Florida Tech Provides an Appealing Environment for App Development

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As a youngster, Daium Butt was always on his computer.

“I would constantly get in trouble with my parents for being on my computer all the time but I wanted to make software that would make things easier for everyone,” Butt said. “I wanted to create something that everyone uses, something that could really help them and that’s why I got into computer science.”

Now a computer science student at Florida Tech set to graduate in 2018, he channeled his vision into creating an app called MediCell.

“My aunt in Pakistan had to undergo a knee surgery , she could not travel in a car and had to be transported through an ambulance. Finding an ambulance to take her back and forth from the hospital was a problem,” Butt said. “She required a lot of injections and taking her to the hospital again and again was both costly and inconvenient. So we had to find nurses that would come home and administer the injections.”

That’s when he came up with the idea to make an app that would help people with their medical needs.

“I worked over the idea for three years and started to save up money for my company. As time progressed I decided to make it an all-in-one solution for everything medical,” Butt said. “So now, from medicines, to lab tests, to booking appointments with doctors, ambulances, the blood bank, and even everything for your pet, it can be done from the app.”

Ace Environment for App Development

He says it was environment at Florida Tech that gave him the confidence and the ability to make his vision a reality.

One of Butt’s favorite classes was Intro to Programming in C++, taught by Marilyn Scott, a computer sciences and cybersecurity instructor

“Mrs. Scott was an amazing professor,” Butt said. “I really admired her achievements.”

Scott says she has had a number of students create apps.

“My goal in teaching is to inspire students to think big, be creative. What they learn in my class is just the beginning of something bigger,” Scott said. “The mind has limitless potential and they would be surprised what they can develop. Be bold and go after.”

Butt also attributes his involvement with a friend’s senior design project as an inspiration for designing his own app.

“There were a lot of experiences that I went through in college that helped me in the creation of the app.” Butt said. “Like helping my friends through their senior design project, which was a smart cane for blind people.”

Diversity and Collaboration

The diverse culture at Florida Tech was also a motivator.

“Talking to a lot of my colleagues helped me improve the app. I asked questions from different students from different cultures,” Butt said. “This helped me better understand the healthcare in different regions of the world.”

His collaboration with other students also helped in the development of his product.

“One of my friends, a grad student at FIT loves animals. He was the one who suggested adding a pet module,” Butt said. “Another one of my friends, who just graduated, helped me with the initial UI and design of the app. She helped me create the graphical user interface using the different software available on campus.”

Forward-Thinking Faculty

Because the faculty at Florida Tech integrates the use of apps and software in their coursework – the environment is inspiring and stimulating to students.

Mark Bush, Florida Tech professor of biological science and Eraldo Ribeiro and Ronaldo Menezes, both associate professors of computer science at Florida Tech, helped develop the application called WhatFrog, designed to identify frog calls – and students were involved in beta testing and in recording frog calls for a sound library.

In his network security class, Marco Carvalho, associate professor and director of the Harris Institute for Assured Information, uses the Virtual Infrastructure for Network Emulation (VINE); a software component developed at Florida Tech that puts realistic cybersecurity threats into play and designed to help users build large-scale emulated testbeds in the cloud, which allows components of a scenario to be modified with ease by a researcher.

“One of my professors suggested a few security measures which I implemented,” Butt said. “And one of my business professors helped me with my business model and significantly improved it.”

The school’s resources also provided a significant advantage.

“I constantly used FIT’s resources for my projects. I have rented arduino’s and other micro controllers from the school to help with the development of my products,” Butt said. “These micro controllers have helped me through the design and development process of the products. The software available on campus also helped me a lot, such as for 3-D modeling of the products. I also used the 3-D printing lab multiple times for these designs.”

But he says, the biggest contributor for the app development was the college’s diverse atmosphere and supportive environment.

“My being able to communicate with people from different backgrounds and their suggestions and thinking about the app has been the biggest help,” Butt said. “The skills I have learned over the years from my classes have definitely been the biggest reason behind my app. Being able to develop the complex algorithms that are being used by the app would not have been possible if my professors had not pushed me beyond my limit in my classes.”

For more information about MediCell, visit www.medi-cell.com

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When I wasn't searching my house for secret passageways or scouring the neighborhood for hidden treasure, I spent much of my childhood reading. As an adult, in addition to a passion for marketing, social media and higher education, I write young adult fiction and create my own fantastical worlds for others to explore.

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