Johns Hopkins Student Wins Google App-Building Contest

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In her May commencement address, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki encouraged Johns Hopkins students to take the future into their own hands, and to take risks necessary to make the future a more exciting, dynamic place. Clearly, Hopkins student Phani Gaddipati is on his way to becoming part of that bright future: The junior majoring in biomedical engineering just won top prize in a major Google app-building contest.

The contest encouraged students to build an app using Google’s mobile advertising platform AdMob, with the goal of finding a way to make AdMob make money. Students from more than 90 countries submitted hundreds of entries– and Gaddipati’s app, Stacks Flashcards, beat them all. Stacks allows users to build flashcards to help them with the studying process, allowing students to build, organize, and self-test with flashcards. It took Gaddipati about a month to develop the app, and then a few more months to get it just right.

According to Google, the app was chosen because it “solves a simple problem in a meaningful way” and is “a good idea in a crowded market.” As a reward, Gaddipati got flown to San Francisco for a special tour of Google headquarters. He also has the satisfaction of knowing that more than 23,000 people have downloaded the $1.49 app.

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