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April 20, 2017
Three teams of Northwest Missouri State University graduate students earned cash prizes Wednesday as the Kansas City Power and Light sponsored its annual software development contest at the University.
Projects presented during the contest are the work of students in Northwest’s master’s level Directed Project II course. Dr. Ajay Bandi, assistant professor of computer science and information systems, serves as a faculty mentor on the projects.
“As a part of professional-based learning, student teams work on real-time projects in collaboration with clients, both external and internal, from different majors to improve their communication, teamwork, leadership and intercultural skills.”
The judging panel from KCPL awarded first place and a $500 prize to a team of students who developed “Opinion Box,” a web application that allows students to evaluate the performance of teammates on group projects. It also allows an instructor to review the peer evaluations and generate reports to assist with assigning grades.
Team members were Neha Ankam, Sreekanth Bandaru, Anil Dasari, Madhuri Ratakonda, Vinod Kumar Reddy Peram, Sri D. and Krishna Jyothi Swaroop Reddy Pothamsetti.
KCPL awarded a $300 second-place prize to “Emergency Disaster Management System,” an app to create plans aimed at limiting the impacts of disasters.
Team members were Rithish Reddy Bandi, Vikram Simha Reddy Ganta, Anirudh Gannarapu, Harish Majeti, Shivanvitha Konda, Kalyan Dass Kairamkonda, Mounika Bhandari and Shashank Tiruvaipati
Third place and a cash prize of $200 went to “Automated Pilot Reporting System,” an iPad application to provide pilots with aviation weather information.
Team members were Prathibha Gayam, Pruthvi Reddy Parne, Venkatakoti Anil Kumar Pachipulusu, Giri Rakesh Gopavaram, Anoop Sama, Anurag Veerapaneni, Manoj Kumar Reddy Peddamallu and Sai Karthik Mandadapu.
Jory Galloway, a web application programmer at KCP&L and 2011 graduate of Northwest, led the judging panel.
“I was really impressed with what they worked on,” Galloway said. “They’re doing a lot more than when I was here. I’ve seen a lot of things that we do in our job and a lot of tools that we use, so it’s really cool to see students doing that stuff. They all did a great job with their presentations.”
Each participating team submits an executive summary for their project and makes a formal 20-minute presentation to the panel of judges. The prize money, totaling $1,000, is then divided among the teams and awarded to participants during a reception.
To be successful with their projects, students must meet regularly with the professional clients they serve. The teams also learn varied software and tools they are previously unfamiliar with in order to ensure the usefulness of their application.
By participating in the competition, students also receive face-to-face time with computing professionals who are recruiting interns and future employees.
Since the fall of 2008, KCP&L has sponsored an undergraduate research competition for students in Northwest's School of Computer Science and Information Systems. In spring 2010, KCP&L initiated a second competition for teams of students who are completing their second trimester of the department’s graduate-directed project course.
The competition is voluntary and open to teams completing projects during the spring trimester. The two-trimester software development projects are required for students working toward the master's degree in applied computer science.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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