Summer of Apps program covers campus art, farmers markets and more!

Do you ever see a beautiful art piece on campus and wonder how it got there? The Summer of Apps program at UH gave students a chance to hone their programming skills as well as make information easily accessible to the community!

What is the Summer of Apps?

Under the leadership of Dr. Peggy Lindner and Dr. Dan Price, 17 students worked on five apps:

    • Local Leaves for gardening enthusiasts
    • Farmers market app for Urban Harvest and similar organizations
    • Healthy Homes for health inspectors to detect childhood asthma triggers
    • ARtour app for the University of Houston’s public art collection
    • Volunteer management app

Healthy Homes aims to make collaboration between medical professionals and health inspectors easier. Ultimately, the goal is to provide a more efficient process for analyzing indoor air pollution.

“The city of Houston and a group of researchers from the Medical Center inspected homes for asthma hazards.  It’s sustainability in the broad sense of maintaining a good life,” said Dr. Price.

Jackie Ferrara. Fountain, 2004. Granite. Location: Science & Engineering Classroom Building

The UH ARtour will give students an inside look into the beautiful pieces of public art on campus. The app will even direct you to similar pieces of work. Pretty neat, huh?

Even neater are the Farmers Market and Local Leaves apps. Funded by a USDA grant, the Farmers Market app functions as an interactive game to explore Houston’s farmers markets and vendors. It also has information on selecting produce based on seasonal varieties and how to prepare them safely at home.

Besides, who would turn down more places to get the freshest of the fresh?

Summer of Apps students used information from gardening societies to produce customized plant suggestions for Local Leaves.

“How do you convince people to start thinking about natives? We want to gently guide people in slightly different directions,” said Dr. Price.

Student involvement and more information

Casey Hall, one of the students who participated in the program, will definitely be taking advantage of the apps she helped to create.

“Both the Farmers Market app and Local Leaves app will be supremely useful. I need to go to markets more often and this would be a much easier way of finding them and their open hours rather than searching multiple pages on the internet. Local Leaves will save me from searching through various textbooks and blog pages to see what grows well,” said Hall.

 Dr. Price says the apps will be made available to the public within the coming weeks. For more information,  check out DASH (Data Analytics in Student Hands).
-Nicole Blanton
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