A new iOS application hopes to improve campus dining experiences for undergraduates. Xuefeng Peng ’17 and Jacob Niebloom ’18 have created an app called URdining that will serve as a database for all information relating to food on campus. The app, which is now available in the Apple App Store, includes day-to-day menus, nutritional information, and hours of operation for each dining hall, making information typically found on CampusDish easily accessible to the student body.
Peng, a sophomore majoring in computer science and applied mathematics, laid down much of the coding groundwork for the app. Peng transferred to the University of Rochester from Stony Brook University last fall. The idea for this app came out of his difficulties in navigating through SBU’s eight different dining facilities. Without a localized source of information regarding menus on a daily basis, he often found himself wandering in and out of dining halls with a stomach full of only disappointment.
Though he began work on the code before he came to the River Campus, Peng is excited to be bring dining solutions to his new college home. “I really want to use what I have learned to bring convenience and diversity to the University community,” he said.
While the prototype only took four months to complete, Peng admitted that he owes the successful launch of the application to all of the collaborative work that went into its production. Niebloom, also a computer science major, assisted with the code’s progress as well as logistics regarding technological security. Guidance from Natalie Antal from the Center for Entrepreneurship and Kevin Aubrey from Dining Services was also integral to the application’s development.
The undergraduates also successfully applied to FbStart, a program designed to help early stage mobile startups build and grow their apps. The team received $20,000 in free tools and services from the Facebook-based program, which is one of the nation’s leading and most competitive incubators, boasting a 3% acceptance rate.
Looking forward, Peng is excited to see the student body benefit from the new accessibility of information offered by this app and hopes to make campus dining ever better for coming generations of Rochester students.
The app offers menus and nutrition information for all major dining halls on River Campus, a user rating system and comment system, and the ability to send push notifications regarding special events and other dining announcements. Users can sign into the app via email address, Facebook login, or Google+ login. The app, found here, is available for download for all iOS mobile users.
Photo by Chengyu Deng ‘ 17