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Students in Northwest's graduate programs in applied computer science and information systems collaborated on solutions to an information technology issue during KCP&L's annual software development contest on Tuesday. (Northwest Missouri State University photos)

Students in Northwest's graduate programs in applied computer science and information systems collaborated on solutions to an information technology issue during KCP&L's annual software development contest on Tuesday. (Northwest Missouri State University photos)

April 18, 2018

Competition tests graduate students’ app development skills


Students competing in the contest were tasked with designing an application to help a company track and report safety.

Students competing in the contest were tasked with designing an application to help a company track and report safety.

Four teams of Northwest Missouri State University graduate students earned cash prizes Tuesday as Kansas City Power and Light sponsored its annual software development contest at the University.

Unlike in past years when students spent a multiple trimesters developing applications for real clients before presenting them to a panel of KCP&L judges, the contest took on a new format this year to give students a challenge that more closely resembled professional work the information technology field.

During Tuesday’s contest, students were tasked with designing a safety reporting application that tracked injuries and other incidents for a new company. The students were charged with creating a mock-up of the app, including its database, network and other components, within a two-hour timeframe. Students then presented their solutions to the judging panel.

“It’s a very similar format to how we would get projects,” Jory Galloway, an application developer for KCP&L and 2011 graduate of Northwest, said. “We pretend like we were the business and we gave them what we wanted, so they’re acting like the IT group creating the application for us. We want them to get some real world experience they can take in their jobs when they leave here.”

Faculty in the School of Computer Science and Information Systems selected 16 deserving students to compete in the contest from Northwest’s graduate programs in applied computer science and information systems and assigned them to four different teams.

The competition tested the students’ problem-solving, collaboration and communication skills while giving them practice at applying the skills they’re learning in their coursework.

“The other important thing is to see the collaboration between applied computer science and information systems students, how they are going to come up with their projects with people they didn’t even know,” Dr. Ajay Bandi, assistant professor of computer science and information systems, said. “They might know their face but they don’t know their skillset, they may not work together in their classes.”

The judging panel from KCP&L awarded first place and a $500 prize to Visual Square, a team of Aditya Srimat Tirumala Pallerlamudi, Shiva Teja Miyapuram, Sravanthi Modali and Tejaswi Uppalapati.

KCP&L staff members awarded first place to Visual Square. Pictured left to right are Jordan Kilmer, Seth Walz, Tejaswi Uppalapati, Sravanthi Modali, Shiva Teja Miyapuram, Aditya Srimat Tirumala Pallerlamudi, Jory Galloway and Michael Lake.

KCP&L staff members awarded first place to Visual Square. Pictured left to right are Jordan Kilmer, Seth Walz, Tejaswi Uppalapati, Sravanthi Modali, Shiva Teja Miyapuram, Aditya Srimat Tirumala Pallerlamudi, Jory Galloway and Michael Lake.

Second place and $300 went to Team Elite, comprised of Sandeep Kumar Dara, Manoj Munjeti, Neeraja Garigipati and Gopi Krishna Lemati.

KCP&L also awarded two honorable mentions. Receiving $100 each were the Explorers, consisting of Tashi Sherpa, Naseef Shamin, Haritha Kurla and Harish Bondalapati; and Creative Crew, consisting of Preethi Sarugari, Gary Zhao, Vineeth Agarwal and Abhijeet Agrawal.

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. In addition to providing student with an opportunity to apply their skills, the contests allow students valuable face-to-face time with computing professionals who are recruiting interns and future employees.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468