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Cal State LA students code for heart health

October 5, 2015


Cal State LA students have developed cutting-edge apps to help educate women about heart disease as part of a collaboration with the Clinton Foundation and the Women's Heart Alliance.

The app designs were created this weekend and presented Sunday during the closing of the Fight the Ladykiller Codeathon. The three-day event drew industry leaders from the tech, design and health fields and tested the engineering and coding skills of more than 40 students who participated.

The winning team created a prototype app called "Heart Plus," an educational game that plays to the huge popularity of game apps among young women. As women play the game, they’ll learn more about heart disease and prevention, student presenters told the panel of judges.

Photos: Students code for heart health.

The judges included President William A. Covino, First Lady Debbie Covino, Provost Lynn Mahoney, Karol Watson, of the UCLA Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Health Program and actor Josh Brener of the series Silicon Valley.

"As far as we’re concerned you're all winners,” Covino said.  “You've shown great ingenuity and great creativity."

The winning team included students Tim Lee, Saul Castro, Ray Y. Han, Louise Perez, Zi Li, Susan Sun and Jeanne Pascua.

Dean Emily L. Allen, of the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology, said the students’ efforts embody “Cal State LA's commitment to engagement, service, and the public good.”

“Each team demonstrated teamwork, motivation and all the technical and design skills needed to develop an effective mobile app to effectively inform young women about the risks of heart disease,” Allen said. “Most of the students were computer science seniors, but several freshmen participated as well. We are very proud of all of them.”

Students competed for prizes, including a trip to Palm Springs to attend a Clinton Foundation conference.

The Codeathon was part of a series of events at the University designed to increase heart health awareness. Activities continue on Monday with a panel discussion including the U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and others.

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Cal State LA is a university dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 27,000 students and 240,000 distinguished alumni, who are as diverse as the city we serve. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Cal State LA has long been recognized as an engine of economic and social mobility. Led by an award-winning faculty, the University offers nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and the humanities.

Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex, TV, Film and Media Center and the Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good. For more information, visit