Vice Provost Potts with Student Choice Award Winner, Dr. Neha Kumar

SLS is excited to announce the winners of its fourth Student Showcase. Held November 19th in Klaus Atrium, this semester’s showcase had over 100 attendees and featured 40 diverse student projects. Each year, as part of the Showcase, SLS awards the Student Choice Award for Excellence in Teaching. Presented by Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Dr. Colin Potts, for the second year in a row, this year’s recipient was Dr. Neha Kumar (Interactive Computing and International Affairs). The students in her course, CS 6745: Technology and Poverty, submitted several comments describing her commitment to both teaching course content dynamically and energetically supporting students' growth within the context of their projects. One student described his experience in her class as a transformation in his understanding of the role of technology in humanitarian projects: 

Neha Kumar is an amazing instructor because she challenges an assumption that many institutes and most engineers possess: more technology is better. In her curriculum, she systematically aims to dissect and attack this assumption through discussion and critical thinking. The class . . .  avoid[s] generalizations and abstractions and instead focuses on human stories and participatory design. By learning about the inherent politics of technologies and the systems that created them, we learn to question our own assumptions surrounding technology and poverty so that we can better understand the world around us.

Fall 2019 Student Team Winners:

THIRD PLACE: Boys ‘n Girls Club Fundraising. Team members: Kate Browne, Valerie Cristobal, Austin Kinney, Parisha Reddy, Sophia Rubion. Instructor: Dr. Rosa Arriaga, CS/PSYC 3750: Introduction to User Interface Design.

“Our project is focused on improving fundraising for the Boys and Girls Club by destigmatizing requests for donations as well as increasing the transparency of how the club is spending the money received. The current platform used to obtain donations for the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta is solely website based. This platform has received criticism for being ambiguous and lacking transparency of where contributions end up. The current platform seems to only ask for large monetary donations and is less accessible to people who would like to contribute a smaller amount or donate in other ways. The purpose of the proposed new interface designs is to increase credibility and transparency. Similarly, these interfaces are designed in a manner that will increase accessibility and reach. The primary users supported on our interfaces are past, present and future donors who would like to make a donation or track a donation. The interfaces seek to make this process intuitive, efficient and effective for our users.”

SECOND PLACE: BeekeeperGo. Team members: Tony Wu, Brandon Vu, Shruthi Santhanam, Joey Bishop, Taofikat Bishi. Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Leavy, VIP: Bee Snap.

“Our team is creating an Android farming simulator game that aims to teach children about local bee and flower species. It does this by encouraging players to take pictures of the bee and flower species, upload them, and following a dichotomous key to identify it. As bees are integral to the sustainability of the community, being able to identify and locate bee species in an area would help landowners and policy makers make more informed decisions.”

FIRST PLACE: Trail Apps. Team members: Sebastian Wilson, Taewon Kong, Sydney Murphy, Casey Wiltsek, Kanav Gar. Instructors: Dr. Ellen Zegura and Dr. Ruthie Yow, SLS 3110: Technology and Sustainable Community Development. 

“Our team is working with the Grove park foundation to make trail data more accessible in the Grove Park neighborhood. Our final deliverable is an information packet containing our findings of local trails we found, and instructions on how residents could use existing trail platforms to find and navigate trails. We will also provide instructions on how residents can add their own trails on an existing trail platform.”