TORONTO, Nov. 10, 2011 /CNW/ - The assignment: create a solution for
multiple smart phone platforms that will make the daily commute easier
for people across the GTA. The challenge: it not only has to be
functional but will go live for GO Transit's 217,000 daily passengers.
This might seem like a daunting task, but for six Ryerson University
computer science students and a recent Ryerson grad, this kind of
assignment has been the norm ever since they accepted research
positions in Ryerson's Digital Media Zone (DMZ) last year.
The six students Jaspaul Bola, Justin Lam, Damyan Petkov, Archuthan
Vijayaratnam, Petar Kramaric, Srdjan Lakovic and recent Ryerson MASc
graduate Stephen Johns collaborated to create GO Transit's first
official mobile application, GO Mobile. The application eliminates the need for paper schedules, locates the
nearest station, bookmarks frequently travelled routes, alerts users
when they are approaching their station and provides real-time
track-level information from Union Station.
"The IP platform that underpins the GO Mobile application is the direct
result of a Ryerson student's PhD research," said Ryerson President
Sheldon Levy. "We are very proud to provide this combination of
in-house research, innovation, and unique learning experiences at
Each student on the team was responsible for a different element of the
project. Jaspaul managed infrastructure development, Justin was in
charge of Blackberry programming, Petar and Srdjan did programming for
Android and iPhone, while Stephen coordinated the project and unified
"We wanted our team of young researchers to experience a client-service
provider relationship with this project," said Stephen Johns, who has
recently finished his Master's in computer science at Ryerson. "GO
Transit was an ideal partner for our group as they were committed to
experiential learning and developing a great, knowledge-based transit
In order for the team to have the full corporate experience, Rahnama
engaged the students in planning and strategy sessions, client
meetings, and developing the application's backend and user interface.
"This project exemplifies the next generation of a university
classroom," said Dr. Hossein Rahnama. "Students and recent graduates
learn, collaborate and manage their relationships with an important
external partner while developing functional solutions. Our students
excelled in this environment and we are all thrilled with the outcome."
Several of the team members became interested in the DMZ R&D projects
through Rahnama's computer science course this past winter. Many of the
principles they learned in that course went into developing the GO
Mobile project, providing great hands-on reinforcement of the classroom
materials, but it was the business elements that provided a richly
rewarding learning experience for the students.
"By engaging with a partner like Metrolinx, our team learned how to work
collectively in real-world situations under the stress of hard
deadlines, how to interact with clients, and how react to challenges as
they came up," said Kramaric. "In all, it was a great learning
experience for our whole team."
The GO Mobile application is available for iPhones, BlackBerry and
Android Smartphones at http://gotransit.com/goapps.
Opened in April 2010, Ryerson University's Digital Media Zone (DMZ) is a
multidisciplinary workspace for young entrepreneurs infused with the
energy and resources of downtown Toronto. Set atop Yonge-Dundas Square,
this hub of digital media innovation, collaboration and
commercialization is home to both entrepreneurial startups and industry
solution-providers. With access to overhead and business services,
students and alumni can fast-track their product launches, stimulating
Canada's emerging digital economy through spending and job creation.
Since its launch the DMZ has helped more than 170 innovators to
incubate and accelerate 29 startups and to launch 57 projects. For more
information on the DMZ, visit www.ryerson.ca/dmz.
Ryerson University is Canada's leader in innovative, career-oriented
education and a university clearly on the move. With a mission to serve
societal need, and a long-standing commitment to engaging its
community, Ryerson offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate
programs. Distinctly urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the
university is home to 28,000 students, including 2,000 master's and PhD
students, nearly 2,700 faculty and staff, and more than 140,000 alumni
worldwide. Research at Ryerson is on a trajectory of success and
growth: externally funded research has doubled in the past four years.
The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada's leading
provider of university-based adult education. For more information,
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SOURCE Ryerson University
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Media Relations Officer, Ryerson Digital Media Zone
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