And the Winners Are...
Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 Pitt Mobile App Challenge! We had more Code It entries and more Show It entries than during any previous year. Our sincere thanks to everyone who participated by submitting an entry or voting for their favorites. You helped make this year’s App Challenge a huge success!
And now the winners:
Code It Category
The "Code It" category asked students to build a working prototype of their app that functions on a mobile device.
First Place: $4,000 in Amazon Gift Cards
Adriena Cribb and Daniel Zheng for AskPitt
“AskPitt is a virtual assistant for Pitt students designed to make finding Pitt resources fast and intuitive. Available on Facebook Messenger, Slack, and Amazon Alexa, AskPitt leverages a simple and familiar messaging interface that quickly provides answers to common questions.”
Second Place: $2,000 in Amazon Gift Cards
Joel Austin and Gregory McKibbin for BABL
“BABL is a unique system created to help created a more culturally understanding and intellectually diverse campus community. It uses the idea of matching to help Pitt students of all campuses connect and help each other learn languages.”
Third Place: $1,000 in Amazon Gift Cards
Andrew Lendacky for UniTour-Pitt
“UniTour-Pitt is a unified university community service aiming to connect students with their Pitt surroundings. By using augmented reality, UniTour-Pitt displays information pertinent to all students. This project originally started as a Senior Design project with Chase Melius.”
Show It Category
The "Show It" category asked students to create a mockup of their app that showed what it would look like and how it would work.
First Place: $2,000 in Amazon Gift Cards
Hunter Stept for QuickSign
“QuickSign is a revolutionary app made specifically for the Pitt students that come in every year and have to sign people in and out. QuickSign will allow you to rapidly sign a guest in, or out, on your phone. Once the person is signed into QuickSign, their panther ID becomes “active” for that building so they can swipe in and avoid the wait.”
Second Place: $1,000 in Amazon Gift Cards
Robert Lasko for Wordsee
“Wordsee is an app that translates all audio detected on the phone into visual words. This will help millions of Americans with measurable levels of hearing impairment to be more confident in what they're hearing on the phone when official closed captioning is lacking (like in phone calls). Wordsee will help to bring down communication barriers faced by the deaf and hearing impaired every single day.
Third Place: $500 in Amazon Gift Cards
Daniel Spero for Shaka
“Our mobile app is a social media platform that helps prospective and current college students stay up to date with what is happening at different college campuses including their own. We do this by providing them with a real-time, community-generated feed of current pictures and events, and allow them to connect with each other on their main social media platforms.”
Thank you once again to everyone who participated in this year’s Pitt Mobile App Challenge. Even if you didn’t participate, we hope you’ll consider submitting an entry next year! You can learn more at http://technology.pitt.edu/appchallenge.
More information about this year's App Challenge can be found below:
Choose Your Challenge
Choose a challenge listed below and get started now! You can work alone or as part of a team.
1. Design an app to help students lead a healthier lifestyle.
- Your app might focus on nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress management, or other factors.
2. Create an app to help students study and learn more effectively.
- You might help them find study areas, connect them with study partners/groups, manage class notes, or find tutors.
3. Help foster a more diverse and inclusive campus community.
- How might an app be used to help increase our awareness and appreciation of the different types of people who comprise our campus community? How might it be used to facilitate the exchange of ideas among people who have different views?
4. Build an app that promotes sustainability.
- Your app might help people reduce their personal energy consumption, find more efficient travel options, help recycle and reduce waste, or take advantage of alternative energy sources.
5. Help connect students with campus resources.
- Maybe your app serves as a central hub for musical performances or theater events on campus. Or maybe it helps people find and join student groups, identify volunteer opportunities in the community, or locate the nearest print stations.
6. Open Challenge
- Create your own theme. Identify a need and explain how your app solves that problem and addresses your theme.
Start Working on Your App (Show It or Code It)
This year you can participate in one of two categores.
The "Show It" category asks you to create a detailed mockup of your app that shows us what it would look like and how it would work. Use the PowerPoint template below to create your mockup. You can get started now.
The "Code It" category asks you to build a working prototype of your app that functions on a mobile device. You can get started now.
This year's winners be determined by a combination of student voting and scores awarded by a panel of judges.
- First Place: $4,000 in Amazon gift cards
- Second Place: $2,000 in Amazon gift cards
- Third Place: $1,000 in Amazon gift cards
- First Place: $2,000 in Amazon gift cards
- Second Place: $1,000 in Amazon gift cards
- Third Place: $500 in Amazon gift cards
- The Pitt Mobile App Challenge is open to all University of Pittsburgh undergraduate students (full-time and part-time) on all campuses. Graduate students who were not enrolled as an undergraduate student at Pitt during the fall 2016 term, faculty, and staff are not eligible to participate.
- All individual participants and/or team members must either be current University of Pittsburgh undergraduate students or have been enrolled as an undergraduate student at Pitt at some point during the fall 2016 or spring 2017 term.
- Teams must include at least one student who is enrolled in the Spring 2017 term.
- All work on entries must be performed by team members. No work is permitted to be outsourced to other individuals or entities.
- If your entry is based on another entry (for example, if your Code It entry builds on someone else’s Show It entry), then your submission must acknowledge the original entry to avoid disqualification.
- Entries in this year's Pitt Mobile App Challenge cannot be too similar to the winning ideas, mockups, and prototypes from previous year's Pitt Mobile App Challenges.
- You may not submit the same app to both the Show It and Code It categories.
- You may participate in both the Show It and Code It categories as long as you enter different apps in each category.
- The Pitt Mobile App Challenge team will review all entries prior to their publication on the voting site. Entries may be rejected if they do not meet the submission requirements or contain material deemed to be inappropriate.
- Show It entries must be submitted as a PowerPoint presentation and contain information about each of the topics described in the template.
- To be eligible, Code It entries must not have been submitted to any commercial app store prior to the end of the challenge.
- Code It entries must be developed specifically for a mobile platform. Code It apps must function on a mobile device to qualify as a Code It submission.
- The major functionality of a Code It entry must work for the prototype to be eligible.
- Undergraduate students will assist in determining the winners in both categories (Show It and Code It) through online voting (e.g., “likes”).
- Voters may like as many submissions as they choose, but they can only like each submission once.
- Students may promote their submission to gain student votes if they choose to do so. All methods of promotion should follow University policies, guidelines, and standards.
- Students' votes will be combined with scores from a judge’s panel vote to determine the winners.
- Show It submissions will be judged entirely upon the PowerPoint submission to the contest website.
- Code It submissions will be judged based upon a combination of the PowerPoint submission, the uploaded video of the app, and an in-person demonstration of the app and code that one of the team members will present to a judging panel.
- The Code It demonstration must be done on a mobile device or emulator provided by the team that submitted the entry.
- The identity of entrants will not be revealed to the University community during the voting period. The identities of the winners in each category will be revealed.
- Team captains are responsible for splitting prizes among team members as they deem appropriate. Computing Services and Systems Development will not assist teams in prize distribution.
- The University of Pittsburgh, and CSSD, do not maintain the rights to entries made by students into the Pitt Mobile App Challenge.
- CSSD reserves the right to disqualify any submission or student from the Pitt Mobile App Challenge at any time for any reason.
- CSSD reserves the right to amend any rule of this competition at any time for any reason.
- Students who submit an entry agree to participate in a recorded promotional video, if requested to do so.
Code It Participants: Share a Two-Minute Video Demo of Your App (Required)
If you are submitting an entry in our “Code It” category, you’ll need to provide a short video demo of your app submission (no more than two minutes in length). "Show It" entries do not need to include a video demo. You can use any software you like to record the demo. We recommend you upload the video to Office 365 Video, YouTube, or Box. Once you have uploaded your video, generate a link to view it and paste that link into the Pitt Mobile App Challenge submission form so that judges and student voters can view it.
Upload to YouTube
Note: you will need an account on YouTube to be able to upload videos.
- Log in to your YouTube account.
- Click the Upload arrow in the top right-hand corner of the page.
- Drag and drop your video to upload it.
- After the upload completes, click the blue Publish button.
- Copy the link that displays under the Share heading.
- Paste the video link into your App Challenge submission page so that others can view your demo.
Upload to Box
- Log in to pitt.box.com.
- Click the Upload button and upload your video.
- Click Share.
- Copy the shared link to your clipboard.
- Below the shared link, changes Access Type from People in this folder to People with the link. Click Close.
- Paste the shared link into your App Challenge submission page so that others can download and view your demo.
Upload to Office 365 Video
- Log in to My Pitt (my.pitt.edu).
- Click Office 365 in the right-hand column.
- Click the Video tile.
- Click Channels at the top of the window.
- Click New Channel and name your channel.
- Once your channel has been created, go to your channel, click Upload, and drop your video into the upload window.
- After your video uploads, click the Email link below the video’s title. This will provide a link you can use to share the video. Copy the link.
- Paste the video link into your App Challenge submission page so that others can view your demo
Resources to Help You Build Your App
Online technology training is available to all students, faculty, and staff through a partnership with lynda.com. There are several playlists available at lynda.pitt.edu that you may find helpful.
Security Guidelines and Tips from App Developers
Accessibility guidelines are available for iOS, Android, and Windows:
- Accessibility Programming Guide for iOS
- Accessibility Programming Guide for Android
- Windows Mobile Accessibility Guidelines
- If you are developing for Windows, you can download Microsoft Visual Studio Professional through the Software Download Service Web site at My Pitt. Just click Imagine Downloads.
- If you are developing for iOS, you can download Xcode IDE from Apple.
- If you are developing for Android, you can download the Android SDK.
- MIT App Inventor provides a useful guides for building apps.
- Other app-building resources, such as Xamarin and Phone Gap, are also available.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I enter more than one submission?
A: Yes, provided that the submissions are different topics.
Q: Can a submission be entered into both the Show It and Code It categories?
A: No. You must pick one category. Submitting the same entry as both a Show It and Code It may be grounds for disqualification.
Q: What qualifies as a mobile app?
A: Your app must function on a mobile device. Providing an excellent user experience should be one of the key criteria for your mobile app. How you deliver that user experience, whether through a standalone mobile app or a mobile friendly web site, is at the discretion of you and your team. In general, the more effort you put into your app, the better the user experience will be. The Resources to Help You Build Your App section of this Web page provides a wealth of options for bringing your app idea to life.
Q: For the Code It category, how completely developed does the mobile app need to be? Does the submitted app need to connect to active data tables?
A: Students assume all risks associated with connections to data sources. The submission is a prototype, so such connections are not required. It is possible, but not guaranteed, that a more completely developed app may earn a better result than a less developed app.
Q: Can I submit my own PowerPoint template instead of using the template provided?
A: You should use the PowerPoint templated provided on this page for the background theme and organization of your content. You may add additional slides to the template as needed to explain how your app works. If you omit information requested in the template, it will likely impact the final score for your app.
Q: How does the competition differ from last year?
A: This year there are two categories (Show It and Code It) rather than three. We are asking participants to provide more detailed information about their Show It entry and their Code It entry than in previous years.
Q: Is the scoring different than last year?
A: Yes. Winners will be determined by a combination of popular student vote and scores awarded by a panel of judges. Submissions may be judged against criteria such as originality, adherence to challenge theme, user experience, clarity of presentation, and appropriate use of technology.
Q: How can I get my class, organization, or social group more involved with the Pitt Mobile App Challenge?
A: Please email or call the Technology Help Desk at 412-624-HELP .
Q: I have a question about the Pitt Mobile App Challenge that is not covered here. Where can I find the answer?
A: Please email or call the Technology Help Desk at 412-624-HELP .
What's It Like Participating in the Challenge?
Watch some of the participants from previous challenges talk about their Code It below. You can also view a complete list of previous winners for some inspiration!
2016 Pitt Mobile App Challenge
2015 Pitt Mobile App Challenge