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Campus-developed apps recognised

Veronica C. Silva | Sept. 6, 2011
App-development event challenged participants to help advance scientific information processing.

Some students and faculty from Singapore's schools were recently recognised by an industry partner for developing applications for the scientific and technical community.

The students and faculty took part in a ''hackathon'' last month where they were challenged to develop within 24 hours customised applications that can help advance the search and discovery process of scientific information.

Elsevier, a company providing scientific, technical and medical information products and services, sponsored the event in cooperation with the National University of Singapore's School of Computing (SoC), which was the event host.

Dubbed as  SgCodeJam24, the event recognised top three winning teams - with the third prize shared by two teams - for developing innovative applications using  Elsevier's SciVerse ScienceDirect Content and Framework APIs.

The SciVerse is a suite of search and discovery solutions that allow users to constantly expand content and solutions which can be accessed in one platform.


Elsevier and NUS announced the winners of the hackathon as:

First place: Zhao Shanheng and Zhong Zhi, of NUS, developed the iRank Apps, which ranks institutes by the number of papers returned in the top search results. This tool is useful to students who are still undecided on where to apply for their PhD or pursue postdoctoral research in their chosen field.

Second place: Pham Ben and Nguyen Kristin, of the Nanyang Technological University, developed the SciVey, or SciVerse Survey, an authoring tool that allows for easy annotating, note taking, cutting and pasting while reading articles.

Third place (shared): Heyrani-Nobari Ghasem, Oliya Mohammad and Heyrani-Nobari Sadegh, of NUS, developed VELS (Visualizing Elsevier), a visualisation tool for navigating through related articles grouped by subject area. The team was also awarded the Audience Choice Prize.

Third place (shared): Ming Zhaoyan and Lin Jovian, of NUS, developed the WordTrend and Topic Trend application designed to present a numerical analysis of the trends within the search results by word and topic, with links to foundational information on Wikipedia when available.

"SgCodeJam24 sparked innovative ideas among students and faculty," said Kan Min-Yen, associate professor, NUS SoC, and the key member in the event organising committee. "Furthermore, it extended learning beyond the classroom by encouraging hands-on development of applications that serve a myriad needs within the research community."

Rafael Sidi, vice president, product management, applications marketplace and developer network, Elsevier, said the applications developed during the  SgCodeJam24 Hackathon were ''truly inventive''.

The SgCodeJam24 was the latest in a series of similar events organised by Amsterdam-based Elsevier in other countries.


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