Engineering course challenges students to create tech solutions for COVID-19

By | June 29, 2020
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(Image of a Google Map with a tab for "STOROC" on the left which shows occupancy trends for specific days and weeks.)
This image shows a mock-up of the STOROC app. The students used a campus building for testing, because of COVID restrictions, for the app intended to be a tool used by businesses. (Courtesy Engaged Michigan.)

Students in a Michigan Engineering spring/summer course called “Software against COVID-19,” taught by David Chesney, are working on six projects to help people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The course is usually called “Software for Accessibility,” but Chesney, the Toby Teorey Collegiate Lecturer in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, decided to offer this special session from May through August. 

The projects address certain problems people may be facing due to COVID-19. Each has unique solutions, such as encouraging people to share errand runs, matching students in student organizations with service opportunities in their communities, aiding victims of domestic abuse, monitoring the number of people going in and out of businesses, and more.

“They are so, so motivated,” said Yizian “Adina” Jia, a course teaching assistant who took the class in 2019. “I do have high hopes for their apps. I feel they have a strong sense of purpose.”

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