Bogdanov is intent on applying his programming savvy to improve the delivery of healthcare and education.

by Jordan Chapman

Stanislav BogdanovStanislav Bogdanov ’09, M.B.A. ’12, M.A. ’14, is many things. He’s a self-styled degree collector; he’s a co-founder of a technology company, Boglio; he’s an educational technologist in Swirbul Library; and he’s a hacker—a really good one.

No, not that kind of hacker. Bogdanov’s most recent successes include first- and second-place finishes at the 2013 Android Codefest and InnovateNYP: the First Hackathon for NYC Hospitals. The combined winnings for both placements tally up to $26,000.

Wait, hack-a-what? Spelled and pronounced as one word, a hackathon is a software development competition. Teams vie to create a solution—often in the form of an app—to a particular problem or dilemma. Participants work around the clock to create a working prototype— from scratch—of their application to present to judges.

“Whether an organization or company organizes it, they usually want to solve a problem or generate more creative ideas about their product or services,” Bogdanov said. “Most hackathons do have a bucket list, or wish list, on what the organizers really want you to focus on.”

At the Android Codefest, hackers used Intel developer tools to create applications that addressed pressing social issues faced by the United Nations Foundation. Bogdanov and his team came up with adviceMAMA, an app that would allow expectant mothers—particularly those who don’t have easy access to medical care—to subscribe to pregnancy tips via text message, or to ask Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA) volunteers questions about their pregnancy.

InnovateNYP—organized by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital—invited participants to develop solutions for enhancing myNYP, the hospital’s online patient portal.

Under the team name Bogney, Bogdanov and his partner, John Kinney, created Intermed, an application to address the isolation and anxiety patients can face while in a hospital setting. The app would allow patients to connect with fellow patients based on interests or conditions, interact with friends and family through social networks and access tools that promote relaxation and meditation.

Though both applications have yet to come to public use, Bogdanov is intent on applying his programming savvy to improve the delivery of healthcare and education. “Health and education; nobody has found the best way to improve them or disrupt them using mobile technology,” he said.

Through Boglio, Bogdanov and his partner Louis Di Meglio —who also attended Adelphi—have developed a handful of educational and personal health apps.

Before starting Boglio, Bogdanov developed the library section of Adelphi’s mobile app, AU2GO, which is now managed by the University’s Office of Information Technology. Now he’s helping to organize Adelphi’s first hackathon, scheduled for the spring of 2015.

Adelphi’s hackathon will invite students to develop applications that improve their educational experience by enhancing the services already provided in Swirbul Library. “The library is a specific area of education that is changing a lot right now when it comes to its role in academia,” Bogdanov said. “It’s notoriously the area [of education] that changes the slowest…We’re looking for creative new ideas on how mobile technology can be used to improve our services.”

The best part? Anyone can get involved. “After attending a lot of hackathons, I’ve become acquainted with quite a lot of tools that allow people who don’t know how to program to visually put together a mobile application,” he said. “Most of the people that attend hackathons have no experience, they just have ideas.”

In this way, Bogdanov finds hackathons even more effective than traditional programming courses because they involve hands-on learning, creative problem solving and collaboration.

“I think one of the biggest trends in the field is the ubiquitousness of it all,” Bogdanov told blogger Wendy Boswell in an interview earlier this year after adviceMAMA won the Android Codefest. “It is truly inspiring that anyone with enough determination could pick up some tools, learn a language and develop a killer application.”

This piece appeared in AU VU, Fall 2014 issue.

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