Students of the Department of Computer Science, FCCU brought home the most prestigious P@SHA ICT Award for the first time. Undergraduate students Hassan Shakoor Rana, Ahmed Yasser, and Rifa Salman transformed a thesis conducted by Mr. Sharoon Nasim into an android mobile application, displaying the method of R&D, and won the Gold Award in the Tertiary Students category after competing against 90 projects.

Under the supervision of Dr. Aasia Khanum, Dr. Sidra Minhas, and Dr. M Haroon Shakeel, the students developed “Sunno”, an application that enables everyone to talk to our deaf community seamlessly. This application stems from the publicly available Pakistan Sign Language (PSL) Dictionary compiled by the Deaf Reach Foundation (https://www.psl.org.pk/) under Family Education Services Foundation (FESF). “Sunno”, now available on Google Play Store and applies the principles of Natural Language Processing to convert English/Urdu text and voice inputs to PSL so the deaf can understand day-to-day communication. This app aims to provide real-time translation to sign language without any dependency on an interpreter. The success of this application will result in the ease of homeschooling deaf children and increase employment opportunities for them.

The theme of this application has attained recognition at various venues including the 2nd Runner award at 3MT Computer Project Exhibition & Competition (COMPPEC, 22) held at NUST, Islamabad, and Best Project Award at Computer Science Senior Project Exhibition (COMPSPEX-22) held at FC College, Lahore and now at P@SHA ICT Awards. The Department of Computer Science is actively pursuing this project in collaboration with the Deaf Reach Foundation and FCCU ORIC for further feature additions and implementing two-way communication by converting PSL to text/audio. The team is working in line with the motto of FCCU i.e. “With love, serve one another”.

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