Apple Inc. announced 350 winners of its annual Swift Student Challenge on Tuesday. List of winners included students from 41 different countries across the globe. Remarkably, young Indian lad who had earlier created a Covid-19 tool is also among the year’s WWDC Swift Student Challenge winners.
The 350 students were selected by Apple on the basis of their original Swift playground submission. The Swift Student Challenge is part of Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference. It aims to recognise and celebrate the next generation of coders and creators.
Swift Playground In The Backdrop of COVID-19
Palash Taneja had designed a Swift playground that teaches coding and also simulates how a pandemic moves through a population for his WWDC Swift Student Challenge entry. Furthermore, it also demonstrated how precautions such as face masks and social distancing can help to slow the spread of infections.
Palash shared that he had created the design to help educate young people after he saw many were not taking warnings seriously. He said, “I really enjoy working with children, and I think education is one of the things that can create the biggest impact in someone’s life, especially someone in a developing country.”
Palash Taneja’s Journey So Far
The 19 year old, Palash was raised in India’s national capital of New Delhi. Notably, during his school days, he had volunteered to teach mathematics and English at an Indian school for students who could not afford to pay for tuitions. However, he has now moved to the United States to pursue his college. He is currently pursuing his studies at the University of Texas, Austin and has just completed his freshman year.
Before moving to US, he had also created a translation programme to help students who don’t have physical access to quality education. The programme translates popular online education videos into roughly 40 languages, so that these children could at least learn online.
Palash shared that he had contracted a severe case of dengue fever around four years ago which had left hospitalised for over a couple of months. He had later created a web-based tool that utilises machine learning to predict how mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue would spread.
He said, “That whole experience of two to three months of suffering — I think that really inspired me to learn programming and to use it as a problem-solving tool.”
The 2020 edition of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference will start on Monday, June 22. However, the tech conference this year would be held in a virtual format due to the on-going global health crisis caused by COVID-19.