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April 22, 2016
Four teams of Northwest Missouri State University graduate students earned cash prizes Tuesday as the Kansas City Power and Light sponsored its annual software development contest at the University.
The judging panel from KCPL awarded first place to a team of students who developed “Class Plan Generator,” a website aimed at reducing student stress when it comes to registering for courses.
The website helps students map schedules through filtering options that include specific courses, instructors or times of day. The team earned a $400 cash prize for its idea.
Team members included Jagadeesh Basimsetty, Saikrishna Chinthapatla, Anvesh Kumar Kolluri, Manindra Mamidibathula, Raihan Mohammed and Chandrakanth Podishetty. Dr. Denise Case, assistant professor of computer science and information systems, served as the team’s faculty advisor.
KCPL awarded a $300 second-place prize to the team behind “Fun 2 Learn,” an educational app with games to help preschool-aged children learn the alphabet, numbers, colors and shapes. The team, mentored by Dr. Michael Rogers, assistant professor of computer science and information systems, consisted of Srunjan Mathur Gade, Sainath Sama and Ramya V Sankara.
Third place and a cash prize of $200 went to “Safe Ride,” a web application designed to maintain data for Northwest’s Safe Ride Home program. The team consisted of Sardar Mohammed, Rohanreddy Thummala, Tarakesh Gogi, Kiran Gunnammagari, Bhanu Kethireddy and Prateek Raville. Case served as the team’s faculty advisor.
Fourth place and a cash prize of $100 was awarded to “Get Stylish,” an app that suggests clothing based on the event its user plans to attend. Dr. Dennis Wong, assistant professor of computer science and information systems, advised the team.
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 Department of Mathematics, 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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Northwest Missouri State University
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