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CCS Students Shine at Capstone Showcase

The StockSim team, led by project manager Ricky Kharawala '15 (center) placed fifth out of 24 presentations.

Innovative industry-sponsored and entrepreneurial projects were on full display at the College of Computing Sciences (CCS) Spring 2015 Capstone Showcase, where 10 judges deliberated over 24 presentations.

The biannual showcase, led by senior university lecturer and capstone program director Osama Eljabiri, provided cost-effective IT solutions for major businesses across New Jersey and gave students embarking on sole proprietorships and microbusiness enterprises a platform to present their ready-to-market software products.

In addition to the 130 students in attendance were computer science department chair James Geller and Panasonic Corporation of North America’s chief technology officer Todd Rytting, who served as the keynote speaker and assured the determined students that their involvement in programs such as the capstone showcase exhibits the sort of ambition Panasonic seeks when screening potential new employees.

“When hiring interns or students, we’re always looking for exceptional people who have a desire to solve problems and want to do this work because they love it,” he said. “It can be hard to spot, but you stand out when we see how you’ve applied what you’ve learned in different ways and that you’ve done some real work that you’re passionate about.”

Soundscribe, a multiplatform note-taking tool designed for college students that leverages state-of-the-art speech recognition technology to automatically transcribe lectures, came in first place, and a stock market trading simulator called StockSim placed fifth.

“We want students to learn about the stock market before they actually invest their money and waste it away because they don’t have much experience,” said StockSim project manager Ricky Kharawala ’15 about the app, which provides users with $25,000 in virtual cash to mimic buying and selling Nasdaq stocks in real-time. “This stimulates the entire stock market without spending actual money.”

One of the goals for the iOS app (a future implementation will also support Android devices) is to implement a revenue model that includes advertisements that are seamlessly integrated into the app. “We’re also working on a very user-friendly design,” he adds, “and a short tutorial as well.”