Acadia's Jodrey School of Computer Science Launches iAcadia

Acadia first Nova Scotia university to create 'app' to meet growing demand for products for mobile devices

Two students in Acadia University's Jodrey School of Computer Science have developed and launched a mobile 'app' for use on Apple Computer's iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Fourth-year students Ryan Wooden of Canaan, NS and Alex Sanford of North Alton, NS, uploaded iAcadia to Apple's App Store on September 30.

Wooden and Sanford began working on iAcadia in 2009, under the direction of computer science associate professor, Dr. Darcy Benoit.  Benoit wanted to use the research as preparatory work for his new course in mobile and ubiquitous computing now being offered at Acadia.

"Mobile computing is exploding worldwide, particularly amongst young people, and it's important that we work in the same space as our students," said Benoit. "There were more than 1.2 billion mobile phones sold around the world last year, so this is where innovation is taking place. Our students text more than they email, so what better way to develop an app than to have it done by the students themselves? I saw my job as setting them up, asking a few questions and getting out of the way. The result has been phenomenal. To our knowledge, this is the only app that has been entirely developed by students."

iAcadia has a number of useful features for prospective and current students, faculty, staff, and alumni. From iAcadia, a user can:

  • download and play university videos;
  • receive news stories and updates as well as varsity sports scores and information;
  • look up phone numbers and email addresses and call or email directly from your device;
  • connect to Acadia's searchable, expandable campus map;
  • look up daily updated course information including its description, time, location via the campus map, labs and professors;
  • call campus security directly from the app with your iPhone; and,
  • connect to news feeds from Acadia University, the Acadia Students' Union, and Acadia's student newspaper, the Athenaeum.

"Alex and I were looking at Stanford University's app and we just decided we could do it better," said Wooden. "Stanford's app was developed by an outside vendor that has done a few others that all look the same, but we wanted ours to be different. We had a great deal of freedom to develop our own app, but we also had to do all the work. I think if I've learned anything, it's that I'd like to see if I can do this for a living."

Since being launched quietly last week, the app has already been downloaded more than 500 times. The app can be downloaded for free at

About Acadia

Acadia University, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, has long been recognized as one of Canada's premier post-secondary institutions. With its nationally and internationally recognized undergraduate and graduate research initiatives, small classes, and technology-rich teaching and learning environment, Acadia offers students an experience that includes academic achievement combined with personal growth and development. Acadia also offers distance learning, certificate programs, language training and other university extension programs through Open Acadia. For more information about Acadia University, visit our website at



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