Learning Crosses the Spectrum for Senior Year Computer & Software Application Projects

Monday, April 11, 2016
Senior Expo Article

Showing Off Project: Senior computer science and software engineering students Greg Bollivar, L.E. Davey, Ed Goldthorpe, Chris Havens and Yicheng Tong proudly display their senior-year Humanitarian Logistics Application project during a recent campus exposition.

Red, yellow, green, and blue may only be colors of the rainbow to you, but they could provide a pot of learning riches for children with disabilities.

A team of senior computer science and software engineering students have developed a free web application that makes mathematics easy to learn for those with special needs. Features of the system include color coding, font sizing, and a unique font design for children with dyslexia.

For instance, a child using the system would identify that red colored numbers are single-digit numbers. The color palate continues down the number line: orange, for the 10th position; yellow, 100th; green, 1,000th; blue, 10,000th; indigo, 100,000th; and violet, 1 million.

Children have easily adapted to appropriately named Roy G Biv Math System in early product testing, and teachers enjoy note taking and assignment distribution aspects of the application.

"We were able to incorporate ideas from kids, teachers, and parents into a simple-to-use system," says Austin Willis, a software engineering student. "It has been interesting seeing kids using the system to solve math problems. They have smiles on their faces."

They're not the only persons smiling.

"It's nice to use your skills to help others," remarks computer science student Edward Goldthorpe. "Having middle school students as clients has been a unique educational experience. We were learning as much from them as they were from us."

Other members of the project development team were software engineering student Adeline Johnson and Noah Miller, who is majoring in software engineering and computer science.

Sixteen senior-year computer and software design projects were completed this school year with a variety of campus and external clients. The Roy G Biv Math System came from parents and teachers who were searching for a better, more personalized learning tool for youths. Other projects sprung from Google, the Omni Group, Scientia, and Ohio University's College of Osteopathic Medicine.

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Learning Made Fun: The Run Coder Run computer application was designed to use a game to introduce children to the basics of computer programming. It was one of 16 projects completed in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering's senior-year design program.

Another project uses a fun and interactive game, Run Coder Run, to introduce children to the basics of computer programming. Children can have fun playing with friends in heads-to-head battles and teachers can even use it in a classroom setting to help teach programming.

Run Coder Run starts with the most basic game play and works up to players creating their own methods to win battles. The game was developed for use on laptop, iPad, and Android mobile products with faculty from Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey-making this a global educational project.

"This was as real-world as you could get," says Bill Mader, a software engineering student. "We had to learn different software development techniques to apply aspects of the program to different technology platforms, while working with a client halfway across the globe."

In fact, Prithvi Kanherkar admits that most of the project's software development occurred at midnight, which was beginning of a new day in Turkey.

"Really, the time factor was ideal for us . . . we're working at all times of the day and night anyway," remarks the software engineering major.