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  • Titans’ Climate App Takes Second Place in GE Digital CSU Challenge

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    May 07, 2018
    With their climate app that uses a cloud-based “internet of things” software platform, a team of Cal State Fullerton computer science, computer engineering and business students won second place and a $5,000 cash prize at the third annual GE Digital CSU Challenge.
     
    The April 29 competition in San Diego challenged students from eight California State University campuses to develop sustainability solutions leveraging GE’s Predix internet of things technologies.
     
    The CSUF students developed a product called “Airis,” which focuses on addressing air quality and algae bloom issues — possible air quality health hazards — in San Diego.
     
    “Students had to develop a computational model associating sensor data to the air quality and algae blooms, implement it and develop a solid business case,” said Mikhail Gofman, associate professor of computer science and director of the CSUF Center for Cybersecurity. Gofman and Kenneth “John” Faller, associate professor of computer engineering, are the team’s faculty advisers.
     
    The Airis app is a system that empowers cities to meet their sustainability goals with tools to assess microclimates and predict ozone levels.
     
    “Our web application generates microclimate analytics to create a solution to a rising problem,” said computer science major and team lead Austin Suarez. “Our product is unique because we are using simple readings such as temperature, humidity and pressure to accurately predict ozone levels.”
     
    Other CSUF team members are Nara Dashdondog, pursuing a business administration-operations degree with a supply chain management concentration; Maygan Hooper and Jonathan Moubayed, both computer science majors; Jonathan Schinowsky, computer engineering major; and computer science graduate student Shripal Mithun Rawal.
     
    “It was both challenging and fruitful to work with students from different disciplines. We all came to realize that it takes a team to deliver a product,” Suarez added.
     
    The competition is made possible by a three-year, $450,000 grant to CSUF from GE Digital, with support from computer science alumnus Bill Ruh, GE Digital’s chief executive officer/senior vice president and chief digital officer. A Titan himself, Ruh earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from CSUF. Anand Panangadan, CSUF assistant professor of computer science, coordinated the GE Digital CSU Challenge.
     
    The Cal Poly San Luis Obispo team captured first place and the $8,000 prize with their app “Treety” to educate San Diego residents about the environmental and socio-economic benefits of trees in urban settings and to incentivize tree planting. Students from San Diego State won third place and $2,000 with their app to reduce San Diego streetlight electricity usage by turning on only when people are detected.