Michael Koohang, a Middle Georgia State University graduating senior, is one of just 350 students to win a scholarship to attend this year’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, Calif., an iconic event where the company showcases software and technologies and announces new products.
WWDC tickets are coveted by prospective attendees, whom Apple selects via lottery. Most attendees pay $1,599 for the week-long event, which is June 3-7 this year, but Apple awards scholarships to 350 students who apply by entering a tech challenge. Winners, including Koohang, receive a ticket to the conference, lodging for the week, and a one-year membership in the Apple Developer Program for eligible accounts. WWDC 2018 had 6,000 attendees from 77 countries, including the 350 scholarship recipients.
Among many other things, Koohang and the other scholarship recipients will get to meet and talk with Apple CEO Tim Cook. To apply for a scholarship, the 18-year-old had to submit a playground, which is an app made on Apple’s software program, Xcode. Describing his project to Apple, Koohang wrote:
The playground I built for this submission centers around privacy. My main goal was to create a fun, interactive puzzle-based game to express the importance of digital privacy through an iPhone. In a time where everything is becoming increasingly digital, it can be very easy to lose sight of the vital foundation that privacy sets for how we use technology in society. It serves as an anchor to our moral dignity and human rights, ideas and concepts that can sometimes become blurry when we immerse ourselves in technology. Reiterating these ideas through a fun game was an exciting prospect, and I saw it as an opportunity for an educative and fun reinforcement of the importance of privacy. I also happen to be currently taking a class in software security and learned about a few different security concepts that I could apply in the puzzles.
Discover more about Koohang including his many achievements during his time at MGA and when his love for Apple blossomed.