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Dorseyville Middle School student creates Apple app

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The Herald
Mihir Garimella

Name: Mihir Garimella.

Age: 13.

Hometown: O'Hara.

Family: Father, Srinivas Garimella; mother, Satya Venneti; grandmother, Saraswati Garimella; and sister, Amulya, 9.

Current reading: “Scarlet Pimpernel.”

Of note: Created iDMS app.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Sharon Drake
Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, 8:53 p.m.

Mihir Garimella, 13, speaks fluent technology as proven when he created iDMS.

“I've written my first mobile app. It was published over the summer,” Mihir says.

An app, for those who aren't as fluent in technology, is an application for computes and mobile devices. Mihir's is for iPhones.

The iDMS app takes the place of the student agenda.

Each student at Dorseyville Middle School is given an agenda.

They are required to write their homework assignments and activities in the agendas.

In addition, the agenda is used as a hall pass, which teachers sign when students leave the room.

Other information, such as class schedules and early dismissals, are also included on the agendas.

Mihir's iDMS app helps students create and store their agendas.

The app is customized for each grade level.

Mihir says he combined a lot of applications to create his iDMS.

The eighth grader's favorite is the ‘to do' application.

It keeps nightly requirements and long-term assignments in the student's to-do list.

Along with keeping Mihir up to date on what he needs to do each night, the app helps him to stay organized and take home the necessary books and materials.

“It's a lot easier to stay on top of (schoolwork),” Mihir says. “It's all combined and not spread out. It doesn't encourage procrastination; it keeps reminding you.”

This month, Dorseyville Middle School students were given the green light to use their cell phones in the classroom.

“You can pull out your iPod and put in your homework,” Mihir says.

The journey into the classroom was not as simple as plugging in.

Mihir, whose name is pronounced Ma-here, started a year ago in a seventh-grade class with technology teacher Joe Eisel.

When coming up with ideas for the app, Mihir talked to classmates and took an informal survey.

“I came up with features they would like to see.”

Mihir spent class time experimenting and went home to implement his ideas.

He put in an estimated 200 hours as he continued to delve deeper into the project.

Apple provided the interface to publish the app.

Mihir's mother says, “I was pleasantly surprised. (Apple) is choosy about who they allow in.”

Mihir's mother knows about such things — she is a software engineer.

His father works in research and development with Alcoa.

Mihir says his interest in technology is both nurture and nature.

For his middle-school science projects he created a robotic violin tuner in sixth grade, a digitalized tissue-diagnostic tool in seventh grade, and a reproduction of smells this year.

While science and technology are Mihir's primary interests, he foresees his future in business as an entrepreneur.

That future looks positive.

Already there are more than 500 downloads of his free app, some in China and Turkey.

Mihir also speaks of helping others.

He ran for eighth-grade class president on a technology platform.

When he isn't busy with his technological projects, Mihir finds time to be a third-degree black belt and play violin in the middle school honors band.

Sharon Drake is a freelance writer with Trib Total Media.

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