Engineering Science

SFU students place first and second in Nokia’s App Competition

June 18, 2012

SFU students won both the first and second prizes in Nokia’s Vancouver Ready.Set () {Code} Challenge on June 15, which invited developers to participate in one-day hackathons to build the coolest, baddest apps for the Windows Phone platform and Nokia Lumia devices” (

Mohammad Akhlaghi is in the fourth year of his Electronics Engineering degree, and won the second place prize for his application, Magic Scale, which lets users calculate their weight and age on each planet in the Solar System. Akhlaghi received the phone and a $250 gift card.

Science student Jonathon Simister captured first place with his application, MolJot, which allows users to draw in the skeletal structures of organic molecules, and then computes the molar mass and chemical formula. Simister’s prize was a $500 gift card and a Nokia Lumia 900 phone. Both students won in the Top 3 overall category, beating out professional programmers, and their award-winning apps will be available in Nokia’s application marketplace.

Akhlaghi describes his Magic Scale as not only an application, but also “a gallery of beautiful hand drawn pictures accompanying users in their voyage within the planets.” Before the hackathon, Akhlaghi had never programmed for a mobile application, and he created Magic Scale entirely on the day of the competition.

Akhlaghi, who is pursuing a Business minor as well as a Electronics Engineering major, says that as an engineer, he not only has the ability to create apps, but to design the running engine behind them, giving him a wide range of future career options.

Ready.Set () {Code} Challenges took place in 13 North American cities throughout May and June, with prizes awarded on site at each event for the top 3 created apps, top student created app, and most Nokia-branded developer. Competitors included student, professional and amateur programmers, and the student prize in the Vancouver competition went to a team from UBC.