OSU Annual App competition encourages innovation among students, faculty and staff | Oklahoma State University

OSU Annual App competition encourages innovation among students, faculty and staff

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Media Contact:
Harrison Hill | Senior Research Communications Specialist | 405-744-5827 | [email protected]

Each year, the Oklahoma State University annual App competition encourages students
and faculty to create and develop apps focused on improving society. This year, four
groups were awarded prizes: a first place and three runner-ups.

“The app competition encourages ideation,” said Jai Rajendran, manager of the OSU
App Center. “Our intention is to find and support app ideas that could solve a real
problem for the users. A mobile app is one of the ways the benefits of research could
reach directly to the public.”

The winner of the fall 2022 OSU App competition was Bug Scope, an app that will help
users identify commonplace bugs and insect eggs that may transmit diseases using Machine

Two assistant professors — Drs. Sathya Aakur and Ruth Scimeca, along with students
Shubham Trehan and Udhav Ramachandran — developed the idea for Bug Scope. 

The app includes user-supported maps that show the frequency of bugs and diseases
regionally, and user-assisted training that can further support the accuracy of the
app in identifying insects.

The runners-up for this year’s competition included:

The winning team received $2,000 and the three runners-up received $1,000 each to
facilitate the development and release of their apps. The groups also will get continued
support from OSU.

“The winning app idea will get pro-bono app design support from the App Center,” Rajendran
said. “We will also connect interested teams with available funding and support resources
for advancing their app idea.”

Contestants in the competition are judged by a panel of representatives from OSU and
tech enterprises across the nation. This year, Alexander Klebanov, an artificial intelligence
machine learning specialist from Google, participated in the judge panel.

“I think the whole idea of an app competition is great,” Klebanov said. “The role
of any university is twofold: to advance the research, science and technology as a
whole, but also to prepare folks for entering and being productive assets for the
industry. Getting a taste of the real world early, and what would advance them in
the innovation and entrepreneurship space is really positivegreat.”

Apps are judged based on its tangible utility to solve a significant problem, along
with how well-thought-out the technology, sourcing and deployment of the app is. 

“I found that the winners had a really good idea and that they really thought through
the technical functionality, the funding and the advantage for users and customers
of the app,” Klebanov said. “Many great ideas fall short in implementation and execution.
I was glad to see this year’s winners approached all aspects of the apps with a
comprehensive, well rounded mindset.”

This year, 63 app ideas were submitted for the competition, nine more than last year.
The university hopes that the app competition and continued partnerships with companies
on the leading edge of technology, such as Google, will continue to grow and inspire
innovation among the OSU community.

“Students should never stop the curiosity and innovation that will propel them into
their careers and into newer, better, bigger roles in any career,” Klebanov said.
“Always focus on what’s next. What can we do better? What can we do bigger? What can
we improve on?”

Story by: Hadley Dejarnette, Brand Management Intern