Computer Science Students Develop App for Ford Motor Co.

Five Central Washington University computer science students were presented with the monumental task of creating an app from scratch.

The capstone project was sponsored and overseen by the Ford Motor Company, and developed in just 10 weeks in early 2022.

The team of students designed and built an app to assist electric vehicle owners in finding charging stations, using a new programming language and framework, for a real client expecting real results. Bob Rapp, senior partner at Envorso and mentor to CWU computer science students, came away from the project impressed with the students’ work.

High Impact Capstone Computer Science Ford 9637

Kirsten Boyles, Lucas Keizur, Craig Turnbell, Richard DeYoung, and Joe Corona are all graduating computer science majors. The group was advised by CWU Professor of Computer Science Szilárd Vajda, while development and strategy decisions were left entirely up to the students—the definition of a high-impact practice.

“Professor Vajda gave us a lot of really good guidance,” Boyles said. “He was the one who really pushed us when we expressed interest in going the Flutter and Dart direction and helped us keep our end-goal in sight so we didn’t get lost in the tunnels along the way.”

Flutter, a software development framework, and Dart, a programming language, were both unfamiliar to the team, but they learned the ins and outs of these new systems as they developed their app, to great success.

“Rather than assign ordinary, abstract school projects, I try to find real-life, client-led capstones for my students,” Vajda said. “This way their work is very in demand and they get the opportunity to work with industry professionals before they graduate.”

As a result of their success, all five students on the team were offered internships with Envorso to continue building their app for possible worldwide release.

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