New iPhone apps class to beam students into future

The main office for the Mathematics & Computer Science Department is located in Room 247 of the Price Science Complex at La Sierra University.
The main office for the Mathematics & Computer Science Department is located in Room 247 of the Price Science Complex at La Sierra University.

July 2, 2009
By Darla Martin Tucker

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – ( )La Sierra University students who dream about designing cool iPhone applications can make their wishes come true this fall while simultaneously super-charging their future job prospects.

La Sierra's math and computer science department will make good on the Apple iPhone application popularity by providing students a chance to design their own applications, or apps for computer giant Apple's star phone. Beginning this fall quarter the department will include the iPhone as one of its main programming platforms, making it an integral part of the Bachelor's of Science in computer science and Bachelor's of Science in information systems programs. The class will seat 20 people and requires a prerequisite course, MATH121.

Students will learn to program iPhone apps from day one, said Enoch Hwang, computer science professor. "Reaching over one billion downloads in just over nine months, everybody is getting into this iPhone app craze," he said. Students will also gain long-term benefit from the course because software programming for mobile phones will increase requiring appropriate software engineering skills like those taught in the new iPhone app class, Hwang said.

Applications are software programs that can be loaded onto computers and other devices such as Apple's iPhones and iPod touch products, allowing users many different activities. iPhone app developers have jumped on the application bandwagon, creating thousands of programs for the mobile Internet phone including games, workout routines, television shows, nutrition menus, money management tips and eBay auction activities. The Apple iPhone application creation phenomenon hit a milestone in April when the phone maker announced that a 13-year-old had downloaded the billionth app from the company's App Store on its Web site. The iPhone application, called Bump, allows phone users to swap contact information and photos. Apple officials said in an April 24 release that as of that date, 35,000 applications were available through the App Store, offering iPhone and iPod touch users a massive array of activities.

While offering a fun opportunity to master one of the most popular technology tools, the new La Sierra class helps students prepare for cutting edge computer science-related jobs that market researchers say will be available in increasing numbers in the future. Researchers predicted that the computer science, database administration and network systems job market would grow 37% between 2006 and 2016, "much faster than average for all occupations," according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The report pegged median annual earnings, as of May 2006, at $93,950 for computer and information scientists and at $64,670 for database
administrators. A Jan. 26, 2006 article in the Wall Street Journal cited research by that ranked 200 jobs, beginning with the 10 best occupations. Mathematician topped the roster as the best job, while software engineer and computer-systems analyst respectively placed fifth and sixth.

Students in La Sierra's class will use Apple's app development tool, SDK, to design phone applications.

The iPhone SDK is available free to anyone who wants to create iPhone OS apps, according to Apple. With the iPhone SDK, third party developers will be able to build native applications for the iPhone and iPod touch with a rich set of APIs, including programming interfaces for Core OS, Core Services, Media and CoCoa Touch technologies, the company said. In order to submit apps for download from the Apple App Store, developers need to join the iPhone Developer Program for $99. App developers then set the price for their applications, or offer them for free. For priced apps, developers retain 70% of all sales revenue. Users can download free applications at no charge to either the user or developer, or purchase priced applications.

"La Sierra students in the iPhone Application Development class will be able to discuss and collaborate on projects with their instructor and classmates. La Sierra is one of only a few institutions participating in the iPhone Developer University Program that allows this level of interaction while developing applications. Normally, a developer must sign an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) and agree not to discuss their project with others. This program modifies that NDA to allow the students to learn from each other and their instructor. If a student is interested in posting their app to the Apple App Store, they can purchase a $99 Developer Standard account to do so," Hwang said.

To offer the class, the department purchased new Apple Mac equipment for its lab as its previous computer classes used only Microsoft Windows and Linux systems, he said.

Click here to visit the Computer Science Department to learn more about available courses.


PR Contact: Larry Becker
Executive Director of University Relations
La Sierra University
Riverside, California
951.785.2460 (voice)

  • Last update on  December 07, 2009