UC Merced event lauds innovations in apps

rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.comApril 26, 2013 

The second annual UC Merced Mobile App Challenge Showcase was held on Friday, and eight teams competed for scholarship money from five corporate sponsors.

"The goal of the challenge is to encourage new entrepreneurs, while promoting innovation and creativity for solving real-world problems," said Brian O'Bruba, career services director with UC Merced.

Two new sponsors, AT&T and IBM, joined the ranks this year, and spoke to the students about emerging trends in mobile applications.

The competition gives students the opportunity to showcase and demonstrate mobile applications they've developed.

Alyson Cabral, team leader for HiFIVE, won the top honors this year.

Cabral's team application was called "Posters," which provides information about events happening around campus.

Icons are used to easily sort through events based on the user's preference, according to O'Bruba. "It makes it easier for students to take advantage of resources and opportunities around campus."

The team, which is comprised of five UC Merced students, won top honors, which included a $2,500 check for scholarships.

"All the teams were very impressive with the caliber of their work, which made choosing the winners difficult," O'Bruba said.

Some of the other application ideas ranged from assigning chores to roommates to downloading homework assignments and exploring career options, O'Bruba said. Two teams developed gaming applications.

Four teams won various category awards, which included $500 in scholarships. They were selected by a vote from students, faculty and staff.

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