Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
U Connecticut
February 1st, 2014

As our team has gotten further along in the planning process, we have run in to a few brain stumpers. We wanted to come up with a new and fun idea to make our app into a game, however it proved to be more difficult than we had imagined. We are also integrating Twitter into our application to make it as easy as possible for users to not only register a username with the app, but also post exciting updates directly to their feed.

A particular challenge that we face is taking something mundane and otherwise unnoteworthy, like the water infrastructure of a city, and create something that makes people want to be involved and engaged with it. There needs to be enough incentive through our gamification to make people want to check in to various water assets around their city. It seemed that every concept we came up with was something that already existed. We believe we are now finalizing a great gamification concept that will coincide nicely with the topic of our application. More to come soon!

As for our Twitter integration into the application, things seem to be going well. We have created a design layout that incorporations a way to tweet directly from within our application. This would allow for a user to upload a photo of some water infrastructure and tweet about it. This functionality is important because it is used within our gamification aspect. The Twitter API has overall been somewhat easy to understand, and a bit harder to implement using the WorkLight environment. Twitter has a lot of built in functionality for iOS and Android development individually, however converting things to HTML for the use of our project will definitely be a challenge.

Beyond these challenges we have been facing the ever-present trials of programming and application development. We are working on an early prototype now, and hope that upon its completion we will be able to make more steady and modular advancements in our project.

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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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SFSP, in partnership with the IBM CIO is funding a special student capstone project team led by Julie Cappello (part time IBmer) creating a mobile application to enable city crews to manage underground pipes.

The much appreciated MENTORS are:  John Cohn, IBM Fellow and Matt Ganis, STSM

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