Matt Zimola – The Infinite Loop Series

Today I’m launching a new series of posts about student engagement with ShiftKey Labs I’d like to call “Infinite Loop”.

If you’re a programmer, you know all too well the dreaded infinite loop that can wreak havoc on a computer or server. I’d like to redefine this term and spin it into something positive.

The “Infinite Loop Series” name represents the continuous cycle of support we provide to students through workshops, hackathons, networking events, and one-on-one advising sessions while engaged with ShiftKey. This programming helps students at the earliest stages of innovation gain business and technical skills, expand their professional networks, and enhance a student’s degree in a variety of ways. We become part of team that assists with the discovery process, learning, and journey forward to help students evaluate the potential of a project idea. This is truly an “infinite loop” of feedback and support as students weave in and out of the lab to access the resources they need to be successful.

Matt Zimola has leveraged a variety of ShiftKey Labs programming since 2016. He attended workshops, hackathons, participated in the first cohort of the Creativity and Innovation Bootcamp, and was a Lab Resident from Fall 2016-2017. He has accessed almost every innovation-based program at Dalhousie and as a Lab Resident alumnus, has now spread his wings to access other innovation-based supports in the region. Matt describes some of this journey in the video below.

Matt Zimola – Master of Applied Computer Science student, Dalhousie University

If you would like to learn more about ShiftKey Labs and start your innovation-based journey, please register for one of our events in the Calendar or contact us for more information.

App-solutely memorable: Halifax students making tool for those with dementia to access family photos, messages

By: Kashmala Fida For Metro Published on Mon Aug 07 2017

A new Siri-like application to help seniors with dementia or memory loss is in the works thanks to a group of current and former Dalhousie University students.

MyMem is the brainchild of graduate Eric Fisher, and current Masters of Applied Computer Science program students Harish Gopinath, Arun Athisamy, and Aishwarya Ravichandran, who have been working on the app since March.

“Our app enables us to easily access important information and photos by voice command and it requires very little use of technology,” said Fisher, who graduated with a PhD in biochemistry in 2013.

“We want to provide families and caregivers, residences with a private group account within which they can share information.”

Fisher said they wanted to create something that was both helpful and fun to use.

The idea for the app was conceived at an event called Hackathon, put together by Hacking Health, a social organization that works to improve technology development in the health sector.

During his speech, co-founder Luc Sirois mentioned that he wished for his mother to be able to access memories on her phone via Siri.

Fisher said they went with the idea from there.

“Right now we have the prototype. We are developing a version that can be tested by people which will release this fall,” he said.

Fisher said they are reaching out to the public through Kijiji and social media to look for families that could benefit from this app.

They are looking for people, not only to use the app but also to interview and talk about what their problems are on a daily basis, and to get a deeper understanding of the challenges they face.

From the information gathered, they will tailor the app to better help people.

“Their input will help us really make MyMem into something like a real, meaningful, positive impact on people’s lives.”

The application project is part of an Introduction to Innovation Bootcamp out of ShiftKey Labs at the Dalhousie University.

The group recently completed phase one of the bootcamp and are progressing to phase two.

They hope to release a broader version of the app for public use by 2018.