Bowen develops UA ‘Best Undergraduate Research’ plus national attention

Matthew Bowen developed the computer application, MoVVE, which earned top honors at the Association for Computing Machinery Student Research Competition and the "Best Undergraduate Research" award at the University of Alabama. (CONTRIBUTED)
Matthew Bowen developed the computer application, MoVVE, which earned top honors at the Association for Computing Machinery Student Research Competition and the “Best Undergraduate Research” award at the University of Alabama. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Matthew Bowen, a sophomore at the University of Alabama, is preparing to ‘MoVVE’ into a promising career in software design.

A computer science major, Bowen was recognized at a UA ceremony on March 30 with the 2015 award “Best Undergraduate Research.”

In addition, Bowen earned second place in the Association for Computing Machinery Student Research Competition in Kansas City, Mo., sponsored by Microsoft Research. His work was accepted for the 2015 Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education Conference.

Growing up, he “thought it was cool that you could type a line a code into a computer and it would print something out on the screen. That’s when I started coding. Once I saw that … I was hooked,” Bowen said.

“MoVVE” or Mobile Video Velocity Estimation is Bowen’s baseball app. With a mobile device, like a SmartPhone or tablet computer with camera, the app follows a baseball from the pitcher’s mound to home plate.

The app reports the pitch’s speed and the baseball’s location in reference to a strike. MoVVE uses image size to calculate distance between the baseball and camera.

“In the future, I hope to convert it to a tool that any baseball fan or coach can use and download from the Internet or the Apple app store,” Bowen said. “I put in a lot of time and hard work and got lucky along the way.”

He played baseball at Bob Jones High School and graduated in 2013. Bowen, 20, is in UA’s Emerging Scholars Program, an honor student and member of several national honor societies.

His parents are Don and Kim Bowen. He works at The Boeing Company. She teaches science at Rainbow Elementary School. His brother Will, 23, is a 2014 UA graduate and works at Boeing.

“I’ve always wanted to work for a company like Google or Yahoo! as a developer, but I have also wanted to start my own business. I’ll just have to wait and see how things turn out,” Matt Bowen said.

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