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An Innovator’s Mind – Oswald Smith “The project was born out of frustration and enlightened self-interest,” Smith, 29, told The Pelican with a chuckle. “I don’t drive, and I depend on public transport.” The fix that The UWI student is being credited with is implementing Google Transit for Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC). Commuters using JUTC buses can now whip out their smartphones or tablets and work out routes, stops, and the cost of their trip. And in case you were wondering, no—Smith was not paid, nor did he get any extra credits for his work. The project was purely extracurricular. “I was just motivated to see it done,” he said, matter-of-factly in a Skype interview. “I just wanted this to exist. I’ve grown up in a time when I am used to having information available. Going to a bus stop and asking maybe another commuter what bus goes where and what time it’s supposed to come—that’s really outdated. Come on. It’s the twenty-first century.”

It’s sentiments like these that probably inspired Drucker’s quote about dispensing with the old if you want to do something new. It’s the same solutionsbased thinking that propelled The UWI, St. Augustine’s recent graduate Jesse Saitoo to invent MAVERICK—an app which allows persons living with visual impairment in Trinidad and Tobago to identify their currency notes without the help of someone who is sighted. He too was a third year undergrad. It certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed that both young men seem hardwired for computer sciences. Saitoo belonged to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, while Smith is a computer science major in the Department of Computing. The Journal paper outlining Saitoo’s approach was accepted for publication in the West Indian Journal of Engineering. For Smith, the boon came when he

UWI Pelican Issue 14  
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