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February 15, 2005 > Theoretical meets practical at DeVry University

Theoretical meets practical at DeVry University

by Susana Nuñez & Ceri Hitchcock-Hodgson

After graduating from college, the next step in a young person's life is to apply what they have learned to the "real world." Senior students at DeVry University are able to get a taste of the world beyond school by participating in the school's Technology and Business Innovation Fair. On Wednesday, Feb. 9, students from various majors unveiled their projects to the public at the school's annual event.

Among the 30 projects displayed at the fair, the one causing the most buzz was the impressive Indego Project collaboration between DeVry University, Zia Oboodiyat and his son, Nathan. Oboodiyat and his son, who has cerebral palsy, co-founded the project in order to create a wheelchair that would make the world more accessible to its occupant. The Indego Project is a modified computer integrated with a wheelchair that accepts input though voice commands, touch screen command and a traditional keyboard. Oobidiyat and his son teamed with students at DeVry to create the prototype of a wheelchair that would allow its operator to be more self-reliant and "independently go," hence the name Indego. The "intelligent" wheelchair can be operated using the hands, the feet and even the mouth depending on the physical capabilities of its operator.

This is only the first phase of the Indego Project as there are many modifications to be made in order to create the visualized chair. Oboodiyat presented the prototype to his son for testing on Valentine's Day, his 17th birthday.

Another project shown at the fair was the work of Mobilitech, a group of students who worked together to produce prototype operating system that would allow users to open and close doors and windows at home, turn the lights off and on, surf the Internet, send and receive email, operate a home entertainment center, and make 911 calls. The group believes that their creation has the potential to do even more.

Other projects included the Red Alert Rescue System (R.A.R.S.) an electronic device that alerts firefighters and civilians of the location of the heat source generated during a fire. The purpose of R.A.R.S. is to create a speedier evacuation and rescue of civilians and property during fires. William Boulier, Geno Gomez III, Adam Miller, and Craig Thiesen worked together as the Advanced Security Associates and helped POINT Biomedical improve the corporate and security infrastructure of the company. In addition, Faycal Boujidane, Rory McFadden, and Reinaldo Berdejo worked together as JTF Consulting to create a business plan and design an operating data center and network.

A panel of judges included employers and representatives from local industries, including Lawrence Livermore Labs and Varian Medical Systems. Awards were given for complexity of design, marketability, overall performance, originality of design, technical merit, faculty choice and people's choice.

The winners were as follows:
Electronics Engineering Technology (EET) Department:
Complexity of Design, and Most Marketable ...Project Indego.
Best Overall Performance...Wireless Smart Fire Detection System.
Originality of Design...Aeroponic Biodome System
People's Choice...Omega Hub.

Computer Engineering Technology (CET) Department:
Complexity of Design, Faculty Choice, Technical Merit, Peoples' Choice, Originality of Design, and Best overall Performance...Project Indego.

Network and Communications Management (NCM) Department:
Originality of Design...Agency One
Technical Merit ...J&N Network Solutions
Complexity of Design...Advanced Security Systems
Peoples' Choice...RPM Systems Technology and Management Consultants (tie)
Marketability... JTF Consulting

The Electronics and Computer Technology (ECT)
Technical Merit... No Doze
Faculty Choice... No Doze
Peoples' Choice...No Doze
Best Overall Performance... No Doze
Complexity of Design... Code Start

Computer Information Systems (CIS)
Faculty Choice... JMX Software
Best Overall Performance... Apex Solutions
Marketability... Apex Solutions
Technical Merit... Apex Solutions
Peoples' Choice... Apex Solutions
Originality of Design... Team Green
Complexity of Design... Team Green

The Bachelor Arts in Business Administration (BSBA)
Technical Merit... Advanced Child Care Development (Ruby's Daycare)
Originality of Design... Evolutions Consulting (Millennium Cleaning)
Peoples' Choice... tie between Clear Solutions and Evolutions Consulting
Faculty Choice... Real Time Solutions (Fruitasia)

Student Judged Awards
Business... Evolutions Consulting
Technology... three-way tie between Indego, Mobilitech, and Omega Hub.

The teams will be presented with formal awards at the Graduates' reception on Thursday, Feb. 24, 3 p.m. at the DeVry campus located at 6600 Dumbarton Circle in Fremont. For more information contact (510) 547-1100.

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