Two Taiwanese students were among the winners of Apple Inc’s 2021 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC21) Swift Student Challenge and have been invited to attend the virtual convention on Monday.
The annual challenge requires students to demonstrate their coding and problem-solving skills by submitting an original Swift playground program using an iPad or Mac to earn a spot.
One of the winners was Ku Ho-hsiang (顧賀翔), a senior student at National Taiwan Ocean University’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering.
Ku, 22, said he had just learned about the Swift user interface (UI) during an iOS coding course last year and this was his first submission to the WWDC.
In under two weeks, he was able to use the Swift UI, a clock and 3D effects to create a mini-game called Time Flies. The game’s goal is for players to stop the timer at a designated time, testing players’ sensitivity to time.
Ku said his inspiration for the game came from the 2014 movie Lucy (露西), which he said shows how we know less about time than we think.
If we could control the flow of time, perhaps we could fast forward past this COVID-19 pandemic and return to normal life, Ku said.
Ku said he learned coding when he started studying at the university, and is considering finding a job relating to artificial intelligence, machine learning or developing iOS applications.
For students who are thinking of entering the next WWDC, Ku said “creativity is the most important asset” that one can have.
How creativity is expressed is a moot point as there are many ways of expression, and one should not hesitate to look for what they feel would be a good way of expressing their creativity, Ku said, adding that they should not shy away from using methods used before if they feel it would work.
The other winner is Feng Chia University’s Hsueh Chun-yu (薛竣祐), who won an award for the second year in a row.
Hsueh, 21, started studying coding and programming in college and currently heads the university’s iOS Club.
His award-winning work, Hello World, was developed using ARKit and SpriteKit.
The theme of the mini-game is racial equality, to make people aware of how to be more accepting of others, through the game’s characters’ way of greeting, he said.
While his project was rife with technical issues due to his unfamiliarity with the tool kits used, Hsueh said he was overall satisfied with the product.
He added that he hoped one day to work for Apple as a program engineer.
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