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UH's iPhone App

by Michael West

As more and more of us carry iPhones and smartphones, the number of mobile applications is exploding. And recent Honors grad Kaleb Fulgham is riding that wave of popularity.

In a course on “Ubiquitous Computing” last fall, Kaleb led a team of four undergraduates in the development of a UH iPhone application called “UH Guide.” On a huge campus like ours, the use of iPhone’s GPS capability allows users to orient themselves easily, with the use of the application’s interactive campus map. There is even a parking and shuttle feature.

In the future, they plan to add more social media features to the application in hopes of increasing student participation and interaction. As Kaleb points out, these kind of interactive smartphone applications are beginning to replace standard web sites as the sources of information for college students.

“We wanted to lead the effort in pushing the University to adopt the new mobile paradigm that we are entering,” Kaleb said. “The student demographic is probably the biggest user-base of smartphones, and will only increase with the influx of young students every year. There’s a huge potential in utilizing the mobile platform to engage and inform students more than even a Web site could.”

Kaleb now works full-time as a Junior Software Developer at PROS, a Houston software company, along with Zeke Ziliak, an Honors College alumnus and project manager at PROS who has hosted several interns from the Honors College. 

The recipient of a Terry Scholarship, Kaleb points to the importance of his Honors courses in helping him become a better software developer. “The knowledge that I gained through strenuous reading and writing assignments in my liberal arts honors courses greatly assisted me in the research and presentations for my technical courses,” Kaleb said. “The Honors College has exposed me to classic and modern literature, philosophical thinking, and writing skills that are missing from most computer scientists' educations.”

While he hopes ultimately to found his own Web and mobile application software development company, Kaleb loves the communal, inquiring spirit that characterizes both students and professors in the Honors College. “I chose to be in the Honors College after visiting an Honors Open House and seeing the close knit community of students and faculty from all disciplines desiring to explore, learn, and enjoy what the university had to offer,” he said. “I've made life-long friends in the Honors College.”