Profile of the Week: Rashid Ali

 

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Rashid is currently in 4th year, pursing a double major in Computer Science and Political Science.

How did you find out about The Hub?

I initially found out about the Hub through word of mouth since I was part of the first AppStar competition at UTSC.  I was also part of the opening ceremony of the Hub.

How would you describe The Hub for those who don’t know what it is?

The Hub is a place where students can come and further explore their ideas.  Whether they have an idea they have been working on for a while or if they have a brand new idea and would like to know how to bring that idea into life, the hub is the place to be.  It’ll provide students with the help and connect them with people that can help them bring that idea into life.

What project/app are you working on?

Currently, I’m working on finishing up the UTSC Study Space app.  An app that helps students find study space around campus.  I also have a couple of other ideas in mind, which I will be working on after the launch of the UTSC Study Space app (Fall 2013!!)

What influenced you to want to create this project/app?

Study space has been a major problem at UTSC for many years.  I wanted to create an app that’s not only going to be used by students, but one that solves a problem.  Since finding study space has been one of my biggest problems at UTSC, I decided to create an app that solves that problem.

Why do you feel people need this? How will it make a difference compared to projects/apps that may be similar?

People need this app because the current perception among UTSC students is that there is not enough study space on campus, but there actually is – it’s just a matter of finding it!  Currently, there are no similar apps on the market, so it’s going to be interesting to see how this app is going to inspire other developers to do.

How has The Hub allowed you to develop this project?

The Hub has given me the physical space to explore my idea further, connect with other developers/designers to share our ideas and learn from each other.

What advice would you give to individuals who have ideas they want to work on but don’t know where to start?

Pursue it! Whether that idea of yours is the next big thing or not, you have nothing to lose because you’re guaranteed to learn a lot of new skills on your journey to making that idea into reality.  Start with whatever you have, but most importantly make sure to talk to people whom you trust about this idea.  You will be surprised at how many people will immediately like your idea.  Also, make sure to ask and get the help you need.

 

If you think you have an idea such as Rashid’s but you don’t know where to start, visit The Hub’s meet-and-greet information sessions on Wednesdays 3:30-4:30pm. Any idea, big or small, is welcomed.

Profile of the Week: Ravi Ravindran

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Ravi is a fifth year student completing a double major in neuroscience and psychology. He is a frequent user of The Hub, using the space to develop his project, CSOGETA, a revolutionary new way to disseminate news and other media.

 

How did you find out about The Hub?

By accident. I just saw it and walked in. It looked very open and inviting and it wasn’t like any other room I’ve seen at UTSC. I talked to Gray and learned it was an innovation center and then I realized this is exactly what we’ve needed.

How would you describe The Hub for those who don’t know what it is?

It’s a large meeting place filled with computers, meeting rooms, lounges, for people to get together exchange ideas and develop their own ideas.

What project are you currently working on?

I’m trying to create a platform that will allow users to share and interact with news on a map. Its call CSOGETA and stands for “crowd source geo tag news”. People no longer want to be told what news is important. They want to access what they want to know about. What my platform seeks to do is use the power of maps and augmenting it with news.

What influenced you to want to create this project?

Growing up in Scarborough you hear a lot of things that happen and are missed out by traditional media. From anything crime related to just opinions. Right now I want to make it for UTSC students so they can give feedback to events and the various things that go on here.

Why do you feel people need this?

Social media has sparked a cultural revolution. News organizations read tweets because they realize how socially aware people are. The thing about Twitter is that it’s great because it helps localized people state their opinion to a vast audience but there’s no way to see this, using a map lets you visualize what’s around you.

How has The Hub allowed you to develop this project?

It gives us a great meeting environment and workspace. When people come in here they get driven and they feel like they want to work.

What advice would you give to individuals who have ideas they want to work on but don’t know where to start?

Start wherever you can. Start talking to whoever can listen. Find anyone who’s interested in being involved and get the idea down on paper.

 

If you think you have an idea such as Ravi’s or if you’re interested in being a part of his project, visit The Hub’s meet-and-greet information sessions on Wednesdays 3:30-4:30pm. Any idea, big or small, is welcomed.