Kevin Sha


Bachelor of Science, Computing Science General, 3rd year

Course: CMPUT 401 (Winter 2023) with Instructor Ildar Akhmetov

Who was your community partner and can you describe the project objectives

We worked with the Aquarium Society of Alberta's Aquatic Biosphere Project, who required a proof-of-concept augmented reality (AR) mobile application. The finished application would display simulated animals of species that were local to the user's location, which would educate users about their local ecosystem in an engaging way. The end goal of our project was to provide an impressive proof-of-concept that would showcase the possibilities of such an application to investors, securing funding for further development of such an application.

What was your biggest takeaway from your CSL placement

I learned the importance of ease-of-use and accessibility. Resources of any kind, especially education, should be made available to as many people as possible, and ensuring that our application remained accessible was one step in that process. During development, we had to consider the potential userbase for the app, and what going through the app would feel like for different kinds of people. We quickly learned how much smoother using the app felt with accessible user interface design, which improves the experience for the user. It also opens the door for any kind of user to experience the application, no matter their age or technical experience.

How can you apply any newly gained knowledge/skills to your future endeavours (courses/employment/volunteering)?

The technologies we learned are very versatile, and can be used in many fields, from game development to web design. I have already used one of the technologies in another class, and I have no doubt that I will use these technologies again in my future career. It was also valuable to have experience managing and working in a software development team. Steady teamwork, realistic deadlines, and reasonable expectations were crucial in the success of our project, and I will definitely use this experience to enhance any team I work with in the future.