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Spring 2016
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Inquiry Magazine Archive

  • Spring 2016

    Spring 2016: Premium Blend

    Found in everything from space shuttles to dental fillings, composite materials have thoroughly infiltrated modern society. But their potential is still greatly untapped, offering researchers ample opportunity for discovery.

  • Fall 2015

    Fall 2015: Collision Course

    Within the particle showers created at the Large Hadron Collider, answers to some of the universe’s mysteries are waiting.

  • Spring 2015

    Spring 2015: Almost Human

    Model systems like pigeons can help illuminate our own evolutionary and genomic history.

  • Fall 2014

    Fall 2014: Small Wonder

    UT Arlington's tiny windmills are bringing renewable energy to a whole new scale.

  • Winter 2014

    Winter 2014: Overdue for an Overhaul

    The stability of our highways, pipelines, and even manholes is reaching a breaking point.

  • 2012

    2012: Mystery solved?

    Scientists believe they have discovered a subatomic particle that is crucial to understanding the universe.

  • 2011

    2011: Boosting brain power

    UT Arlington researchers unlock clues to the human body’s most mysterious and complex organ.

  • 2010

    2010: Powered by genetics

    UT Arlington researchers probe the hidden world of microbes in search of renewable energy sources.

  • 2009

    2009: Winning the battle against pain

    Wounded soldiers are benefiting from Robert Gatchel’s program that combines physical rehabilitation with treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • 2009

    2007: Sensing a solution

    Tiny sensors implanted in the body show promise in combating acid reflux disease, pain and other health problems.

  • 2006

    2006:Semiconductors: The next generation

    Nanotechnology researchers pursue hybrid silicon chips with life-saving potential.

  • 2005

    2005: Imaging is everything

    Biomedical engineers combat diseases with procedures that are painless to patients.

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App Acceleration

New computer program speeds up the app-making process 

App Acceleration Illustration

Got 10 seconds to spare? Thanks to a computer program designed by UTA researchers, that's all you need to create a user interface for a new mobile application.

Called PixeltoApp, the program streamlines the process of creating an app, which typically requires time-consuming collaborations between graphic designers and programmers. In contrast, PixeltoApp uses a technique that automatically converts screen designs to apps by creating user interfaces with information obtained from the images. The process averages nine seconds.

Christoph Csallner, an associate professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department, is the team's primary investigator, but the program is the brainchild of Tony Nguyen, who received his Ph.D. from UTA in 2015. He came up with the idea during his internship at Google after observing how professional developers work.

"I watched how long the activation process took to complete, and I wondered if I could develop a tool that would eliminate some of that work and allow developers to focus on tasks that only humans can do," says Dr. Nguyen, who now works for the company.

Having received a National Science Foundation I-Corps grant, the team is currently analyzing the market fit for PixeltoApp. Computer science master's student Siva Balasubramania will then design a business model for the program based on feedback from customers targeted for initial testing.

"Once we finalize our plan, we'll use tools such as LinkedIn to interact with potential customers and ensure that we are designing the product to meet their needs," Balasubramania says. "We want to know problems they've encountered, solutions they've adopted, and who is in a position to decide the next steps."

College of Engineering Dean Khosrow Behbehani has high praise for the team's work: "The core of engineering is to make life better for humans," he says. "Inventions such as PixeltoApp, which cut hours from a tedious task and free programmers to complete more important ones, are a fine example of how our faculty and students are applying their knowledge to this idea."

Illustration by Dan Page

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