Shawn Cheeks is from War, WV. He is a senior at Marshall University in Huntington, WV, majoring in computer science and applied math with a minor in meteorology. He plans to continue on to graduate school to eventually earn a PhD in atmospheric science.
Shawn's 2104 project extended his work from the summer of 2013, which he also spent at the Unidata Program Center as a summer intern. Last year, Shawn built a mobile app to display model data on an Android device (you can read about his 2013 talk here). This year he chose to create a new app to display radar imagery on a range of mobile platforms.
One of Shawn's biggest challenges in creating his radar app was dealing with the
large size of raw radar images, which made mobile display impossible. After investigating
creating a server to provide smaller image tiles, Shawn decided to use the composite
radar images available on Unidata's THREDDS Data Server, which are alreay in a tiled
format. This approach had the added benfit of allowing him to retrieve a
file ready for use with Google Maps.
Dealing with local storage of the retrieved files was another hurdle. Shawn settled on using the publicly-available Dropbox API; this lets anyone with a Dropbox account let his app use the cloud-based storage mechanism to download the radar imagery to their mobile device for display. (You can read more about Shawn's project on the Unidata Developers' Blog.)
Shawn had this to say about his summer at the Unidata Program Center:
Boulder is a great area, it's a great environment, and I really enjoyed it. One of the things I really enjoyed was being the the research lab envronment, because there is always so much development going on — not only with Unidata stuff but the other departments around UCAR.