NORMAN — In a large brightly lit room, young people hustle between computers loaded with the latest software programs, a conference table littered with various handheld devices and a well-used coffee pot. But they aren’t at a start-up technology company in Silicon Valley. They are students participating in Software Studio at the University of Oklahoma’s College of Engineering.
The brain-child of Sridhar Radhakrishnan, director of the School of Computer Science, Software Studio is a working environment designed to help students explore high-level computer programming, develop computer programs, collaborate with non-computer disciplines and connect to business professionals.
“Software Studio gives students from all areas of study the access and support to bring their big ideas to digital life,” Radhakrishnan said. “This is not organized by a professor but rather by groups of students who have the desire to learn and apply computer science.”
In the program’s first year, three student teams developed apps for mobile devices. One team is developing an interactive video game to address bullying. In August, one team will begin beta testing their app, a road condition monitoring system called Siren, with more than 1,700 semi-trucks prior to the official launch in February.
“Through Software Studio, I’ve had the opportunity to combine science and creativity,” said Zack Burgess, senior computer science major and co-developer of the Boomer Beat, an app that organizes and displays events happening at OU. “I want to be an entrepreneur and business owner some day, and I’m learning that finding innovative solutions to everyday problems requires many different perspectives.”
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