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U of T Scarborough students attend Apple Worldwide Developers Conference on scholarship

Julia Yan and Adrian Ensan, two U of T Scarborough computer science students, attended the 2017 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on scholarship. (Original photos courtesy of Julia Yan and Adrian Ensan)

Two University of Toronto Scarborough computer science students were among 350 students worldwide to be awarded scholarships to attend the 2017 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) – the notable technology event of the year.

For Adrian Ensan, a third-year student in the software engineering stream, the opportunity to get feedback from Apple experts about personal projects and software development was everything he wanted.

“I got to meet fellow developers from every part of the world, the engineers behind the development tools I use and the developers behind some of my favourite apps and games,” says Ensan.

From June 5 to 9, Ensan and Julia Yan attended the unique opportunity to connect with Apple developers and special guests through speaker series, workshops, one-on-one consultations and other events.

To obtain the scholarship, students had a month to create a “visually interactive experience," written in a specific programming language, along with a couple of essay questions. After a month of deliberations and scoring, the top 350 students were selected.

“Without the scholarship there’s no way I would have been able to afford the cost of the conference ticket, not to mention the slim chances of even getting a ticket by paying,” says Ensan.

Yan, also in the software engineering stream at U of T Scarborough, heard about the scholarship opportunity from Ensan and says it was chance to really figure out what she wants to focus her career on.   

“This was a learning opportunity to dig deeper into the technology industry and understand what it really means to be someone in computer science, whether that be as a developer or something else,” says Yan.

David Fleet, Department Chair and Professor of Computer Science at U of T Scarborough says the opportunity Ensan and Yan received encourages students to always have aspirations and to think about where their skills can take them.

Students who have considered applying for scholarships like WWDC’s shouldn’t underestimate themselves, says Fleet. Through Co-op programs at U of T Scarborough, computer science students are equipped with practical and theoretical knowledge of their fields.

“For a student software engineer, attending the WWDC is a great experience,” Fleet says. “It definitely leaves a lasting impression, and they come back to UTSC all fired up with possibilities.”

Possibilities also inspired this year’s WWDC conference as the theme centred on bringing different fields and specialists together to solve global problems. The conference homepage says, “We bring together thousands of brilliant minds representing many diverse perspectives, passions, and talents to help us change the world.”

Some of those ‘brilliant minds’ included U.S. Former First Lady, Michelle Obama and Dr. Christine Darden.

“Their talks really brought to my attention the lack of women in technology,” says Yan. “We need to push to encourage more women to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematic fields.”

Yan has been developing a game application for Apple devices since September 2016. It was nice to present his project to Apple teams he says.

“It will make the release go much smoother now that I already got my foot in the door,” says Ensan.

 

 

 




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