Connect with us

Business

Simple coding using phone won varsity don top award

Published

on

Spread the love by sharing this post with family and friends
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Dr Chao Mbogo might have had many things to remember about February, but one enduring memory will be her travel to Seattle, United States, to receive an award that celebrates women scientists from the developing world.

The computer scientist was one of the five women who won this year’s OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards, and the only one from Africa.

Dr Chao, the dean of Kenya Methodist University’s School of Science and Technology, came back with a trophy, a $5,000 (Sh522,700) cheque

and one more item on the list of awards she has won in her illustrious career in research and technology. They are now nine in her resumé, and they include Google Anita Award (2014), Quartz Africa Innovator (2017), and Zuri Award (2018).

The award Dr Chao received in February is given by the Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), headquartered in Italy, in collaboration with the Elsevier Foundation that is based in The Netherlands.

The award has been running since 2013.

Between February 12 and 16, she was in the US interacting with the other winners — who came from Bangladesh, Guatemala, Sri Lanka, and Yemen.

She was also attending talks by the award organisers and listening to a number of speakers who included software billionaire Bill Gates.

An idea she conceptualised a decade ago earned her the recognition. She was then working as a lecturer at Kenya Methodist University (Kemu), the university from where she got her first degree (mathematics and computer science) in 2003. She returned there as a lecturer after completing her master’s in computer science from Oxford University, from where she graduated in 2007.

As a Kemu lecturer, she realised that most computer science students had great potential but were drawn back by lack of resources, among them computers. It then hit her that if there was a way to write computer code using mobile phones, many more people would have the much-required headstart in joining the field of software creation.

It is a concept she took into her PhD project at the University of Cape Town. Her PhD thesis was titled Scaffolding Java Programming on a Mobile Phone for Novice Learners.

In 2013, in a conference paper building on that thesis, she outlined the tricks that can be used to make a mobile phone application that can assist greenhorns in the world of creating computer programmes to navigate their way around the often-complicated art.

“(It makes work easy by) providing instructions, steps, default code to be edited, hints, and error prompts where appropriate,”

Dr Chao wrote in the paper.

She added that it also enables the construction of one part at a time, which makes it possible to work with the small screens of mobile devices.

Dr Chao’s efforts are likely to see a generation of Kenyans who have an easy introduction into the world of coding — which basically is the creation of software that enables machines to interact with humans and with other machines.

“Coding is impactful and useful when it is both enjoyed and used to solve some of our most pressing socio-economic challenges. Some of the applications we utilise heavily today are coded,” she said, giving examples of banking apps, taxi hailing apps, social networking apps, among others.

“We live in a society where we have very many interesting problems that can be solved using technology,” she noted.

In an interview with the Sunday Nation on Friday, we asked Dr Mbogo what she plans to do with the prize money she won.

“Part of the funds will be used to support further research of my work and I have also put part of it to KamiLimu, the mentorship program that I run,” she said.

A mathematics enthusiast, she got a calling letter to study nutrition and diet in university after sitting her KCSE. She firmly turned down the invitation and instead enrolled for mathematics and computer science at Kemu. That would be the start of the journey into a demanding field.

“To be a computer scientist, you simply need two traits: Be curious and remain teachable,” she told the Sunday Nation.

“With curiosity, comes the willingness to discover. With the willingness to discover comes the ability to innovate.

To innovate well, you must continuously learn and thus, you have to remain teachable,” added Dr Chao.

Her mobile-adaptable system is currently being refined and may soon be available to the public, she said.

“I am currently working on a new prototype of the technology,” she said.

Afterwards, she will take it to her programming students to test it in all aspects.

“After that iteration, the application will be available to use for anyone who is learning Java computer programming and can be downloaded online,” she noted.

By Daily Nation

 


Spread the love by sharing this post with family and friends
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business

KQ resumes direct flights to New York

Published

on

Spread the love by sharing this post with family and friends
  •  
  • 2
  •  
  •  
  •  

The national carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) resumed its direct flights between Nairobi and New York on Sunday.

In a tweet, KQ announced the move and topped it up with an offer to passengers who book their flights before December 10 that they will enjoy discounted prices.

Welcome back to the Big Apple! Today we resume our service between Nairobi and New York, and we can’t wait to welcome you on board. Book your ticket via https://t.co/hitS3Whxtp before December 10th to enjoy discounted rates ✈️🌎 *Disclaimer – video from our pre-COVID archives pic.twitter.com/1kET4h0kRK

— Kenya Airways (@KenyaAirways) November 29, 2020

“Welcome back to the Big Apple! Today we resume our service between Nairobi and New York, and we can’t wait to welcome you on board,” the airline said.

The national carrier last operated the passenger flights using the Nairobi-New York route in April after disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

KQ resumed international flights in August after suspending all its operations in March following the government’s directives after the firsts case of Covid-19 was confirmed in Kenya.

On Saturday, October 31, KQ announced that it had postponed New York flights’ resumption.

Through a notice, the airline said the decision to postpone the flights was informed by the increased cancellation of flight bookings to New York.

“We regret to announce that due to increased cancellations of flight bookings to New York City, we have pushed back the resumption of our service to this destination to November 29. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused,” read the statement then.

Kenya Airways inaugurated direct flights to the US in October 2018, cutting the journey to the US by 15 hours and by October 2019 KQ had flown at least 105,084 passengers after completing 594 flights to and from New York.

by NN


Spread the love by sharing this post with family and friends
  •  
  • 2
  •  
  •  
  •  
Continue Reading

Business

Bodaboda chama grows into a multi-million shilling housing cooperative

Published

on

Spread the love by sharing this post with family and friends
  •  
  • 2
  •  
  •  
  •  

A journey of a thousand many miles starts with a single step. A Nakuru-based bodaboda operator’s self-help group proved this in its growth. Driven by the ambition to have something to take home once they couldn’t ride any more, ten bodaboda operators from Barut, Nakuru West in 2015 formed Kianjahi Group, pooling a minimum savings of Sh100 per week per person.

“Being a bodaboda operator is a risky job and has serious effect on one’s health especially if you don’t dress properly for the cold. After attending a seminar in Machakos we decided to start making savings,” said Benson Sigei, the group chairperson.

The group grew as more members joined in 2016. After evaluating their progress, the members increased their weekly savings to Sh200 and eventually to Sh1,000.

“Before the year ended we were nearly 100 members. Our savings were growing and we had to come up with plans which some members considered as too ambitious and pulled out,” says Sigei. With savings of nearly Sh2 million, they bought a 1.6-acre piece of land which was previously a sand quarry.

“It cost us Sh2.1 million in buying the land and rehabilitating it to usable standards. We embarked on making savings for constructing houses which would be of similar design,” he said.

To make this possible they converted the group into Kianjahi Housing Cooperative Society Limited and introduced Sh15,100 registration fee and minimum share capital of Sh60,000 payable in Sh500 weekly instalments.

AmpThe group started the construction of two-bedroom houses in a gated community model.

“Every member now contributes a minimum of Sh1,500 for savings every week. Those yet to clear their share capital make an additional payment of Sh500. This amount does not exert great pressure on the riders since the majority make nearly KShs1,000 per day.

The group then started the construction of two-bedroom houses in a gated community model where four houses sit on every 50 by 100 feet plot. The cooperative completed the construction of the first 50 units majority of which have already been occupied.

“We took a Sh15 million loan and in addition to our savings we bought an additional acre of land at Sh2.1 million. In the first phase, we have constructed 52 housing units. 35 members have already moved in,” said the vice-chairman.

The cooperative has bought a third parcel of land on which they intend to set up houses for all members. Members who moved in during the first phase like pay Sh2,000 per month. Sh200 goes to savings and Sh1,800 going towards offsetting the cost of construction. The payment for the houses is spread over seven years.

by Standardmedia.co.ke


Spread the love by sharing this post with family and friends
  •  
  • 2
  •  
  •  
  •  
Continue Reading

Business

Enough is Enough: Kenyan man in US relocates to motherland to become a farmer

Published

on

Spread the love by sharing this post with family and friends
  •  
  • 2
  •  
  •  
  •  

In a bold move and which took great courage, a former Kenyan Diaspora man Kunga Kihokia who was born and raised in Miami Florida has moved back to Kenya, bought a 20 acres piece of land and established an organic farm in Murang’a.

Initially, Kunga had planned to be in Kenya for three weeks 5 years ago but after what he says was the realization of the problems affecting Kenyans because of western lifestyle which he himself was struggling with, he felt strongly to start an organic farm to address those problems.

Kunga has built a water tower to use gravity that allows the water to get pumped and distributed  through  irrigation into the field. Everything in the farm is powered by solar energy and he has dug a borehole that supplies enough water for the farm. Watch the video, be inspired  and enjoy.

Source: Diasporamessenger.com


Spread the love by sharing this post with family and friends
  •  
  • 2
  •  
  •  
  •  
Continue Reading

Special Offer: Own one starting at Ksh 3.7M


poapay3

Like us on Facebook, stay informed

NEWS TRENDING RIGHT NOW

2020 Calendar

satellite-communication1.jpg

Trending