For Los Angeles to be viewed as a viable technological pivot of the future, as outlined by the Mayor’s Council on Innovation and Industry, quality education must play an indispensable role in this concerted undertaking.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa recently stated that “Los Angeles is an incredibly creative, diverse city, offering a phenomenal lifestyle and anchored by academia and cutting-edge research from leading universities in our backyard.”

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Trina Gregory, professor, University of Southern California (photo courtesy of Trina Gregory)

Trina Gregory, professor, University of Southern California (photo courtesy of Trina Gregory)

One such institution is the University of Southern California (USC), the state’s oldest private research university. It is here where Trina Gregory educates some 200 students yearly that attend USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering to learn about the fundamentals of information technology.

“My students expect me to teach them about the latest technologies in order to prepare them for jobs in the industry,” said Gregory, who holds a bachelor of science degree in mathematics and computer science. “These areas include mobile application development, computer programming, web development and overall information technology.”

Since mobile telecommunications is the fastest-growing commercial enterprise around that yields big bucks for application development, Gregory said her ambition is to motivate her students to keep pace with ever-evolving scientific creativity.

“I am currently teaching a class that covers how to develop mobile apps for iOS devices, including iPhones and iPads,” said Gregory, who has worked at USC since 2007. “Using Apple’s Xcode IDE, students learn to write native iOS apps. I am also teaching a class that covers the mobile industry, the various types of mobile apps and the business side of making apps, including how to design an app, build a prototype, monetize apps and create a business plan.”

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Gregory said she appreciates the knowledge some of her more formidable students add to the educational process.

“Some of my students will come knowing about the latest mobile apps or a new framework to use for mobile and web development that I’m not familiar with,” said Gregory. “This has a positive effect on the class and encourages them to keep current with the latest tech trends.”

Gregory said her most significant professional accomplishment to date is implementing a new curriculum so students will be able to minor in mobile app development at USC. Her initiative will take effect during autumn of 2013.

“I firmly believe that I can make a difference in my students’ lives by preparing them for whatever lies ahead,” said Gregory. “I am passionate about computer programming and mobile app development, and the students react to this. They are learning the practical skills in order to compete globally for jobs and win.”

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to

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