An app that generates recipes off photo of ingredients? San Jose State students brainstorm unique solutions to COVID-19

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The global novel coronavirus pandemic has created more problems than answers, but that's not stopping young minds from addressing them.

This is the new reality of student life at San Jose State University. COVID-19 has produced many new challenges.

"I can see definitely people are suffering from all these social issues but never think about, I can come up with some solutions here.," said Dr. Yu Chen, an assistant professor at San Jose State's Lucas College of Business. Her students are divided into virtual teams to identify an issue and then to create a technology-based solution.

"Hey, what's up guys? I'm Jonathan. I'm all bummed out by this whole quarantine thing. I just lost my job, too." That was sound from one student's mobile app.

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This was pitch day when the 11 teams showed off their projects to a panel of judges. The projects provide insight into what they're struggling with, such as food insecurity.

"Hot Pockets are delicious and everything," a voice in the app says. "Don't get me wrong. But it's kind of getting old."

This team developed an app that generates recipes based on a photo taken of ingredients on hand in the pantry.
Another, called Strive, helps with finances by employing IBM's Personality Insights. It generates analysis by scanning key words in your tweets.

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"Your activity level, like how busy you are, your pace of living, and taking pleasure in life, and how likely you are to spend money and how impulsive you are to spend it," explained one of the students.

Another team focused on helping people measure the intensity of symptoms when they're sick. This is more than a class exercise.

IBM's third annual Call for Code is trying to address problems created by COVID-19.

Last year, it focused on technology solutions to mitigate the impact of natural disasters. The winner developed a mobile device for firefighters to track their exposure to hazardous conditions.

"When they submit, we ask for a road map with that, which shows where the maturity level of the solution is as well as where they want to go with it," said Daniel Krook, chief technology officer for IBM's Call for Code.

Some of the entries from San Jose State might be submitted to the IBM global competition. Two of the finalists last year were from universities - UC Berkeley and UCLA.
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