Inside USD

Convention Votes for App Created by USD Alumna’s Firm

Friday, September 7, 2012

Need a system to allow delegates to vote during a national political convention?

There’s an app for that and it was created by a firm led by a University of San Diego graduate.

When delegates at the Democratic National Convention officially nominated President Barack Obama for a second term this week, they used an app designed  by Carlsbad, Calif.-based InterKnowlogy, LLC, a custom software firm led by Emilie Hersh ‘00 (MBA). Working with Microsoft Inc., InterKnowlogy created the touch-enabled Windows application allowing convention delegates to cast floor votes on kiosks throughout the convention hall in Charlotte, N.C.

According to InterKnowlogy’s website, “the Democratic National Committee needed an app for voting during the convention. Designed for tablets and touch, InterKnowlogy created an intuitive experience to allow delegates to vote on ballots. On the convention’s big jumbotron screen they used the app to show off when states had voted and when the next Democratic presidential candidate would be nominated.”

InterKnowlogy leveraged their industry leading design process to innovate a new, fresh app based on the Microsoft UI style. “The time to create the experience was short, but using our NUI (Natural User Interface) app development process, we quickly delivered a robust voting app.”

According to Microsoft, there were 56 states, territories and special groupings which brought delegates to the convention, and thus, 56 different groups each needed their own app for their delegate chairs to cast the votes. That meant the team needed 56 PCs each running an instance of the app, distributed around a large auditorium on 56 stands with 56 Internet connections. And they all needed to work simultaneously in a single moment for the event of enormous proportions.

But everything went on without a hitch. “It’s official!” a message posted on InterKnowlogy’s Facebook page read this week. “President Obama has been confirmed as the Presidential Candidate for the Democratic Party in 2012 — all via the delegates who used our application to vote at the DNC! Great job team!!!”

Hersh, who was in Charlotte to make sure everything went smoothly, joined InterKnowlogy in 2005 and became CEO in 2010. In addition to running a successful company, she’s made time to contribute to the community and USD, serving for more than eight years on USD’s Alumni Association Board and as a mentor to many USD graduate students. In 2011, she was honored with the Mother Rosalie Clifton Hill Award, recognizing her exemplary service to USD.

—  Liz Harman

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