Student Programming Team Creates CTools Mobile App, Sells to U-M ITS

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Front row (left to right): Apoorva Bansal, Stephen Wald, Matthew Viscomi Middle row (left to right): Nader Jawad, Yousuf Jukaku, Daniel Jonik Back row (left to right): Jeff Fleszar, Jeff Ringenberg

A team of primarily CS and CE students has created the Mobile CTools application for iOS and Android, and has sold the app to U-M Information and Technology Services. ITS is chartered to provide technology and communications services for U-M and has a unit devoted to mobile. ITS previously purchased another student-developed app, iWolverine, and released it as the Michigan iPhone app.


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CTools iOS screen

According to team member Apoorva Bansal, “Mobile CTools allows for quick, clean, and easy access to CTools pages from iOS and Android mobile devices with a focus on a user-friendly UI and intuitive navigation controls. The application provides users with a set of frequently used tools for each of their CTools sites including resources, announcements, and assignments. The Android version of the application integrates MPrint support, allowing students to print directly from their device to the nearest available printer instead of waiting for an available computer. Further updates to the app will be implemented by ITS after the sale of the application is complete.”

The team that created Mobile CTools is known as the MSuite Student Collaborative, and is based in the Computer Science and Engineering division of the EECS department at the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering. Team members include:


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CTools Android screen

iOS Team: 
Apoorva Bansal – Mechanical Engineering/Computer Engineering
Daniel Jonik – Computer Engineering
Matthew Viscomi – Computer Science

Android Team:
Nader Jawad – Computer Science
Yousuf Jukaku – Computer Science
Stephen Wald – Computer Science

Graphic Designer: 
Andrew Hainen – School of Art & Design

Design Consultant: 
Jeff Fleszar – Ross School of Business

Faculty Supervisor: 
Jeff Ringenberg – Computer Science and Engineering

Creating a Community of Mobile App Developers

Jeff Ringenberg, faculty advisor for the team, sees the Mobile CTools project as a great example of a new model for software development in the mobile space. States Ringenberg, “The creation of Mobile CTools is a perfect example of how the University is leveraging student developers in the creation of University-centered software.”

Laura Patterson, Chief Information Officer at the University, commented on the CTools project as well. “We truly have been impressed by both the mobile app innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit of our students. Student developers greatly add to the app’s functionality and features as they really know best how other students interact with the technology on a daily basis. The strength that the central IT group brings is ensuring the information shared over the mobile waves remains confidential and scaling the app for broad use. As on average CTools has more than 46,000 unique visitors per day, we will need to make some adjustments so it can handle the scale before we can make the app available to everyone on campus.”