RIT Class Develops Applications to Support One Laptop Per Child Initiative

Students to present various software programs Monday, May 18

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Rochester Institute of Technology students have spent the past 10 weeks working to equip the world’s poorest children with the opportunity to use computers.

Students in the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences have been developing software applications for the One Laptop Per Child Initiative, an effort that seeks to provide impoverished children with a unique, rugged, low-cost laptop that is loaded with software that encourages self-empowered learning.

The results are an assortment of games and applications that are either finished products, or works in progress that can be built upon by other developers involved in the project. Examples of new software include a math education game that serves as a One Laptop Per Child version of the popular “Lemonade Stand.” Students have also redeveloped a software program called “Muthris,” a mathematical version of “Tetris.”

These programs and others will be presented during a class at 12:30 p.m. Monday, May 18 in room 2000 of the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. Media are welcome to attend.

“Students really want to be able to do things in their course work that is actually used by people, especially if it’ll benefit, people, communities and organizations that aren’t as well off as they are,” says Steve Jacobs, who teaches the course and is director of RIT’s Lab for Technological Literacy. “Having a class in which students can advance the goals of and provide actual useable software for the One Laptop Per Child community is a no-brainer.”