Orit Shaer and Eni Mustafaraj Recognized by Google for Innovation

April 10, 2013

Two of Wellesley's computer science faculty—Norma Wilentz Hess Fellow in Computer Science Eni Mustafaraj and Clare Booth Luce Assistant Professor of Computer Science Orit Shaer—have been individually recognized by Google for innovative projects built on Google's infrastructure.

Eni Mustafaraj's project is Topics in Computer Science: Web Mashups, a CS2 course that combines Google App Engine and MIT App Inventor. Students learn to build apps with App Inventor to collect data about their life on campus. They use Google App Engine to build web services and apps to host the data and remix it to create web mashups. The course is in session Spring 2013.

"Being a Hess Fellow has allowed me to design one new course every year, as part of the series Topics in Computer Science. These courses are project-based courses, where students learn to develop systems meaningful to themselves and their community," says Mustafaraj on her website.

Orit Shaer's project is GreenTouch, a collaborative environment that enables novice users to engage in authentic scientific inquiry. It consists of a mobile user interface for capturing data in the field, a web application for data curation in the cloud, and a tabletop user interface for exploratory analysis of heterogeneous data.

According to Google, the goal of its Google App Engine Education Awards program is to assist in and inspire knowledge exploration by offering access to the Google App Engine infrastructure to higher education faculty and students for coursework and student projects.

Google App Engine Education Awards are open to full-time faculty or staff at accredited academic institutions in the United States; Wellesley is the only liberal arts college represented among the winners, the rest being large institutions such as the University of Michigan, Brown University, and N.C. State.

The awards are given to the individual educators, with winners receiving $1,000 in App Engine credits which can be distributed to up to 10 applications.