USC Eats connects diners with campus food options

first_imgOne semester. That’s the time it took for six students to develop USC Eats, an iOS app that displays menu options for the day at the residential dining hall locations EVK, Parkside and Café 84.The six students — Brian Anglin, Neel Bhoopalam, Jesse Chand, Arush Shankar, Riley Testut and Eric Wang — are members of “Blackbird,” a Spark SC committee formed at the beginning of the Fall 2015 semester for the sake of building internal tools for Spark.According to Wang, a senior majoring in business administration and computer science,  the committee members felt limited by the scope of building internal tools only for Spark.“Though doing this would help our friends throughout the organization, it wasn’t going to have the same visibility and impact that we wanted,” Wang said. “We wanted to build products that would impact the USC student body and beyond.”The idea for USC Eats developed because of the availability of open data provided by USC. The team then developed the app with a “two-prong attack,” according to Shankar, a junior majoring in computer science.Shankar worked with sophomore Brian Anglin on back-end development. Together, they formatted the data from USC before giving it to the iOS developers.The iOS developers, Jesse Chand and Riley Testut, then designed the front-end of the app — the part of the app that users interact with.“We’re partnering with USC so that the app stays up-to-date with relevant and useful information,” Shankar said. “There is also a mutual understanding that you can look online or use the app.”The team was originally composed of all programmers. However, according to Wang, it “organically evolved” to become more of an interdisciplinary team, including designers and project managers as well.USC Eats is the first project that the team did together. They, overcame obstacles associated with being a new team due to their common will to learn and make a big contribution, according to Anglin.“My favorite part about working with the team is that I get to be surrounded by really smart people,” Shankar said. “There’s so much knowledge to go around that I’m always challenged to work harder.”After the end of the fall semester, when the team came up with the idea and built the app, it was submitted to the Apple App Store for review.“I’m really excited that we were able to create a solid product in the end,” Anglin said.After the app launches, they will release an update which will include more features such as a favorites button. Users can favorite a dish they like and a push notification will appear on their phone the next time the dish appears in a dining hall.In the future, the team hopes to build more apps that benefit the USC community.“The next steps for our team are to identify projects that are really cool and start building these projects out,” Shankar said. “One of them has been a platform called ‘Tech LA’, which is a platform for finding internships in the L.A. area. We’re redesigning the whole thing and rebuilding it from scratch, so that the users can have a better experience.”For now, Blackbird hopes they have set an example for others.“This menu app is just one example of what USC students can do,” Wang said. “By building this app, we hope other people will be motivated and inspired to build their own projects on top of this data that USC makes readily available.”last_img read more

Dougherty: The Syracuse zone is keeping the madness at bay

first_img Related Stories Schneidman: 4 days in St. Louis define the madness of MarchSyracuse-Gonzaga game time set for 9:40 p.m. on FridaySyracuse basketball keeps dancing to Sweet 16 with 75-50 win over Middle Tennessee StateTyler Roberson is putting all the pieces together at the right timeTyler Lydon’s complete performance helps Syracuse to the Sweet 16 ST. LOUIS — If you’ve mostly been following the NCAA Tournament through highlights and your six social media accounts, the casual way, I can probably guess what you’ve seen.Bronson Koenig’s game-winning corner 3 for Wisconsin. Rex Pflueger’s game-winning tip-in for Notre Dame. Paul Jesperson’s game-winning half-court heave for Northern Iowa. Northern Iowa’s historic collapse on Sunday. A good amount of Buddy Hield. An excessive amount of Charles Barkley.But I can probably also guess something you haven’t seen too much of: Syracuse.“Sometimes our games aren’t the most fun to watch maybe,” said SU guard Frank Howard. “But we have fun no matter what. Winning’s fun.”You can thank the Orange’s 2-3 zone for that, even if Dayton and Middle Tennessee State would much sooner try and get Jim Boeheim’s signature defense outlawed from the game altogether. You can also bet that SU prefers it this way — its wins being boring, nondescript — as its zone smothered the Flyers and Blue Raiders this past weekend and helped it comfortably avoid the madness that’s filled much of the bracket.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWith a 19-point win over Dayton on Friday and a 25-point win over MTSU on Sunday, 10th-seeded Syracuse (21-13, 9-9 Atlantic Coast) has averaged the fewest opponent points per game (50.5) of any Sweet 16 team and is tied for second in highest average margin of victory (22). It’s not the first time the 2-3 zone has anchored an unlikely Tournament run — start with 2013 — and it certainly won’t be the last. The quick scouting turnarounds for opposing coaches, Boeheim’s ability to modify it on the fly and the Orange’s sheer length make the zone an ideal formula for Tournament success.MORE COVERAGE: Schneidman: 4 days in St. Louis define the madness of MarchSyracuse-Gonzaga game time set for 9:40 p.m. on FridayTyler Roberson is putting all the pieces together at the right timeTyler Lydon’s complete performance helps Syracuse to the Sweet 16Syracuse basketball keeps dancing to Sweet 16 with 75-50 win over Middle Tennessee State Published on March 21, 2016 at 10:19 pm Forget surviving, the zone has Syracuse contending as it prepares for its matchup with 11th-seeded Gonzaga in Chicago on Friday night. Somehow the facet of SU that everyone sees coming makes it hard to prepare for and even harder to beat.“We knew the zone was good but playing live out there against it, they do a good job denying the wings, playing up on wings, they play the middle, their wings are long, their bigs are athletic,” MTSU forward Darnell Harris said after his team shot 29.7 percent from the field Sunday.“It’s like we just couldn’t score over their length and we couldn’t make shots, so it bothered us a lot today.”That is the dilemma that teams, starting with the Bulldogs, have to overcome: the difference between preparing for the zone and then actually playing against it.This seems like a simple concept that could be applied to any facet of the game, but Boeheim and the SU coaching staff tweaks the zone throughout a given game like they’re playing chess with a child. Effortlessly. At will.Dayton wanted to play inside-out through 6-foot-11 center Steve McElvene, and SU denied McElvene the ball to make that near impossible on its way to allowing only 50 points. Middle Tennessee State runs its zone offense from the wing to the corner, and the wings of the zone fanned out to defend passes to the corner and forced the Blue Raiders to consistently drive the ball on its way to 51 points. At times it was Tyler Lydon waiting in the paint, and at others it was Dajuan Coleman. Lydon finished with a career-high six blocks. Coleman finished one below a season-high with two.“Our zone is a little bit different and people aren’t used to seeing our zone,” Boeheim said after Syracuse’s win over Middle Tennessee State. “They see zone, but they don’t see the zone the way these guys play it. So that’s always a little bit of an advantage for us when there’s just a one-day turnaround.”To this point, I’ve consciously avoided all the lame zone wordplays and now need to get them out of my system. Syracuse is forcing its opponents to zone out. Syracuse’s opponents are out of their comfort zones. Syracuse’s opponents can’t escape the O-zone. Man, that last one is bad.And, not to be forgotten, Syracuse is in a zone. Literally, figuratively and at the perfect time.Jesse Dougherty is a Senior Staff Writer at The Daily Orange, where his column appears occasionally. He can be reached at or @dougherty_jesse. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more