In the classroom

There’s an app for that

Sean Carr, AB’90

In CMSC 122: Computer Science with Applications, nonmajors have the chance to design their own web and mobile apps. Here are just a few of their ideas.



You found a great job in a new city. Next up: a nice area to live with a decent commute. This app merges a user’s work address and personal preferences with “Journey to Work” US Census information and other data (Yelp scores, crime stats).


Surf Atlas

Hearkening back to the days when surfing hotspots had nothing to do with Wi-Fi, this app matches a user’s preferences and experience level to the tastiest—and most appropriate—waves.



Randomly generates choral music in four-part harmony. Pick a length, you get a melody exactly that long. Once you have one you like, it’s time to pick the three harmony parts to go with it. Mouse over, Beethoven.



One CTA app to rule them all. Free version includes real-time arrivals and service alerts, visual bus and train tracker, ability to save and organize frequently used routes, and more. Upgrade to Pro for active tracking—automatically refreshed arrival times on your notification bar—and smart alarms that tell you when to leave home to catch your bus or train and, for drowsy, daydreaming, or engrossed-in-their-reading commuters, when your stop is approaching. Available in the Google Android store.



Original concept: text your location (e.g., 53rd and Kimbark) to learn which dinosaur lived in your area and—bonus—receive a call from said dinosaur (hence the name, which stuck). Revised concept: text your location to find nearby UChicago shuttle stops and arrival times.


(Photography by PhotoAtelier, CC BY 2.0)