Washington University's iPhone Apps Class: Only Real-World Job Seekers Need Apply!
|Kill Cupid! Kill Cupid!|
The course debuted in the fall with 20 junior and senior computer science majors who spent all semester inventing a slew of intriguing apps: a workout manager for personal trainers; a pace calculator for rowers of crew; a browser for StudLife, Wash U's student-produced newspaper; a virtual "crisper" to keep track of when perishable food will go bad, and an app that trains you how to card-count in blackjack.
Now several students are perfecting the apps further, and working on obtaining their $100 developer's licenses from Apple so they can pimp the products to iPhone users.
Sproull, meanwhile, has become a little infatuated. He's working on a super-secret app that he hopes might have some utility for reality-television contests, and has already created two holiday-themed iPhone games. "Cupid Hunter" became available this morning, just in time for Valentine's Day.
It works like this: Cupid is an evil little fellow who swoops in to a technicolor universe to steal sweet-somethings like roses and candy, depending on the level. Players get to "shoot" him with the touch of a finger, to the tune of Johann Sebastian Bach's "Sheep May Safely Graze."
|For the record, Sproull did not come up with Cupid Hunter following a bad break-up.|
For the "Santa Hunter" special that he created back at Christmas time, Sproull thought for a second about putting Mrs. Claus in the mix...then nixed the idea. (The game didn't get approved by Apple until after the holidays; sales were slow.)
Sproull says he modeled the Wash U. class after one at Stanford University, the only other iPhone apps course he knows of at a liberal arts school.
Apparently word got out of a class teaching skills that might yield more than, say beer money. This semester, Sproull has twice as many students.