Hopkins student wins top prize in Google app contest - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Aug. 6, 2014 10:50 am

Hopkins student wins top prize in Google app contest

In a strong showing for Baltimore-area student hackers, Hopkins rising junior Phani Gaddipati won the global prize and Towson rising senior Gabe Brandao won the North America regional prize.

The winning app, Stacks Flashcards, is an interactive study guide.

(Photo via Google Play)

Phani Gaddipati knew for two months he had won a trip to San Francisco, but he had to keep it quiet until this week.

“I told my family,” Gaddipati said. “I couldn’t really do much else because they didn’t want me to tell anyone else.”

The rising Johns Hopkins University junior from Colorado Springs, Colo., and his Stacks Flashcards Android app was the global winner of Google’s AdMob Student App Challenge. He will visit Google’s Mountain View headquarters later this month. The contest required students to use Google’s AdMob service.

Gaddipati’s app allows users to create or import sets of flashcards to prepare for quizzes or tests. He said it has seen “around 25,000” downloads from Google Play since its late-July release.

Phani Gaddipati. (Photo courtesy of Johns Hopkins)

“The idea was just something that you could just carry around with you because a lot of my classes had a lot of memorization to them,” Gaddipati said.

He built the original version of the app in just three weeks over winter break.

In addition to the visit to Google, Gaddipati’s award also comes with a featured spot on the Google Play store. Next for the “Stacks” app is more sets of flashcards and other ongoing updates.

Gaddipati said he would like to build a version for iOS, but, “I don’t have enough time in school to learn a whole new platform.”

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The North America regional winner also has Baltimore ties. Rising Towson University senior Gabe Brandao won a tablet from Google for his app, Headphone Connect. It automatically launches user-designated apps (say, YouTube) whenever headphones are plugged in.

Headphone Connect was an app I wrote while waiting for my professors to show up to class,” Brandao said in an email. “I never thought that any Android app I made would be good enough to win something of that magnitude.”

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