Zoya Khan, a Wichita State University College of Engineering graduate student in computer networking, contributed the idea behind an app that won the People’s Choice Award at the Google Hackathon 2014, held Oct. 24-25 at the national convention of the Society of Women Engineers, in Los Angeles.
She was one of only 75 participants selected by the Google team. Participants were given a chance to mingle before assembling into teams. Khan joined a team that included women from the University of Southern California, San Francisco State University and the Community College for Philadelphia.Khan is working with Murtuza Jadliwala, an assistant professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, on her master’s thesis on privacy in smart grid communications. Kahn received her undergraduate degree in electronics and telecommunications from Pune University in India.
“We decided to form a team because we all had different skills that could contribute towards making a good app,” Khan said.
It was Kahn’s team that produced an app that was voted the favorite project by Hackathon participants, Google engineers and attending staff. The participants were challenged to spend 18 hours working as a group on idea generation, prototyping and coding, during which time they were challenged to develop an idea into a workable app.
Khan’s team decided to build an Android app called Roommate Board, using Java and Android Studio. The app is designed to help college students collaborate with their roommates over tasks, finances and groceries.
Khan said she was inspired by challenges she and her husband face as graduate students trying to divide household responsibilities such as grocery shopping.