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  •  Empowering the Under-Served, One App @ a Time

    Wednesday, Apr. 30, 2014

    The School of Engineering's Frugal Innovation Lab and San Jose's Tech Museum of Innovation put on their first Social Innovation Workshop last Sunday, April 27. Sponsored by NASDAQ and Accenture, the workshops (this being the first of four to be held in 2014) focus on how technology can be harnessed to benefit humanity.

    "Empowering the Under-Served, One App @ a Time" engaged 30 middle school students for 3 hours at The Tech, where they learned how to empathize with homeless people in Santa Clara County and design mobile applications to improve their lives. Participants were quickly absorbed in the tasks of identifying and defining a problem faced by homeless people, and then designing the functionality and architecture of a mobile application to solve that problem.

    To help participants create realistic technology ideas, SCU Computer Engineering Associate Professor Silvia Figueira spoke about mobile projects that help the homeless, including several tools that were designed during the "Hack for the Homeless" event, held at Santa Clara last month. Other participants included a 2013 Tech Awards Laureate, Alejandro Maza, who discussed how his social enterprise in Mexico City (OPI) is leveraging the use of technology to support initiatives in crime prevention, public health, and education. Radha Basu, Director of the Frugal Innovation Lab, taught participants how to innovate for under-served communities, with a design innovation process that emphasizes empathy above all else. The Community Technology Alliance (CTA) in San Jose also provided first-hand narratives about homeless people living in the participants' own neighborhoods, and a young CTA client, who has experienced homelessness in the past, was brave enough to share her experiences with the group.

    Upcoming workshops this year include: 3D Bio-Printing for Public Health, Renewable Materials for Structural Stability (during seismic activity), and Pathogen Detection and Clean Water Monitoring. Check The Tech's website for more information on how to get involved.

    Submitted by Elizabeth Sweeny

  •  Student Field Work Featured in Article

    Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013

    Research work to detect pathogens in drinking water performed by bioengineering's Jessica VanderGeissen '14 and the School of Engineering's Frugal Innovation Lab was featured in this article in Sci Dev Net.

  •  Computer Engineers Create App for Homeless

    Friday, Nov. 22, 2013

    Many local agencies offer services for those in need, but for the estimated 7,000 homeless people in Santa Clara County, help is often elusive. Now a small group of Santa Clara University students has transformed a simple mobile phone into a vital conduit for assistance.

  •  SCU Frugal Innovation Lab Featured

    Wednesday, Sep. 11, 2013

    The School of Engineering's Frugal Innovation Lab (FIL) was featured in an article in the recent edition of New Scientist. Read how the FIL is helping to shape the emerging field of frugal engineering.

  •  SCU Mobile Project Helps Area Homeless

    Wednesday, Jun. 12, 2013

    A group of Santa Clara University computer science and engineering students taking the course, Mobile Projects for Social Benefit, have developed an app to help homeless individuals and very-low-income families in Santa Clara County access community services.

    Santa Clara University students enjoy a wide range of opportunities to explore the explosive field of mobile health through the Mobile Health Lab housed within the School of Engineering's Frugal Innovation Lab.

  •  Frugal Innovation Report

    Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013

    The School of Engineering's new Frugal Innovation Lab has had a busy and productive year.  Read all about it in the 2012 year end report.

  •  Frugal Innovation Program Recognized

    Friday, May. 4, 2012

    The Frugal Innovation program at Santa Clara University was featured in the Asociation for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's 2011 Higher Education Sustainability Review in the report's "Innovative campus-community sustainability partnerships" section.

    Read the article here.

    See the entire report on the AASHE website.

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