July 24, 2013: The Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago announces the winners of the First Annual Competition to create: "The Excellent Mobile App"

The winners, Xinjiang Shao and Anthony John Perritano, will each receive a $250 prize and the bragging rights to the prize in the department.

For the ANDROID App the winner is: Anthony John Perritano

Embedded Phenomena HelioRoom Observation Recording Application

The HelioRoom Observation Recording application is part of a learning technology framework called Embedded Phenomena (EP), which maps simulated scientific phenomena onto the physical space of the classroom. Fifth and sixth grade students monitor and control the local state of the simulation through distributed media positioned around the room while gathering and aggregating evidence to solve problems and answer questions. The astronomy based HelioRoom EP digitally maps an orbital planetary system onto four walls of a classroom. Students adopt a heliocentric perspective and observe dynamic representations of the planets (equally sized, colored circles) though four ?windows? (i.e., monitors) during intermittent periods of the day. As the HelioRoom simulation runs, students? work collectively to observe planet occlusion relationships from the phenomena while adding their Reasons (observations and theories) to a collective set using the Android tablet application. A Reason was recorded if students observed one colored disc in front of the other. E.g. Yellow in front of Red. Or if students had a theory of which color disc represented a particular planet. E.g. Red is Mercury. Using the popular instant messaging chat protocol XMPP, the tablet application sent and received messages in real time to update the collective set of Reasons on each tablet as students added, deleted, or modified Reasons during the simulation. In addition, a high-performance concurrency and data-loading scheme was developed to update the user interface seamlessly without producing any lag or stutter as a steady stream of messages were being broadcast and processed by the application.

Anthony Perritano is a first-year Computer Science PhD student as part of the Learning Technologies Group (LTG). His interests lie at the intersection of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Learning Sciences research, which include touch-based and physical computing and ambient displays within experimental learning environments.

For the IOS app the winner is: Xinjiang Shao

Fancy FOODIE: A Food Review App for iPhone

Food review is becoming trendy among young people since smart phones are getting more and more popular. Fancy Foodie is the right app for you to review a cuisine and publish your comment to social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Sina Weibo, among others. An interactive user creates a food event by taking a picture of a food dish and attaching additional data to the picture such as a location, date, rating, comment, and tags. Food events are stored locally in the user?s iPhone; they can also be shared through Facebook, Twitter or by email delivery. The app also helps you to have better knowledge of your food experience by providing both a statistical view and a map view.
The app can be download it from https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fancy-foodie/id638036832?mt=8
Additional information is available at http://soleo.github.io/Fancy/

Xinjiang Shao majored in Computer Science and graduated from UIC in Spring 2013. He is a Lead Application Developer at EXACT currently. He is responsible for initiating and developing new technologies that support EXACT?s continued innovation in the field of athletic development. He is also a freelance developer who is interested in developing iOS App, Android App or Web App projects.

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