registration process.The competition was hosted by the USC Business Technology Networking Group at the request of Douglas Shook, the dean of academic records, registrar and professor of clinical information and operations management. The Association for Computing Machinery and Applied Statistics Club also took part in organizing the event.To partake, students had to create a working application for USC’s web registration tool that could be installed and provide live access for all students. Competition guidelines required that the winning team should include distinct features such as an advanced filter system, course recommendations, a list of prerequisites and corequisites and other specialized features unique to the team.The first place team won a $5,000 cash prize, the second place team won $2,500 and the third place team was awarded $1,000.Winners of the first place title included siblings, Riley Testut and Kassidy Testut. The duo named their app, Testut Tech. Riley Testut, a freshman majoring in computer science, was the primary coder and his sister Kassidy Testut, a senior majoring in cinematic arts and film and television production, created a commercial for the app and helped generate functionality features for the app.Kaitlyn Lee, a participant of the competition and member of team Phoenix, explained that she was impressed with Testut Tech because it proved to be unique in comparison to other team apps.“It was very well done,” Lee said. “When we were looking at their presentation and watching them demo their app, we could tell they put a lot of effort into it. There were a lot of other things they did, different features that we didn’t do and vice versa.”Team Phoenix, which included USC students Jesse Chand, Kaitlyn Lee, Nikhil Bedi and Ayberk Yilmaz, placed second for the creation of two separate apps. One app was an iOS version and the other was for Android.After a hackathon at Stanford, Phoenix was able to have iOS designers at Facebook’s Creative Lab review and critique their apps. Phoenix’s iOS app lets users share their schedule directly to Facebook.According to Lee, creating a mobile app and a revamped version of web registration would aid students.“People use their phone so much now having a mobile version would make their lives so much easier,” Lee said. “There’s a lot that can be improved with the current web registration system so our goal was ultimately to improve that and make it a good experience for the user.”Third place winner, team Ca$hM0n3y, wanted to help users view possible schedules before making a decision on their classes.Group presenter Nathaniel Reardon said their “autoschedule” feature was their app’s unique quality.“If you had searched for a class that you wanted, you would have the option to click a button that allowed you to ‘auto schedule’ it,” Reardon said. “Then you would go to your auto schedule course bin and you could then swipe left and right to see all the possible combinations of the schedule.”In addition, Ca$hM0n3y’s app added the ability to search for classes by course code, course description, instructor and diversity requirement.One of the competition’s organizers, Andrew Valsamaki, said though Ca$hM0n3y’s app had impressive features, there were not enough to move their group into second or first place. The contribution will nonetheless help in improving the app that USC releases.Lee said she was happy that students were working on the apps they would ultimately use.“I’m very glad that USC provided us with the opportunity to work on this project,” Lee said. “I think it’s a really great idea to have students helping to come up with ideas on how to make apps for things we can actually use. This app is going to be for student by students, because students have found out how they want this to be implemented. Having the chance to be apart of [the competition] has been incredible.”last_img

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