Date of Award
Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2022.
Master of Science (MS)
Computer Science and Engineering
Food is vitally important for human beings. Without food, humanity would perish. Not only does food provide us with energy, but it also provides us with adequate nutrients so the systems throughout our body can function properly. Unfortunately, many people throughout the world, from top rated athletes to people living in impoverished areas, are either uninformed or do not have easy access to nutritional information or advice. There is a huge malnutrition epidemic among elite collegiate athletes and an even bigger malnutrition problem among the rural population of Uganda.
To solve the problem of malnourishment of collegiate athletes, I have proposed a platform that would streamline the process of communication between athletes and dietitians called eatabyte. This would make it easier for the athletes to receive nutritional advice and allow the dietitian to have a greater reach by being able to help more people in less time. The solution to the malnutrition problem of rural Uganda is called ObulamuEats, a mobile application for nutrition education. With the help of public health students and a nonprofit organization called Rose Academies, this application will provide informational modules that can be easily distributed and utilized throughout rural Uganda in order to provide vitally important nutrition information.
I was a member of the D1 Women’s Water Polo team during my undergraduate career at Santa Clara University (Go Broncos!) and during my career as an athlete, I learned how important it is to fuel your body properly with the right foods and nutrients. When I started treating food as fuel, I started to not only feel better but I also started to perform better in the pool and in classes. Throughout my career, I also noticed fellow teammates struggle with nutrition and realized that if we had had easy access to a dietitian this process could have been a lot easier. That is what inspired me to develop eatabyte.
During my undergraduate career, I worked on my Senior Design Project with Professor Figueira and developed an application for Rose Academies (YouLearn). I really enjoyed working with Professor Figueira so when I decided to complete a Master’s Thesis I asked her if I could work with her again. She had the perfect project that would allow me to combine my passion for nutrition and app development. This project involved developing a nutrition education platform for Rose Academies to help educate the population of rural Uganda on the importance of nutrition.
Both applications are very different, but both serve a similar purpose. The differences lie with the target end users. When developing an application, it is vitally important to understand the users for whom the application is being built. During the development of both ObulamuEats and eatabyte, extensive research was done to develop the right application for each respective user. Although both applications are centered around a similar purpose, they are extremely different from one another.
Allegrucci, Emma, "Applications for Nutrition Education in Developed and Developing Countries" (2022). Computer Science and Engineering Master's Theses. 28.