The three winning applications of the Duke Innovation Co-Lab's DukeMobile Challenge were announced Friday.
The contest is a collaboration between the DukeMobile team at the Office of Information Technology and the Innovation Co-Lab that asked students to create modules using the existing DukeMobile code. Student submissions may potentially be incorporated into the DukeMobile app upon further review.
In the iOS Native category, sophomore Davis Gossage took first with Tranzip—an app that displays bus schedules and locations. Juniors Jason Oettinger and Robert Ansel won in the Best HTML5/mobile-friendly category with Food App, which displays all of the open dining venues on campus. And the Best Android-native app went to sophomore Mack Yi for Duke Directions—which determines directions and travel times to travel between places on campus.
“Students gain unique hands-on experience in the development field and have the opportunity to work closely with each other and experienced professionals to polish and perfect their ideas,” wrote Evan Levine, assistant director of academic services at the Office of Information Technology, in an email Oct. 9.
Submissions were reviewed by a group of OIT and other University staff. They looked for apps of value to the Duke community with clear and elegant user interfaces and that display Duke data or information in a useful or new way, Michael Faber, IT innovation manager at the Co-Lab, wrote in an email Oct. 9.
Oettinger said he and Ansel discussed what they wanted to fix and how they wanted their new app to look, and added that the whole process consisted of many corrections, fixings and code rewritings.
“Every time you work on a team it’s really a great experience because you get to learn ways that other programmers work,” Oettinger said. “And it really helps you in your work, [learning] these styles of doing things through ways you may not have thought about before.”
The ability to integrate student applications was a primary factor in OIT’s decision to build the next generation of DukeMobile themselves rather than purchasing an existing product from a vendor as they had in the past, Levine said.
“Duke students are doing fascinating things, and the upcoming mobile.duke.edu dashboard and DukeMobile application provide great ways to share top-notch student creations with the Duke community,” Levine wrote.
Faber said the Challenge provides a great opportunity for students to put classroom learning to use in real-world projects.
“Many students come to the Co-Lab with a drive to learn more but without all of the knowledge required to build something from start to finish,” Faber wrote. “Having a project to work on forces them to confront those problems as they come and leaves them better equipped for the next project.”
Correction: This article has been corrected to reflect that student submissions may be integrated into DukeMobile but there are no definite plans to integrate them and that the Innovation Co-Lab does not oversee DukeMobile.