Computer Science Grads Earn Best Poster Award

By Caitlin Burns | December 4, 2020

Computer Science graduates John Viaud ’20, Vitali Surmach ’20, and Bilal Abdulmajid ’20 won Best Student Poster Award at the 37th annual Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges Eastern (CCSCE) Regional Conference, held virtually on Oct. 23 and 24. The poster was based on their capstone project, “Where Did the Time Go? An Android-Based Phone Time Management App,” and was supervised by Dr. Yanxia Jia, associate professor and chair of Computer Science and Mathematics.

The students began the project in fall 2019 in response to the launch of Apple’s “Screen Time” application, an app that tracks the consumer’s phone usage and provides data tools like graphs to show users how time on their phone is spent. (Android has an app similar to this, “Digital Wellbeing,” that supports the Android 10 operating system or newer.) The thesis focused on designing an app that would improve upon these two apps, in addition to being more compatible with older android devices. 

“Our ultimate goal in making the app was to get people to use their phones less or, at the very least, have a better understanding of how often they use their phone and what they do when they use their phones,” said Viaud. “We thought, if the user can see that they opened Facebook 30 times today or used Netflix for 50 hours this week, they might be more inclined to lower those numbers, especially if we make it into a kind of game for them that creates positive reinforcement.”

The CCSCE conference is designed to promote the exchange of ideas and information concerning computer science in an academic environment. The conference hosts many different presentations, workshops, speakers, tutorials, panels, and talks, with prizes awarded to students with the best paper and poster presentations.