University’s future tech masterminds showcase their talents

Talented computing students have been mingling with digital professionals and potential employers at the University of Sunderland’s annual Digital Showcase event.

The event – which takes place at the David Goldman Technology Centre at the University’s Sir Tom Cowie Campus, St Peter’s – showcases the work the School of Computing’s second and final year students to the region’s best digital businesses.

It also allows industry experts and project leaders to explore the possibilities of working with the students as well as get a feel for the skills the students can offer their business.

This year, second year students worked in teams to develop interactive experiences for immersive tech company Igloo Vision and communications applications for Durham-based charity Investing In Children.

Second year Game Development student Alessia Borriello and her team received certificates for creating an interactive educational experience for schoolchildren aged nine to 11.

Alessia said: “When we saw our project brought to life in the Igloo it was an unexpected result as we weren’t expecting it to look as good as it did, so we’re really proud of what we’ve made.

“This project is not just for our module, we want it to be used in the future, probably expanded, and we’re really looking forward to people looking at it and playing with it eventually.”

Meanwhile, final year projects included developing smart chatbots, healthy lifestyle applications and developing artefacts to meet industry client briefs. Academic Dean of the University of Sunderland’s Faculty of Technology, Professor John Murray, also gave out prizes to students for their academic posters outlining their final year projects.

Dr Kate MacFarlane, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Sunderland, said: “Working with some of the projects this year has been really interesting because we got project briefs that were open-ended and used emerging technologies, so students were able to use their imagination and really put their own stamp on the project outcomes.

“Some of the projects were developed in the Igloo immersive environment and we are really proud of what our students produced; it’s been really cool to work with them on all of the projects this year.”

Dr MacFarlane added: “It really does show not only our students, but the rest of the University and industry partners the potential of the Igloo and working in that immersive type of environment, as well as showcasing all of the other project work they can get involved with.”

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