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Oklahoma State University

Mobile app competition winners named

Monday, December 3, 2018

OSU education professor Dr. Julie Angle explains how the mobile app Science Fair Friend will work.

Judges have chosen the top mobile app concepts in Phase One of the “From Research to App Competition” at Oklahoma State University. The panel of judges are sending the two concepts to the competition’s second phase next spring.

Dr. Jason DeFreitas, assistant professor of health and human performance, and graduate student Mitch Magrini won first place and $2,000 for their app, “The Reactive Leg Drop.” The app is a tool that assesses, predicts and tracks the risk of falling in older adults.

Dr. James Manimala, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and graduate students Juan Parra and Milkyas Afework won second place and $1,000, with their app concept, “BLLNQ.” It is designed to provide drivers with real-time detection of traffic signals and signs, impending collisions and lane departures, as well as log driving records.

In third place, winning $500, was the app idea created by Drs. Julie Angle, associate professor of educational sciences, and Donald French, professor of integrative biology. Their “Science Fair Friend” app makes participating in local, regional, state and international science and engineering fairs simple and straightforward by assisting students, teacher-mentors and judges with all phases of STEM research.

Phase Two of the competition involves individuals or teams of competing app developers who will choose one of the two ideas as a foundation for designing a working app. The developers will then “pitch” their functioning apps to judges. Normally, the top two winning app ideas would move onto the next phase, but the technical complexity of the BLLNQ app prevents the team from advancing. The Science Fair Friend app will join The Reactive Leg Drop app in Phase Two.

“I am very pleased with the variety of scientific disciplines represented in this years’ competition from Arts school to Engineering,” said Jai Rajendran, manager of the App Center and competition organizer.

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

The registration deadline for Phase Two is Jan. 29, 2019. It 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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