Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Archive for November, 2013
November 26th, 2013

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UConn SFSP in

We have been extremely busy these past few weeks, hashing out use cases, figuring out the best possible types of donuts to purchase for IBM employees, and cutting through red tape to get access to certain databases, amongst other things.

On November 6th we met with IBM mentors to the project John Cohn, Eoin Lane, and Matt Ganis at UConn to figure out just where this project should be headed.  This conversation led us to the idea of gamifying our mobile app. We wanted to come up with an awesome name for our app to make it that much more attractive to users, however nothing great enough has come to mind yet. Arguably more important than the name of the app however, we finalized the use-case and figured out just what we would need to start coding.

It was at this time we were informed that an IBM development team out of China had already built a mobile app with some of the basic functionality we were planning on using.  The app included a map with overlays of water infrastructure, a nifty UI and some of the other features we were planning out for our app. This was great news considering our time constraint and the winter break so quickly approaching.

We have now been able to utilize the code from the IBM development team and have been working to adjust different aspects of it to better suit our use-case. Because the code given to us was created for use with a different database, our team is first working to decipher what each aspect of the code specifically does in order to then integrate it into our application. This will be our next step in the process and will definitely be the biggest challenge we have faced thus far.


Pictured:  The first meeting of our Smarter Water team.  From left to right:  Julie Cappello, Peter Xu, Ian Brunjes, Andrew Boba, Robert McCartney and Matt Ganis.  Not pictured are John Cohn (taking the picture) and Eoin Lane.

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The teams have each accepted $1,000 to fund their efforts to create smartphone applications.

1) Toco Transducer and Tocodynomometer – with smart phone APP – will be used to help pregnant women in early labor determine when to get to the hospital. They hope to reduce false alarms and get help for women who really need it but may not realize it.

2) Binspace – an APP to help students find available study or meeting locations on campus.

Each team has an assigned IBM volunteer buddy who will act as coach or mentor.


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November 21st, 2013

I’m pleased to announce that students at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) have won a Students for a Smarter planet award!

They call it:  Constructing a Smart City Composite Ranking

Their description

City-rankings have become a central instrument for assessing the attractiveness of urban regions. Demographic, environmental, economic, political and socio-cultural factors are encouraging the urban world to design Smart Cities. The smart city measures are achieved through carefully chosen indicators and allow cities to reorganize themselves successfully, via an understanding of its strengths and weaknesses.

The definition of metrics in the field of smart cities is driven by two principles: (1) to compare city-regions between themselves and learn from the best, and (2) to understand the internal dynamics of smart cities, define weaknesses, and recognize the effort needed to overcome them.

This study specifically focuses on weighting, Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), and aggregation methods.

We’re looking forward to seeing how this progresses.

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November 19th, 2013


We are the University of Connecticut team of students working with Students for a Smarter Planet. Our project will be based around a campaign to raise public awareness and involvement with the water infrastructure in Rotterdam, Netherlands. We will be utilizing the Intelligent Operations for Water platform to develop a mobile application that will make learning and managing the water infrastructure both fun and rewarding.

But how could water infrastructure be interesting you may ask?  Simple.  Put it in a game!  Users will interact in a gamified, informative system that will help the city’s water utilities to maintain their infrastructure.  Through the use of this app and social media, we aim to get the public thinking about how their city manages and maintains its water.

Meet the Team…

Andrew Boba – Senior, Computer Science and Engineering major.  A lover of snowboarding, the Brooklyn Nets, take-out Chinese, and of course, sewage.

Ian Brunjes  - Senior, Computer Science major. Enjoys puns far too much.  A devout gamer, likes to go outside occasionally, especially when it rains.

Julie Cappello – Senior, Computer Science and Engineering major.  Loves cooking, sushi, warm weather, and sleeping (especially on water beds).

Zhuoqing Xu- Senior, Computer Science major.  Embracing the nigh impossible task to build a healthy body while being a software engineer.  A big fan of Arsenal FC and frivolously jumping around in puddles.

Follow us and enjoy all our missteps, triumphs, and confusion of IBM acronyms.  We are about to take a plunge into Smarter Water and are excited to see where this ends up.

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know!

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November 14th, 2013

Susan Zeng, an IBMer and professor at U Missouri brought us 2 projects from the Computer Science Department.

One is “Real-time Emotion Analysis On Twitter” – where students will attempt to analyze tweets to produce reports on feelings to help business people enhance services and products.

The other is “Identifying Gene Duplications Across DNA Sequences” – since these genes are associated with cancer, information about this could be useful as a step in helping find cures.

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