Monday, December 22, 2014

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AT&T and RIT Team Up for App Competition

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"We have to think really critically about what that means, about the role of digital media on our lives," said Andrew Phelps, director of RIT Magic Center.

Phelps doesn't only want you to think about how digital media effects your life now. He asks how it could make lives better in the future.

"Use their knowledge of how to build technology and apply that specifically to making government better, making our local institutions better, making citizenry more engaged," said Phelps.

That's the idea for the AT&T Rochester Civic App Challenge. For this challenge, Rochester Institute of Technology teamed up with AT&T to give residents a chance to create their own app. Individuals have two months to do it, and the winner gets $18,000.

"We felt Rochester is home, traditionally been home to to technology, innovation and job center in Upstate New York," said AT&T public affairs director Neil Giacobbi.

The apps are meant to be a little different. They need to serve community needs, or connect and engage citizens with their governments.

"I'm planning on showing up, seeing what other people have and finding a nice project I can contribute to," said student Derin Yarsuvat.

The challenge begins with a hackathon February 21 - 22. Yarsuvat says he will be participating in this 24-hour hackathon, and says it's a way to connect with others.

"An opportunity to do something, to give back, to do something worthwhile, that's why I'm here," said Yarsuvat.

Student Ryan Stush and his teammates plan to enter their program, Sky Time.

"(It) taught students at a 4th grade level how to tell time using analog clocks. they would use the shift buttons to move the hands of the clock and then compare it to a real time," said Stush.

With two days until the hackathon and two months until the April 23rd deadline, students say it's time to create something for their community. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP