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2nd Annual Autism App Jam - Spring 2014


Last year's competition was such a great success and this year did not disappoint!

New venue + new teams + more prizes = awesome event.

We would like to thank our sponsors for making this possible and the teams for making this memorable!

What a night!

The OC Register features the Autism AppJam



First Place - APPetizer "Say Cheese"
Second Place - DanceCraft
Third Place - Team Anything "Emotions with Words"
Entrepreneurial Award - 5Dev
Best Video - Humble Makers "Pressa"
Best Social Media Presence - DanceCraft
Users Choice - FAST
People's Choice - Smart Dresser
Surprise Award - Smart Dresser

Team Videos

Click PLAYLIST button to see list of team videos


Team Blogs

Get Ready for Friday...


Setup on Friday 4pm-4:45pm
Get there early to get a great spot for your demo!


Turn in your code here:
DropItToMe (password: autismappjam)


Don't forget to make a poster!


Upload your project video to youtube by Wednesday, April 23.
Give us the link here.


Email your resume to by Thursday, April 24rd at 5pm


Post your team's blog address here.


Tweet @UCIAutismAppJam using #2014asdappjam.

When & Where


Photo Credit: Peter Huynh

Kickoff Slides:


Your contributions will make the 2014 Autism App Jam even better than the last!

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What is the Autism App Jam?


The Autism App Jam is a two week competition where teams use their creativity to develop an app that would benefit persons with Autism. Competitors from any school on campus are welcome as this is a multidisciplinary endeavor. The apps will be judged and the top teams will be awarded prizes and recognition.

Each year participation and excitement has grown in this event. Check out last year's App Jam to know what it's like: 2013

Again, this is not just for Computer Science students. We're looking for students from Informatics, Art, Engineering, Medicine, Education... All are welcome!


Each team will be expected to submit a functioning app by the deadline and prepare a poster for the judging event. Throughout the course of the event each team will post progress reports and status updates to the event's facebook page.

The app will be judged by:

  • Relevance to Autism
  • Uniqueness
  • Creativity
  • Presentation
  • Design Process Shown by facebook Page Posts
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We'd like to thank...

Several organizations are on board and excited to donate their time and resources! There will be some judges from these sponsors and all the great prizes come courtesy of these companies.

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Who you're gonna impress...


Jon Chapman, Capital Group

Jon Chapman has 29 years of IT experience in the Financial Services industry, 3 at Morgan Stanley in New York, and 26 at Capital Group, now in Irvine. Jon helped develop trading and accounting applications that currently help safeguard over $1 trillion in client assets.
Jon has served in many roles, both as developer and until recently as a Senior Manager & VP, after 23 years in management. Jon now enjoys his role as a Senior Integration Analyst/Developer in Capital’s Information & Architecture Delivery group.
Jon earned his B.S. degree from Princeton University, where he developed analog-to-digital signal processing hardware for neurological research.
Members of Jon’s family have also “benefitted marvelously from the warmth and dedication of the people at the Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders.”

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Judy Chen, Google

Judy is a User Experience Researcher at Google. Her research interests are in human-computer interaction, computer-mediated communication and interaction design. As a researcher on Gmail, her focus is on better understanding how people communicate, and creating a beautiful and simple user experience in email.
She received her Ph.D. from UC Irvine's School of Information and Computer Sciences. Her dissertation is titled, "From Interaction to Performance in Public Displays."
In her free time, she is a guitarist and drummer for a local rock band based in Los Angeles.

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Patrick Dawson, Blizzard (and parent of two children with Autism)

Patrick Dawson began casually programming in 1996 as the sole engineer of a Multi-User Dungeon (MUD). After graduating from the University of Maryland with a BS in Computer Science, he began his professional career at Firaxis Games where he worked on Civlization III, SimGolf, Pirates!, and Civilization IV. In 2005 he transitioned to Blizzard Entertainment where he worked as a server engineer on World of Warcraft for 5 years. He has also aided other teams, specifically as a consultant on the Startcraft II achievement system, an implementer on the Diablo III Auction House, and as a gameplay lead on the next-gen MMO for Blizzard. In January of 2012 he returned to World of Warcraft to work on the gameplay team. He is responsible for World of Warcraft’s achievement system, scenario system, and most of the account level features.

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Nancy Donnelly, New Vista School

Mrs. Donnelly has sixteen years of experience as an Executive Director of a non-profit organization specializing in transitional, world of work and life skills for young adults with developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder. Prior to administration positions Mrs. Donnelly was a teacher, and she also worked for an educational theatre company, Looking Glass Theatre. While in graduate school at the University of Massachusetts, she worked at Monson State Hospital and developed programs for children who were previously not educated.
Professionally, Mrs. Donnelly was President of the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers, one of the largest trade associations in the country, which included special education private schools; President of the Western Massachusetts Service Providers and a member of the Association of Developmental Disability Providers and the Treasurer of “CASA” (Court Appointed Special Advocates). In Orange County she has been President of the UCI Medical Center Associates and has been involved with the Family Autism Network.
Currently, she is serving on The Autism Task Force for Orange County, and is Chairperson of the Housing Committee. When Mrs. Donnelly is not working at New Vista School, she appreciates the beautiful weather in Orange County by playing tennis, hiking, gardening and reading. She and her husband enjoy living close to their family, and especially playing with their young grandchildren.

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Joshua Feder, M.D.

Dr. Joshua Feder is the Director of Research in the Graduate School of the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders, and he is a voluntary professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSD School of Medicine.
Dr. Feder teaches courses in biostatistics, does research and trains clinicians in psychopharmacology and in relationship-based intervention for people with Autism and related disorders. Dr. Feder also works at local, state and national levels advocating for patient choice in Evidence Based Practice.

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Bill Fisher, Quicksilver Software

Bill Fisher is the Founder, Kingpin, and Scoutmaster of Quicksilver Software, Inc. Quicksilver creates strategy, simulation, and educational titles, including Star Trek: Starfleet Command, and the U.S. Army’s Full Spectrum Command series.
The company also excels in embedded and vertical market product development, and projects that require custom hardware components. Recent projects include a mobile counter-IED trainer for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, a game for Apple iPhone and iPad, a live poker game show in Las Vegas, a keyboarding skills product, and a military “urban stability operations” simulator.
Prior to founding Quicksilver Software, Inc. in 1984, he managed home computer software development for Mattel Electronics where he developed Intellivision programs.
Bill has spent 26 years managing his own software development company. His interests range from strategy game development to simulation-based training and artificial intelligence design to usability and user interface design. He maintains an active role in guiding development of the company’s projects, which include products targeted at markets ranging from commercial entertainment software and educational software to simulation software and mobile applications.

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Nithin Jilla, TeeHub

Nithin is a recent graduate from the Information & Computer Sciences School at the University of California, Irvine and is a social entrepreneur following his passion of giving back and helping others by combining his interests in technology and education. He’s been working on growing Kenya Dream, a nonprofit that raises funds to help improve access to education abroad. He is also the Co-Project Manager of AppJam+, a S.T.E.M.- focused program which educates Middle School students in the creation of mobile applications. Nithin aspires to help spread the “learning by doing” model to the younger generation and nurture the next generation of innovators through entrepreneurship.

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Socrate Loth, Sendgrid

Socrate Loth is a Team Builder at SendGrid’s Anaheim Technology Headquarters. He leads the recruiting efforts for Software Engineers, Operations, R&D, and other business units for the core platform that sends over 12 Billion emails a month. He joined SendGrid in 2012 after 7 years of technology recruiting for Fortune 500 organizations in the Southern California region. Socrate is passionate about candidate experience, employment branding, and utilizing data to gain insight into hiring decisions. Prior to recruiting, he spent several years in the technology space after graduating from UCLA.

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Linda O'Neal, Irvine Unified School District

Linda received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Southern California and earned her Master’s Degree in Special Education from California State University Los Angeles. She has served as the Transition Specialist for the Irvine Unified School District for the past 26 years including oversight of the Career Link Program. Her responsibilities include coordinating all employment and transition planning efforts for secondary students with special needs at five high schools. She also writes and administrates local, state and federal grants with a focus on career development. Through these grants she has established many partnerships that promote employment and self-sufficiency for individuals with mild, moderate and severe disabilities. Linda has been a part-time faculty member at Chapman University for the past nineteen years where she teaches special education teacher credentialing courses, including “Transition through the Lifespan”. Additionally, for the past ten years, Linda has been the Chairperson for the Orange County Adult Transition Task Force where on a monthly basis leaders from education, business, service agencies and family advocacy groups come together to share resources and address programming concerns specific to the successful transition of individuals with special needs from school to work and community living.

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David Purpura, Google

David is a Software Engineer on Google Analytics. David's team works on the configuration data model for Analytics, optimizing operations and allowing Analytics to scale to support a Google-scale of accounts and users, as well as maintaining a consistent view of information sharing, security, and other operations around configuration data. Prior to working at Google, David worked on an Healthcare Entity Identification Service (EIS) for the Mirth Corporation. He received his B.S. in Informatics, and M.S. in ICS from UCI. While at UCI, David researched Architecture-centric Traceability with Hazel Asuncion and Richard Taylor.

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What we're playing for...

You're not limited to winning just one of these!


Grand Prizes

First PrizeSecond PrizeThird Prize

People's Choice Award

Presented to the team voted best by YOU!

Wins a prize pack from valued at $500 and a lunch at Google

Photo Credit: Ina Garten


Users Choice Award

Presented to the team voted best by guest judges with ASD.

Wins a prize pack from valued at $400 and a Blizzard Tour


Entrepreneurial Award

Presented to the team whose project shows the most promise as a business start-up (Hint: Will your app makes lots of $$?)

Wins a prize pack from valued at $250


Best Video Award

Presented to the team who makes the most compelling video pitch & demo (think Ted Talk)

Wins a prize pack from valued at $200


Social Media Award

Presented to the team or individual who created the most buzz and interest with their blog, on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media

Wins a prize pack from valued at $100


Every entry will have a chance to take their app to the next level. Companies and investors will be on the prowl for great ideas they will want to put on the market!

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What are they saying?


Many parents and teachers have expressed what they would look for in an app for their children with Autism:

I would like to see an app that assists the child with whole life living. An app that works on mind, body, spirit.

My particular interest would be games promoting joint attention & life skills.

Planning meals, cooking, understanding time (morning/Night) & associated activities. Understanding time (yesterday/tomorrow) & related events/activities. Expressing needs (hunger/pain).

Calendar that links from individual entries to detailed task analyses for everyday life skills.

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We can help!


Some of you might be new to mobile development so we thought we'd give you a little boost. On Saturday, April 12, we will conduct workshops to get you familiarized with Android, iOS, and the Design Process. Food will be provided!

Saturday, April 12

  • Registration & Food - DBH 6011 12pm
  • "Hello Android" - DBH 6011 1pm
  • "Hello iOS" - DBH 6011 2pm
  • "Informatics and the Design Process" - DBH 6011 3pm

Workshop Slides

click to download


iOS Workshop presented by
Justin-Nicholas Toyama, Smilefish



Autism Portraits

What does it mean to raise a child with Autism?

8 Things I Wish Your Kids Knew About Autism


Autism Speaks

Autism Myths


Download Resources for Android

Download Instructions to Deploy to an iOS Device

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to have a team? NO! You can sign up as an individual or as a pair or whatever you like, and we will fill out the rest of your team for you. You can also meet and mingle with people at the kickoff on April 11 to finalize a team.

Do I have to know how to code? Absolutely not! We encourage people to make balanced teams with people with all different kinds of skills.

Do I have to know about autism? Same answer! You will learn through this event, and we hope those who know about autism will be spread amongst all competitors.

Whats an app? The name AppJam originated last year with our emphasis on mobile apps. This year, we kept the name, but you can make anything you want. Games, websites, Anrdoid apps, iPad apps, an Arduiono controlled physical system, ANYTHING!

Whats the deal with the workshops on Saturday? These are there for you to learn. They are not mandatory. There will be food. They are in DBH 6011.

What if we can’t come during the judging event? The judging event takes place April 25 at the Beckmann Center. A majority of your team must be there, but the whole team doesn’t have to be. Of course, its in your interests to be there, because there will be great people to impress who are looking to hire you, fund your company, and so on. Plus, good food.

Can we submit something we are doing for something else? Yes, sort of, mostly…. why the hedging? Well, we want to be fair. So, you cannot submit something you already made. If you are starting something now that happens to be useful in another venue though, we won’t stop you using it elsewhere. This is your work. So, whether you want to take it and sell it to Google, make a startup, or turn it in to another venue, its YOURS. Just make sure your whole team agrees to whatever you are going to do with it.

More Questions?

For more information about sponsoring the event or participating as a contestant or judge,
please email Gillian:

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Education Research UC Irvine School of Medicine CHOC Chapman Children & Families Commission of Orange County