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Oklahoma State University

OSU announces idea phase winners in app

Monday, December 4, 2017

Judges go through app competition entries to choose the winners for Phase 1.

An app idea that would support environmental work and another designed to assist fire investigators have advanced to the next phase of Oklahoma State University’s From Research to App competition.   

Doctoral student William Hammond won first place for his app idea called reCapp, which helps citizens get involved as scientists by using landscape photography to nurture a spirit of stewardship for the natural world.

“reCapp is a citizen science app focused on exploring outdoors, while documenting global landscape change,” said Hammond from Edmond. “As a first of its kind all-inclusive repeat photography platform, users capture photographs of landscapes, while reCapp gathers all the data necessary to return any user to the same place to re-take the photograph at a later date.”  

James Lord, an instructor in forensic sciences at OSU from Brewster, Massachusetts, placed second in the competition with an app called Fire Dynamics Calculator, which is a mobile-friendly version of a spreadsheet fire investigators currently use to assist them in developing and testing hypotheses about fire scenes. The app will be capable of using validated and well-documented calculations to predict things like flame heights, fire sizes, flammable mixtures of gasses and conductive heat transfer. 

Hammond was awarded $2,000, and Lord received $1,000. The remaining seven finalists received $500 each.  

In the next phase of the contest, teams or individual app designers and developers will pick one of the two ideas and compete against each other for more prize money. Co-sponsors and the App Center will award a total of $15,000 to participants by the end of the competition.  

Contest co-sponsors include the Division of the Vice President for Research and the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship in the Spears School of Business. The App Center is also sponsored by AAA Oklahoma and is an on-campus resource for students and faculty to cultivate mobile application development.  

Jai Rajendran, manager of the App Center and organizer of all six competitions, said his favorite part of the competition is seeing ideas come to life at the pitch event in November and demo day for the apps, which is in March.  

“Those two events represent the fusion of the students’ hard work where they show us what they’ve created,” Rajendran said.  

The registration deadline for phase two is Jan. 29, 2018. Phase two is open to students, app designers and developers who compete individually or in teams. To register, go to

For more information, visit

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