Computer science major wins Blue Diamond Student Innovator Award

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Treven Stoddard, a senior computer science major, recently received the Blue Diamond Student Innovator Award for developing an application to assist algebra and calculus students.

Stoddard’s creation, Genubot, utilizes machine learning software “to pinpoint a user’s mistake and identify steps for improvement, all while being interactive and tailored to the user learning experience.” Machine learning is defined as the scientific study of algorithms and statistical models that computer systems use to perform a specific task; it is considered a subset of artificial intelligence.

Stoddard said the genesis of his application resulted from his freshman calculus class.

“My teaching assistant struggled with giving students additional assistance with math equations,” he explained. “After asking around, I realized many students were dropping out of STEM-focused majors due to the frustration of algebra and calculus.”

The computer science major began working on his innovative application in spring 2018 after joining UNC Charlotte’s Ventureprise Launch NSF I-Corps program. He also was a member of the 49er Foundry, a business incubator for UNC Charlotte students.

Devin Collins, interim executive director of Ventureprise, nominated Stoddard for the Blue Diamond Award, which recognizes the Charlotte region’s technology innovation and talent. Ventureprise is the University’s innovation and entrepreneurship center serving the campus and Charlotte region

“We were excited to see Treven receive recognition for all of his hard work. He experienced a problem, conducted customer discovery with peers and then built a software solution. He’s a true entrepreneur,” said Collins. Fatma Mili, dean of UNC Charlotte’s College of Computing and Informatics, presented Stoddard with the Blue Diamond Award.

Stoddard currently is participating in the MIT Mentoring Program offered by Innovate Charlotte as he continues to work on Genubot.

Photo: Treven Stoddard, second right, with Ventureprise's Devin Collins, Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development Rick Tankersley and Dean Fatma Mili.