Here comes ‘the Uber for tutors’, courtesy two Indian American students

University of California, Riverside’s Sultan Khan and Haasith Sanka’s ‘Scholarly’ app connects students with nearby tutors; available as free download on Google Play and Apple App Store

India At Large staff

Say hello to the ‘Uber for tutors’ – Scholarly – an on-demand tutoring service that connects students with nearby tutors. Created by two computer science students at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) – Sultan Khan and Haasith Sanka – the app had won first place at the world’s largest education ‘Hackathon’ in October. It is now available as a free download on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

The service is simple: tutors create profiles, which can be viewed by students looking for help in a particular subject. Users can view tutor profiles, set meeting locations, and get help with their studies at the click of a button. Most of the app’s current activity is generated by the UCR community, but the creators plan to grow their tutor network and expand the service to K-12 students and their parents in the coming months.

The team developed the android version of Scholarly at HackingEDU, which was held in San Mateo, California, in October last year and drew more than 1,000 hackers from universities around the world. The competition challenged students to turn their ideas into functional software that would improve the education system—and they had just 36 hours to do it.

For Khan and Sanka, that meant working through the night to create their app. After placing in the top 10, the Highlanders were invited to present Scholarly to a panel of judges, which landed them in first place. Khan, a senior in UCR’s Bourns College of Engineering, said courses in software engineering and technical writing prepared them to develop professional software and pitch it to a wide audience. Since winning the competition, the students have been working to improve the android app and create the iOS version.

“One of the challenges about developing apps is that even when you’ve done a good job there is always room for improvement. That’s one of the things I love about creating apps and the reason I want to work in the field of software development when I graduate,” Khan told UCR Today.

For Sanka, a freshman, the reward will be seeing how the app helps other students.

“We both believe that one-on-one tutoring is beneficial, so we are proud to have created something that will contribute to students’ success,” he told UCR Today.

Khan and Sanka developed the iOS version of the app with Amanda Berryhill, a senior in computer science.

Pic courtesy: UCR Today

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