In the News

June 13, 2016

Ingenuity 2016

By Courtney Hamilton

ICS, School of Engineering celebrate student innovation at fourth annual student technology showcase.

The Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences and the Henry Samueli School of Engineering came together June 1 for the fourth annual “best of” student technology showcase, Ingenuity 2016.

Held at the Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering, the event gives the best student teams from each school—culled from capstone project courses, campus competitions like the Butterworth Product Development and Beall Student Design Competitions, and industry or corporate competitions—the opportunity to demo their hard work to the UCI community.

“Ingenuity is intended as a celebration of the activity and technology at UCI,” Ted and Janice Smith Family Foundation Dean of ICS Hal Stern said during opening remarks. “We try to accomplish three different things in one fun-filled night,” he added. Ingenuity 2016 included a keynote address from Broadcom Technical Director and Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton, a formal ceremony recognizing Ingenuity Award winners for their contributions to the schools, and the opportunity to show off the talented UCI students, according to Stern.

Upton doled out lessons learned from building Raspberry Pi—the low-cost, high-performance computer that puts programming and innovation in the hands of young learners—from the ground up during his talk. Growing up in the United Kingdom, Upton noted that he always had access to a BBC microcomputer in his classrooms. “It always booted up with a basic prompt. Users had to choose not to program,” he explained. With smarter tech ubiquity, the reverse is true today. Anyone who wants to tinker with computing, or learn more about it, has to choose to program.

The shift, Upton said, led to a decline in people pursuing degrees and careers in computing—something he experienced firsthand as director of studies in computer science at St. John’s College, Cambridge. “We didn’t teach computing in schools. We recruited from a stream of people who were self-taught,” he said. “What we’ve lost is this stream of self-taught young people who want to become engineers.”

This dearth of young engineers led Upton to develop the Raspberry Pi with three criteria in mind: the computer had to be affordable, fun and programmable. He realized the tremendous demand for something like Raspberry Pi after a video on the idea racked up 600,000 views on YouTube in two days. “We’d promised 600,000 people we’d build a $25 computer,” he said with a laugh.

Today, Raspberry Pi enables people of all ages to explore computing for as little as $5 a computer. With these lessons in mind, Upton left the audience with three suggestions: “Try and do audacious things. Be conservative. Incrementalism and conservatism are at the heart of good engineering.” He also highlighted persistence as a key trait, concluding his keynote with a tongue-in-cheek joke: “Go do audacious stuff, conservatively.”

Henry Samueli School of Engineering Dean Gregory Washington introduced the Ingenuity awardees, which went to Broadcom Foundation President Paula Golden and ICS alumnus Jon Teichrow, now senior vice president of research and development at Quality Systems. “This doesn’t happen without the support of dedicated people. It’s not just their material resources, but their time and input,” Dean Washington said of the awardees. Golden was recognized for promoting inclusion, equity and access through the Broadcom Foundation, while Teichrow was recognized for his contributions to ICS. Sheldon Razin, chairman of the board for Quality Systems, accepted the award on Teichrow’s behalf.

Following the night’s formal presentation, students highlighted their projects on stage before taking their place at demonstration tables at the outdoor reception. Below, you’ll find the exemplar projects showcased this year.

Signal Strength Heat Map App
Sponsored by data analytics firm M2Catalyst, the app allows users to build a map of their signal strength in various locations. The app includes signal history and signal speed test verification features.
Team members: Briana Tu, Isley Gao, Jason White, Nathan Benjamin, Max Uzoukwu

Fuel Cell Data Center
With world energy demands skyrocketing in the information age, data centers require a tremendous amount of power. This project uses solar power to renewably power data centers and in effect, the internet.
Team members: Gabrielle Cobos, Aaron Cheng, Bismarck Chiang, Michael Crowley, Allen Schellerup, John Stansberry

HyperXite
As part of the Hyperloop Pod Competition hosted by SpaceX, Juliana Andrews and her fellow competitors designed the HyperXite pod, which took fifth place overall in the competition and first place in the Air Levitation category.
Team member: Juliana Andrews

iLost: Indoor Navigation System
iLost is a GPS navigation system compatible with indoor environments, like shopping malls and universities, which is user-friendly and low in power consumption.
Team members: Haoran Ma, Jingliang Liao, Xiao Chen, Alan Zhang

CavernTavern
Built for the computer game science program’s two-quarter capstone project course, CavernTavern combines two game genres in a fast-paced time-management scenario. The game took first place at IEEE’s GameSig competition, as well as the award for Intel’s Best Game by a Woman-Led Team.
Team members: Cecilia Bishton, Chris Fulgencio, Jimmy Lee, Warren Urbina, Greg Urbina, Matt Eckstein

Osteoforge Medical
The team behind Osteoforge Medical has engineered a groundbreaking solution in bone fixation and small bone fragment hardware. Their 3D-printed “bone” hardware is fully customizable, non-toxic, fracture resistant and bioresorptive—meaning it can be safely implanted in the body.
Team members: Frank Adams, Michael Crowley, Matheus Felix, Stoney Middleton, Adam Wooten

SonderVR
Advised by software company Codazen, Robert A. and Barbara L. Kleist Professor of Informatics Gillian Hayes, and Informatics Ph.D. student Louanne Boyd, the team behind SonderVR offers virtual reality therapy experiences for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The application provides an accessible way for users to learn and practice social skills.
Team members: Erick Kusnadi, Joy Chen, Anuj Shah, Yolanda La, Tia Moore

Syntr Health Tech
Diabetic foot ulcers affect more than 7.5 million people today, with 30 percent of untreated patients requiring amputation and 50 percent of those who undergo amputation losing their lives within five years. Syntr Health Tech offers a new prevention alternative to such invasive and difficult treatments. Their solution incorporates centrifugal microfluidics to process fat, which activates dormant stem cells in the patient and promotes healing.
Team members: Ahmed Zobi, Justin Stovner, Hugo Salas, David Duarte

Tag: Lose Your Worries
Tag is a small, affordable device that allows users to track anything it’s attached to via a smartphone. Tag uses a Bluetooth chip which piggybacks on the phone's GPS to relay its location to the cloud, allowing users to report items lost or stolen to other users.
Team members: Neeraj Kumar, Ali Shahbaz, Khwaja Ahmed

ActivATE Dashboard
Developed for Astronics Test Systems, the ActivATE Dashboard allows users to remotely connect to data via a user-friendly, cross-platform dashboard. Such data would otherwise be limited to large, non-portable machines and clean rooms.
Team members: Michelle Kim, Danny Magsalin, Kenny Pham, Glenn Pittman, Sarah Tracy

A Dashboard in Paris
Working with ICS alum Tim Kashani and the production team behind Broadway musical An American in Paris, the team behind A Dashboard in Paris created an interface that measures engagement with the musical, including ticket sales, ad sales, web and social media statistics.
Team members: Zach Anderson, Lauren Dimailig, Marissel Llavore, Gessica Tan-Torres, Maddy Surjani

— Story by Courtney Hamilton

View photos from the event on Google Photos. Also, check out all the videos from Ingenuity 2016 below:


Ingenuity 2016


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Media interested in interviewing ICS faculty, students or alumni should contact Matt Miller at (949) 824-1562 or via email at matt.miller@uci.edu.