By Thomas James Weaver
If you’re looking for a little hand-held guidance around the UVM campus there is now, indeed, “an app for that.” iPhone users have computer science major Christopher Tucci ’12 to thank for his central role in putting the university at their fingertips.
Fittingly, Tucci was the first person to test it out in the sort of scenario it will be useful. He had “iUVM” in its beta form on his iPhone when his parents visited at Thanksgiving. Walking on Redstone Campus, his parents were intrigued by the modern music building and recital hall adjoining 1930s-era Southwick. Unfamiliar with the structure, Tucci reached for his iPhone and opened up the app for answers. Given to understatement, he says, “It was nice to know that it works.”
President of the computer science student association, Tucci was a likely candidate to answer CS faculty member Robert Erickson’s call for a student to do the programming work for the app. Tucci signed on and was soon at work with Megan Hack, a member of the university’s Web team, and others involved with the project.
While the university gained another avenue of communication, and visitors gained a way to easily track down a parking lot, a dining hall, a phone number, or the history behind some of those red bricks, Tucci also benefitted from his summer months spent immersed in “iPhone land.”
“It wasn’t heavy computer science, trying to figure out how many triangles are going to fit in a circle, that kind of thing, but in terms of a learning experience, it was fantastic,” Tucci says. “It was a great way to experience the development process, working with other people, one of the best things that I’ve done in school so far.”