Arts-Tech Fusion Hackathon

We are pairing computer science students and non-computer science students together for the ultimate, cross-disciplinary, weekend-long event! From Saturday to Sunday, you and a partner will work together to create an idea that combines technology with the arts. Think music, history, visual arts, gender studies, theatre, creative writing – anything you want! No coding experience required!

Over the weekend, we will meet guest speakers who combine arts with technology in their workplace every day. Take advantage of what they have to say and learn about career paths you may not have considered. Both the winning team and the runner-up will be given a chance to receive advising from one of our guest speakers after the Hackathon is over to take their ideas to the next level. The winning team will also receive a reserved place at the Creativity and Innovation Bootcamp happening this May (a two-week, all-expenses paid, immersive learning experience with a financial reward of $1000!).

Join us for a fantastic weekend! We’ll supply snacks, a great workspace to spark your creative potential, and we’ll be there to answer any questions you might have along the way.

What is a Hackathon?

A Hackathon is a weekend-long event for students to create and develop an idea to solve a problem. You bring your ideas and enthusiasm – we supply food to sustain you, speakers to inspire you, and a prize to incentivize you to give it your all. We will open the doors to the lab at 9:00am on Saturday morning until 8:00pm that night. Take a break for the night and get some sleep. We’ll open back up at 9:00am on Sunday and finish before supper. You will work in pairs over the weekend to draw and present a storyboard – a six-panel board that tells us what your idea is, which problems it will solve, and who it will help.

 

Sounds like fun! What about the “Arts-Tech” part?

The unique part about this Hackathon is that we will be pairing computer science (CS) students with non-CS students for the weekend to build a project that combines arts with technology in some way. Your idea can be anything you want it to be as long as the art and technology components are both essential to the project. We want to simulate the real world by having CS students communicate their technological abilities with other people and to have non-CS students embrace technology within their respective fields.

What is the prize we’re competing for?

The winning team will be given automatic invitations to Nova Scotia Sandboxes’ Creativity and Innovation Bootcamp. The Bootcamp teaches design thinking at Acadia University over a two-week period, taking place in early May. All accommodations are included (food, lodging, etc.) and all students who attend receive a payment of $1000 for their participation. The winners of the Hackathon will skip the application process and automatically have their spots reserved!

On top of the Bootcamp, both the winning team and the runners-up will receive one hour of mentoring with a guest speaker of their choosing if they wish to further develop their idea from the Hackathon.

What will we be judged on?

We know that it can be hard to compare different artforms to each other. We’ve created a judging rubric that is agnostic to your background and the kind of the kind of project you create. Here are the qualities we will be looking at with respect to your storyboard presentations:

  • Does your idea have a clear audience?
  • Does your idea solve a real problem?
  • Is your idea original and clearly different from its competitors?
  • Is it possible to create your idea?
  • Are the arts and technology components of your idea both essential?

What’s the presentation format?

Unlike a traditional hackathon, teams will not be preparing slide decks and pitching to judges. Instead, we’re trying something different.

Teams will be expected to host a table and display their storyboard for everyone to see—similar to an academic “poster conference”. Judges and other guests will circulate around the room and when they approach your table, your team will deliver a 2-3 minute presentation of your board.

This format provides you with many opportunities to refine your presentation during the “conference” period. Please refer to the schedule for specific times.

Help will be available throughout the hackathon to obtain advice and support on the creation and effective presentation of your storyboard throughout this hackathon.

Who are the guest speakers?

We will have several different guest speakers giving 20-minute talks throughout the weekend. Each guest has had a career that combines technology with an artform in some way. This is a great opportunity for anybody (whether you win or lose at the Hackathon) to gain valuable information about career paths you may not have considered. We encourage everybody who attends the Hackathon to take as much advantage of our speakers as possible!

Saturday

Terra Tailleur (Journalism Enabler)

I draw on my knowledge and extensive experience as a multi-platform reporter, editor, writer and producer to teach people what they need to excel in an ever-changing digital news environment.

Specialties: Breaking news, news writing, headline writing, newsroom integration, digital platforms, audience engagement, social media integration

Chris Noxx (Entrepreneur, Record Producer/Publisher)

Recognized with countless awards & nominations in the US, Canada & the UK for his creative works, his resume includes 5 international Billboard Charting hits, (a collective charting on the US, CAN & UK Billboards over 25 times) working closely with some of the most influential players in Hip Hop & Urban Music, and producer & co writer for an onslaught of Multi Platinum & Grammy Award Winning Artists, TV shows, Films, Multi Media platforms, Advertising Campaigns, & Fortune 500 companies.

AJ Morales (Creative Director, Ubisoft)

– Game Director / Designer with 11+ years industry experience and 17 shipped titles
– Champion of project vision, managing creative teams of 25+ members
– Experienced writer and storyteller in multiple mediums and formats
– Demonstrated proficiency with IP development, brand collaboration, and external editorial
– Successful leadership of iterative prototyping, systems and level design in 10+ projects

Sunday

Mark Bin D. Santos (Graphic Designer – Discovery Centre)

With a high passion in graphic designing, video animations and photography.
• Graphic Designer and Photographer of The Discovery Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
• Worked as a freelance graphic designer and photographer for years.
• Worked as a Digital Artist at Universidad de Zamboanga, University Communications Office.
• Member of several publication organizations.

An Athlete with great interest in health, wellness and fitness.
• Member of several groups, community, organizations related to fitness.

Nick Rijgersberg (Director and Storyboard Artist)

I’ve worked in 2D traditional, 2D digital and 3D animation since graduation from Sheridan Colleges’ Classical animation program in 1984. In 2011 I graduate from Herzing collèges’ Maya 3D program.

What if I don’t have a partner?

On the registration form, we will give you a chance to indicate if you don’t have a partner to work with. We will do our absolute best to make sure you’re partnered up with someone for the weekend!

Is there a fee for the weekend?

Nope! The Arts-Tech Fusion Hackathon is 100% free!

Schedule

Sat, Mar 23
Time Description
9:00 am Registration/attendance at the door, coffee, morning pastries
9:30 am Hackathon kickoff, announcements
9:45 am How to Create a Storyboard workshop with Alex Sproul
12:30 pm Catered lunch and Guest Speaker: Terra Tailleur
4:00 pm Guest Speaker: Chris Noxx
6:00 pm Check-in with pairs. Groups will get feedback on their idea
7:00 pm Guest Speaker: AJ Morales
8:00 pm Day 1 Closing. Teams are welcome to continue hacking
Sun, Mar 24
Time Description
9:00 am Attendance at the door
9:30 am Day 2 Kickoff. Reminder of the schedule and presentation format
12:30 pm Catered lunch and Guest Speaker: Mark Santos
3:00 pm Prep for hosting table to present storyboards in a “poster conference” format. Deadline to submit online team profile forms
4:00 pm Host table. Judges will circulate. Prepare 2-3 minute presentation of storyboard
5:00 pm Judge scoring/deliberation. Guest Speaker: Nick Rijgersberg
5:30 pm Winner announcements and photos, closing remarks, group photo

I’m in! How do I register?

Please complete the following online form to register for this event. This event is closed to current full/part-time post-secondary students only to best align with the prize structure.

REGISTER

Analyze Re Design Challenge

Shiftkey Labs and Analyze Re are planning an exciting design challenge aimed at students with a keen interest in ML, and micro services.

The goal is for you and your team to hack together a working proof-of-concept/prototype for one of the presented design challenges unveiled at the start of the event. You will have approximately 24 hours to conceptualize, model, create, and demo your solution!

Meals, snacks and hot/cold beverages will be provided throughout the event to keep you fuelled up.

The best part… compete for awesome prizes and the challenge of delivering the best solution as determined by the event judges!

Prizes

There are lots of amazing prizes up for grabs:

  • Subscription to Pluralsight courses
  • Subscription to Codecademy
  • Hundreds of dollars in AWS credits
  • SWAG giveaways
  • Consideration for upcoming job positions and co-op placements at Analyze Re
  • Connections to experienced software engineers in the industry

Judging Criteria

Teams will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Functionality
  • Creativity (your approach on how to solve the problem)
  • Usability
  • Presentation (Demo and Documentation)

Schedule

Friday, Mar 8th
5:30 pm Registration Registration/attendance at the door
6:00 pm Welcome and Announcements Welcome and opening announcements by ShiftKey Labs staff
6:10 pm Analyze Re Info Session and Design Challenges Learn about AnalyzeRe, the design challenges, and APIs available for developers to use as part of their solution
7:15 pm Q&A Brief Q&A period between event participants and AnalyzeRe. Optional one-on-one time to discuss technical aspects
7:30 pm Day 1 closing Day 1 wrap up announcements
Saturday, Mar 9th
9:00 am Registration Late registration/attendance at the door. Morning snacks and coffee/tea provided
9:30 am Day 2 Opening Opening announcements for Day 2
9:45 am Team Formation Team formation and facilitation. Any individual registrants should join/form a team
12:30 pm Lunch, Coaching Catered lunch provided. Grab a plate of food and keep hacking! Analyze Re staff will be on-site to provide coaching to student teams.
4:00 pm Solution Outline Submission Due All teams should complete the online solution outline form by this deadline for judge consideration
5:15 pm Presentations/Demos All teams deliver a max 5-minute presentation/demo of their solution to judges
6:30 pm Judging Judges break to deliberate on the winning teams
7:00 pm Winners and Prizes Winning teams announced and prizes  awarded. Team photos with judges.
7:15 pm Certificates and Group Photo All participants receive a certificate of participation and gather round for a group photo.
7:30 pm Event Closing Event closes

Resources

All information about the design challenges and the Slack channel can be found at https://github.com/analyzere/hackathon.

About Analyze Re

Founded in 2013, Analyze Re provides a software analytics suite designed for the reinsurance and insurance industries. In addition to predictive analytics for strategic planning, Analyze Re technology helps organizations make faster and more accurate pricing and portfolio decisions.

 


Registration

Please submit the following form to register for this event

REGISTER

REDspace AR App Development Workshop

Update

Here is a link to the presentation PowerPoint slides: https://drive.google.com/open?id=19vsaqmDAiUrVVHYjWYmmKJxJxHMuRNMI.

In preparation for the upcoming AR Hackathon, this workshop will go over the basics of creating an AR application in both native iOS and Unity.We will go over the foundation of what ARKit is and how it works, as well as going step by step through an example application with iOS and Unity at the same time.

This workshop requires that you bring your own supported devices to participate, though if you are without the required hardware you are more than welcome to attend and listen.  While Unity is cross platform, it will still require an iOS device for testing.

Before the workshop, please feel free to go over some of the provided resources to familiarize yourself with ARKit – though the videos and Apple documentation are specific to iOS development, the Unity implementation is very similar.

Requirements

Xcode 9.0
– Xcode 9.0 requires a Mac running macOS Sierra 10.12.4 or later.

Supported iOS Device

– iPhone SE
– iPhone 6s and 6s Plus
– iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
– iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
– iPhone X
– Any iPad Pro
– 2017 9.7-inch iPad

Lightning Cable for transferring app binaries from Mac to iOS device.

For students that want to develop using Unity:
– Unity v5.6.2+ (preferably the latest version)
– Unity-ARKit-Plugin: https://bitbucket.org/Unity-Technologies/unity-arkit-plugin

Resources

Instructor

Alex Lockhart, Mobile iOS Developer at REDspace Inc.

A Dalhousie FCS grad, Alex now works as a Mobile iOS Developer at REDspace Inc.  He has experience in a variety of technologies and platforms, from iOS, Android and Web applications to server-side services, along with work done in AR, Machine Learning, and Natural Language Processing. While at REDspace, Alex has worked on apps for MTV and Turner.


Android Hackathon

ShiftKey Labs and the Dalhousie Computer Science Society (CSS) are teaming up to run a 2-day hackathon focused on Android mobile application development.

The format is pretty simple: Show up, join or form a team, brainstorm an idea guided by the disclosed prize categories, spend the remainder of the weekend coding out that solution, and present/demo your idea to the group. Everyone will get a chance to vote on the presentations/demos and the group who receives the most votes in the prize category will win!

Snacks and drinks will be provided throughout the event to keep you fuelled up!

Presentation Order

Team Nathan We aim to create a pain-free trading experience where users can post items they want to trade and see what others are offering by swiping through items of interest. Users that express interest in each other’s selections will be matched with each other so they can discuss their trade in detail.
Team Rocket We have built a vocabulary builder game with an engaging tinder like user interface. The game consists of five rounds where user can select the correct answer by swiping left or right. We generate the question options using a vector space model called Word2vec. The word2vec model has been trained using Deep Learning on a corpus containing 1 billion Wikipedia articles. The neural network models makes use of Skip-Gram and Continuous Bag of Words deep learning architecture.
Group 4 YouNote is an Android application that allows users to compose notes while watching YouTube videos.
Team Jelly Friends #1 Worldwide Ltd When someone is struggling with their mental health it can be difficult for them to reach out to others for social contact or to keep a rigid schedule. The Jelly Buddy is an interactive friend that helps users deal with these problems. The Jelly Buddy has many features to engage the user. You can interact with your jelly through conversations, playing mini games, or get it to remind you about taking medications. If you’re having a bad day the Jelly Buddy has activities that will help you decompress and feel better.
Pizzavengers (FitFood) Our app aims to find nearest restaurants based on the device location and show the available options to the user. Once users select a particular restaurant of their choice, app will suggest the food items of their choice available in the restaurant. The suggested food will be shown based on the calculation of the health stats of the individual. The app would benefit users to monitor their daily dietary needs.
G12 en-route eatery
Punjabis Foodies is a comprehensive one-stop solution for everyone, especially for people who are busy and wish to save time in preparing recipes. Foodies does everything right from finding best deals on groceries, selecting and ordering them, offering suggestions for recipes to finally providing locations for nearby superstores.
Due2Do Due 2 Do is powerful to-do list aimed to facilitate one’s life. It can organize your task based on priority. Due 2 Do is a one-for-all option for the users where the task can be classified as a routine, location-based task and a gathering event task. It will provide a priority-based reminder and facilitate the user with navigational functionalities. People can store links, capture image, create gathering groups, create a to-do list for grocery shopping and many more alternative usages.
Let’s Meet Developing apps to organize meetings
CS-PrepGuide CS-PrepGuide is an App that helps users take important decisions regarding their career paths. It is a one stop solution where users can find all the information about the jobs available in the major IT companies, the skills required for these jobs and the resources available to prepare for these jobs. This app allows users to specify their skills and accordingly suggests the jobs the user may be interested in. Each job listed is accompanied by preparation resources such as youtube channels, preparation guides, online courses etc. More resources can be posted by users and other users can rate the resources available as well as comment on them. This app aims to provide students with guidance so that they can focus on achieving skills that are required for the job they would like to get.
Mobile Computing Group 3: Archipelago Real time strategy game for Android devices.
HashTag Elo is an Android application which allows people to share their experiences about the gadgets they own. This app will enable people who intend to make purchases to get personal reviews and gain the buying power from different people’s experience. Elo provides a platform for the user to come together to discover the most relevant product based on user comparative analysis of their reviews. The motivation of Elo is to harness the wisdom from the user, about the gadget they use.

Elo is a gadget advisor, which collects reviews and feedbacks from many users who have had experience of using the product which is meant to be bought. Though it does not have age barriers, Elo is meant for the user who has domain knowledge or in need of expertise for the products that they post/read reviews about.

CarryAir Our world has become a global village where boundaries are no longer a barrier to accomplish great goals. Countries like Canada is witnessing large incoming flow of people from overseas. Our group strive to guide such people especially by offering valuable assistance in selecting the most suitable wireless plan for them.
Most of the existing applications have limited service for customers looking for attractive deals available on purchase of a new wireless connection or a new device under contract. Our goal is to create an application that lists the best choices available across different providers for first time wireless purchase. Using GPS, networking and camera features, our app will provide several other features such as individual user dashboard with online bill payment facilities, e chat and nearest store locating features.
Group 17 (DalAssist) The purpose of our application is to provide a full stack mobile application for new international and current Dal Students by incorporating and presenting all the generic as well as Academic information into one complete package. This gives the international students a complete guide of Halifax and Dalhousie University.
MoodoVoodo The application recognizes the user’s moods by scanning facial expressions and through music therapy elevates the user’s mood.
The Mob Go Somewhere is an event-based application that allows users to search for popular events through a map-based interface in a given location (Halifax or Toronto in this case). The application screens Tweets from a backend Twitter API filter allowing users to gauge the number of individuals at a particular event, what the event is and further details about the business (i.e. location, contact information). Furthermore, users can share their experience about the environment and access features such as checking-in and sharing photos about the event. Through a common medium, users can connect and share their experience with others via social media and also promote local events they otherwise would not be aware of.

Voting Form

https://goo.gl/forms/ErZDz5YrIovCwvAD2

Updates

  • Feb 11, 9:48 am: Lunch will be served around 1:00 pm
  • Feb 10, 6:31 pm: Please select one member of your group to complete the Project Profile form.
  • Feb 10, 3:10 pm: Please join our Slack channel to receive timely communications from the hackathon coordinator team about the event. https://goo.gl/Kr3iy8

Goals

To generate some interesting ideas and start creating a functional mobile application prototype for the Google Android platform. Hackathons are also a great way to meet new people, earn bragging rights about your coding abilities, win prizes, and have some fun!

Technical Mentors

To help students with any technical questions they might have, a variety of mentors will be volunteering at the hackathon.

Schedule

The hackathon is scheduled to start on Saturday, Feb 10th at 10:00 am and end by Sunday, Feb 11th at 6:00 pm.

Saturday, February 10th
Time Details
9:30 am Registration, coffee, pastries
10:00 am Kick off
10:25 am Form teams, discuss project ideas, begin coding!
12:00 pm Lunch
5:30 pm Pizza dinner
9:00 pm Day 1 ends (but students can continue coding if desired)
Sunday, February 11th
Time Details
9:30 am Morning coffee, pastries, continue coding
1:00 pm Lunch
3:00 pm Team presentations and demos (3 mins max)
5:30 pm Voting
6:00 pm Winners announced, group pictures, prizes/certificates awarded

Prizes

There will one prize group for teams of junior undergraduate-level students (years 1 and 2) and one prize category for teams of senior undergraduate-level students (years 3 and 4) / graduate students. Within each group, there will be two prizes: One group prize for the “most humourous” application and one group prize for the “most practical” application. It is possible for a group to win in more than one prize category in their grouping.

Unlike other hackathons or pitch events, there will be no judging panel as everyone participating in the event will be given the opportunity to cast votes in the prize categories for their grouping.

Prize Amounts
(per prize)
Team size Prize per student
1 $200
2 $150
3 $125
4+ $100

Most Humorous

One of the primary goals of this competition is to have fun. Winners of this prize category have the opportunity to showcase their funny side and develop a game, mobile app, or other piece of software that is clever and makes people laugh.

Remember, the solution has to be in good taste and everyone is expected to follow the appropriate student Code of Conduct at Dalhousie.

Most Practical

A prize will be awarded to the group that develops a mobile application solves a real need, is something that a wide variety of people would use, and adds tangible value to users’ lives.

Some things to consider when trying to win in this prize category are:

  1. The inspiration behind the problem or need. Did you think of it? Did someone else mention that their lives would be better if they had an app that solved this problem?
  2. How often do you feel someone might use it?
  3. What group of people would you target to use it?
  4. Does the solution make the best use of the strengths of the mobile phone form factor? (i.e. are you building it on a mobile phone just because you can or is a mobile phone the ideal platform for this solution?)
  5. Do the features of the solution you’re developing make sense? Are they necessary? Why?

Rules

  • Participants can come in with an idea but the project must be in the early stages of development (i.e. you are not allowed to submit a project that has been previously submitted as a class assignment, potential startup project, or other solutions currently in development).
  • Bring your own laptop and Android phones for development/testing as these will not be provided
  • Please bring your valid student ID card
  • All participants must enrolled in a post-secondary program (NSCC students will compete in the junior undergraduate-level prize category)
  • Maximum team size is 6 students.
  • All participants must register online in advance of the event start date or at the door on the first day of the hackathon. Please refer to the schedule for more information.
  • To be eligible for prizes, at least one team member must present the team’s solution, in-person, at the hackathon.
  • All prizes will be distributed as per the prize table listed above
  • Prizes are non-negotiable and cannot be substituted

 

Registration

REGISTER

Special thanks to the Dalhousie Computer Science Society (CSS) for their support

 

Firebase Tutorial (Repeat)

Note: This is a repeat of the tutorial offered on Wed, Feb 7th, 2018.

To help students prepare for the upcoming Android hackathon, we are organizing a Firebase tutorial. Others who might not participate in the hackathon and have a general interest in Android mobile application development are also welcome to come.

Due to the popularity of this event, everyone must register in advance (registration form below) and only the first 40 attendees at the door will be permitted entry.

Prerequisites

Please bring your own laptop to this tutorial with Android Studio installed. Some familiarity with Android mobile application development is recommended.

The source files for this workshop can be found here https://goo.gl/4hpnyV.

Tutorial Overview

  • Brief overview of Android Studio (AS)
  • System prerequisites and installing AS on your laptop
  • Installing the Firebase plugin within AS
  • Follow along as instructors demo Firebase capabilities
  • Connecting Firebase to your project within AS
  • Q&A with tutorial instructors

Light snacks/beverages will be served.

Instructors

Dhivya Jayaraman
Currently a Master’s student at the Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie University. My area of research is Natural Language Processing (NLP) focusing on extraction of summary from large datasets. Other area of interest includes Machine learning and Deep learning concepts. I also have 2 years of Industry experience in SAP.

Yamani Kakarla
Experienced Graduate Research Assistant with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. Skilled in machine learning, Big data, Cognos, Data Mining, Data Warehousing, User Experience and Test Automation. Strong research professional with a Bachelor’s degree focused in Computer Science from Anna University.
REGISTER

Firebase Tutorial

To help students prepare for the upcoming Android hackathon, we are organizing a Firebase tutorial. Others who might not participate in the hackathon and have a general interest in Android mobile application development are also welcome to come.

Due to the popularity of this event, everyone must register in advance (registration form below) and only the first 40 attendees at the door will be permitted entry.

Prerequisites

Please bring your own laptop to this tutorial with Android Studio installed. Some familiarity with Android mobile application development is recommended.

The source files for this workshop can be found here https://goo.gl/4hpnyV.

Tutorial Overview

  • Brief overview of Android Studio (AS)
  • System prerequisites and installing AS on your laptop
  • Installing the Firebase plugin within AS
  • Follow along as instructors demo Firebase capabilities
  • Connecting Firebase to your project within AS
  • Q&A with tutorial instructors

Light snacks/beverages will be served.

Instructors

Dhivya Jayaraman
Currently a Master’s student at the Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie University. My area of research is Natural Language Processing (NLP) focusing on extraction of summary from large datasets. Other area of interest includes Machine learning and Deep learning concepts. I also have 2 years of Industry experience in SAP.

Yamani Kakarla
Experienced Graduate Research Assistant with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. Skilled in machine learning, Big data, Cognos, Data Mining, Data Warehousing, User Experience and Test Automation. Strong research professional with a Bachelor’s degree focused in Computer Science from Anna University.
REGISTER

Three Winning Teams in Hackathon for 1st/2nd Year Students

On Saturday, November 25th, seven teams students participated in the first hackathon aimed specifically at 1st and 2nd year students at Dalhousie University and the Nova Scotia Community College.

Throughout the day, each team developed innovative ideas for products using any technologies they were comfortable with in three prize categories worth $250 each: the “most social”, the “most humorous”, and the “most complete”.

To help students with any questions they might have about product development and coding, eleven students at the senior undergraduate and masters level at Dal volunteered their time to support the event.

“There was a lot of energy, enthusiasm, and excitement in the room – right from the start” reports Grant Wells, Manager of ShiftKey Labs. “Everyone was competing hard for the prizes but there were a lot of laughs so I know they were enjoying this opportunity to apply their coding skills in fun, creative ways.”

Each team presented their ideas and rough demos of their solutions to the room but instead of evaluating winning teams with a traditional panel of judges, each person in the room voted on the ideas they felt were best in the three prize categories.

The winner for “most social” application was team “1UP” – a place for Dalhousie Societies to share their talents, improve their clubs, and interact with other students with different interests and different backgrounds.

Team “Chipotle” earned “most humorous” prize to help students ease their depression by tickling their funny bone with videos based on their comedic interests.

The “most complete” application prize went to team “Snack Track” – an app that helps people track their food and get more information on what they’re eating to make more informed dietary decisions.

Congratulations to everyone who participated!

Team “Snack Track” (l to r): Stephen Terrio and Mackenzie Boudreau. Winners of the “most complete” prize category.
Team “1UP” (l to r): Thomas Rizzuto, Oliver Dechant, and Ivy Lin, winners of the “most social” prize category
Team “Chipotle (l to r): James MacPhee and Rylan Conway, winners of the “most humorous” prize category

First and Second Year Student Hackathon

If you’ve never heard of or participated in a hackathon before, the format is simple: Bring your new project ideas and existing coding skills to the event, form a small team, and start coding a solution based on that idea.

Throughout the day, a variety of technical mentors will be present to help answer any questions you may have. A mentor schedule has been provided below.

Meals, snacks, and drinks will be provided to keep you fuelled up!

All teams will be invited to deliver a maximum 5-minute presentation of their solution to the group toward the end of the event (but you don’t have to).

The best part… compete for three (3), $250 cash prizes!

Goals

To generate some interesting ideas and start creating a functional software prototype. Hackathons are also a great way to meet new people, earn bragging rights about your coding abilities, win prizes, and have some fun!

Themes

Below is a list of optional themes for which you can create a solution—just to get some ideas flowing. It is possible to create a solution that is based on more than one theme or to come up with a completely different theme/idea of your own.

  • Healthy living
  • Gender equality
  • Diversity
  • Senior citizens
  • Performing arts
  • Smart energy
  • Social enterprise

Technical Mentors

To help students with any technical questions they might have, a variety of mentors will be volunteering at the hackathon. Please take a look at the following Technical Mentor Schedule for more information.

Schedule

The hackathon is scheduled to start on Saturday, November 25th at 10:00 am and end by 8:00 pm.

Time Details
10:00 Kick off
10:15 Form teams, discuss project ideas, begin coding!
12:00 Lunch
5:30 Pizza dinner
6:30 Presentations/Voting
7:50 Winners announced and group photos
8:00 Event ends

Prizes

There will be a total of three (3), $250 prizes in three (3) different categories. It is possible for a team to win in more than one category.

Unlike other hackathons or pitch events, there will be no judging panel as everyone participating in the event will be given the opportunity to cast votes in the three prize categories listed below.

Most social

Develop a solution that has the potential to reach the largest amount of people. “Most social” can also be interpreted as a solution that provides shared experiences or fosters collaboration amongst different groups, brings groups together that normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet, or enriches the quality of time spent together (i.e. meaningful activities with friends, grandparents with grandchildren, etc) as a group.

Most humourous

One of the primary goals of this competition is to have fun. Winners of this prize category have the opportunity to showcase their funny side and develop a game, mobile app, or other piece of software that is clever and makes people laugh.

Remember, the solution has to be in good taste and everyone is expected to follow the appropriate student Code of Conduct at Dalhousie.

Most complete

It wouldn’t be a coding hackathon if participants just presented ideas without any code! Most complete will be measured on the level completed functionality as intended for the solution. A solution with a simple feature set that is more complete will not necessarily win over a solution that contains a more challenging feature set that is less complete.

Rules

  • All participants must be either a first or second-year undergraduate-level student. Non-Dalhousie students in other post-secondary programs at the first and second year undergraduate level are also welcome to participate.
  • All participants must register online in advance of the event start date and time
  • Team size must be between 2-4 students
  • To be eligible for prizes, at least one team member must present the team’s solution, in-person, at the hackathon
  • Prizes will be distributed equally amongst all group members
  • Prizes are non-negotiable and cannot be substituted
  • Winning teams will be determined by (an adaptation of) dotmocracy voting. Additional details will be disclosed in the hackathon.
REGISTER

Hackathon starter pack with Vertx

Learn how to build an web application from scratch using the Vertx framework. Vertx is a reactive microservice framework that allows us to quickly put together our own applications, making it an ideal candidate for hackathons and major projects alike. We’ll set up a PostgresSQL database to persist our data, as well as a simple frontend using bootstrap for our users to interact with. This workshop is beginner friendly, basic knowledge of Java will be assumed, knowledge of HTML/CSS/JS/SQL is useful but not required.

Please come with your own laptop and have the following software pre installed:

REGISTER

MyMem Models Startup Success with Competition Wins

A siri-like app, developed by current and former Dalhousie students, to assist older people and those with dementia to recall information easily and independently using artificial intelligence has recently been awarded $50,000 investment after success at national and regional competitions.

Last week, Volta Labs in partnership with Innovacorp and BDC Capital, launched the Volta Cohort – a new $125,000 micro fund for Atlantic Canadian early-stage companies. The Dalhousie-based team, MyMem were one of five Halifax companies to be awarded a $25,000 funding and mentorship package at the November 14th launch event, following a competitive pitching process.

Age-Well Ideathon 2nd place winners (L to R): Arun Athisamy, Eric Fisher, Harish Gopinath, and Aishwarya Ravichandran

This follows similar success at a national ideathon competition. Back in October, AGE-WELL Network of Centres of Excellence and HACKING HEALTH hosted the culmination of a Canada-wide competition to identify and invest in new technologies and services to support healthy aging. MyMem placed second in the national initiative and took home $25,000 investment.

MyMem is the creation of alumnus Eric Fisher (PhD Biochemistry & Molecular Biology ’13) and current Master of Applied Computer Science program students Harish Gopinath, Arun Athisamy, and Aishwarya Ravichandran.

“We wanted to develop a solution for dementia sufferers and their families to makes things easier for those suffering from memory loss, their caregivers and families,” said Ravichandran.

“Through AI based personalized voice command, MyMem helps people living with dementia recall information quickly and independently, and hold onto memories and experiences. It will enable users to access important information and photos by voice command, requiring very little proficiency with technology. We hope the app will be fun to use as well as helpful and believe this could change the way disorders such as dementia are approached.”

MyMem’s recent accomplishment follows first-place success earlier this year at HACKING HEALTH HALIFAX in March, and Nova Scotia Sandboxes Introduction to Innovation Bootcamp in May.

The team is based out of innovation sandbox ShiftKey Labs in the Goldberg Computer Science Building, where they have benefitted from the expertise of lab manager, Grant Wells.

“MyMem have shown real potential since the idea was first conceptualized earlier this year,” says Wells. “The app could have a huge impact on people’s lives and the way in which health professionals deal with dementia, related disorders and those living with them.”

Following their recent wins, MyMem are looking ahead and moving forward with tailoring the app to better serve customers.

“The investment from both competitions will make a huge difference in how we can continue to innovate and develop the best product possible for users,” Harish Gopinath says. “We are hoping to go public with the app in 2018 and the investment of support and money we have received so far will really help to make this happen.”