Teresa Ko

Ko.jpgUCLA Engineering computer science graduate student Teresa Ko was part of a five-person development team that won $275,000 last year as one of the top prizes in the Android Developer Challenge, a mobile device application competitions sponsored by Google.

The application is called Wertago–the mobile app for nightlife options–from dance clubs to karaoke bars to live music venues–on their smart mobile phones. The application features real-time, user-generated updates to help friends connect and pick the best places to go. Venues are rated by users and highlighted on a mapping interface. Users can personalize their profile, chat with other users and share experiences and recommendations.

“We were talking about how the club scene changes so frequently that it’s just too difficult to keep up with,” Ko said. “Wertago makes it possible to find the ideal spot to go while you’re out, even if you’re traveling or new to the area.”

Wertago has been available for Google Android phones for the past few months. A mobile webapp has also been relapsed for other smartphone browsers, and an iPhone version is on the way. Wertago can also be accessed via standard web browsers.

The Wertago team includes Ko and friends Kelvin Cheung, Peter Ree, Robert Sarvis, and Douglas Yeung. They met while attending school in Boston. Now they are all living in different parts of the country.

Ko is studying computer vision and embedded systems under co-advisors Stefano Soatto and Deborah Estrin. Before her graduate studies, Ko was a senior member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories.

The app is available through www.wertago.com