The School of Information Technology (IT) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 MAD Contest, sponsored by State Farm. Following the contestants’ final application presentations on April 9, a distinguished judging panel of State Farm IT professionals selected the contest winners.

Champion—Mike Rinehart for his mobile app “Ride Guide,” which leverages mobile technology and social media to safely connect students with designated drivers.

Runner-up—Jared Weiss and Jon Mitchell for their mobile app “ClickIt,” which utilizes GPS location and directional services to identify and provide information on nearby venues.

State Farm’s Illinois State campus managers Wayne Walk and Dustin Carter presented the winners with mobile devices as prizes during the annual Celebrate IT Reception, hosted April 17 by the School of Information Technology.

Other MAD Contest finalists were Nikunj Ratnaparkhi and Shweta Vyas with their mobile app “Let’s Team Up,” designed to match IT professional skills with project manager needs, and Alex Auer and George Herrmann with their mobile app “On Your Marks,” designed to help students track and improve their academic performance.

Students entered the MAD Contest on January 22 and were invited to develop a mobile application that would address some current need in a creative and innovative way. Contestants presented their mobile app concept and development plan February 11–12 to a panel of IT faculty, who selected the finalists that would continue on and develop a working mobile app.

Finalists presented their working mobile apps to a panel of IT professionals:

  • Ben Bowne, an IT architect at State Farm leading mobile app development
  • Derek Krut, an IT architect at State Farm working with customer facing mobile apps
  • Andrew Prokop, a systems analyst at State Farm ensuring interaction between diverse systems
  • Dustin Carter, a service manager leading a telematics mobile app program
  • Wayne Walk, a project manager at State Farm ensuring sensitive data is protected

Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 MAD Contest. And, thank you to State Farm and all who help make this program a success and a valuable learning experience for Illinois State students.