Sunday, April 6, 2014

University of Buffalo's Hackathon April 2014

My weekend spent at Hackathon April 5-6, 2014

It all started around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday April 5th and continued until around 5:15 p.m. Sunday April 6th. A 24+ hour marathon of creating something out of nothing!

I have a breakdown of the 14 teams below so look for Day 2. I was with two InfoTech Board members, David Bachowski and Steven Raines. We were sponsors of the event and I was lucky to be able to hang out with two true techies of the business, along with sponsors like GradFly, Bloomberg, Synacor, Facebook, SoftTrek, Advance 2000 and UB Computer Science and Engineering

So Nick DiRienzo kicked it all off, thanking all the sponsors and welcomed the teams and individuals. And Joe Peacock of GradFly opened it up by saying, you can make anything!

There were 14 teams, and about 75 active participants.

Out in the hallways is where all the hacking and eating happened!

Steve and I manned the booth for the first half of the day, while David jumped in later! (Sorry no picture of David!)

During the event, Steve and I took off to hand flyers about InfoTech's upcoming events to spread the word! It was a great start!

End of Day 1

Day Two - Demos and Judging

The Demos' began around 2:15 p.m. with each team getting 5 minutes to show the judges and other teams what they made. I briefly describe each below.

Get Flappy- 

Java script game that allows people to walk up to a display and play together or spectate on mobile devices and laptops.Pervasive computing. It's a neat concept they want to trial at the Student Union. 3rd place

Hyde - A rendering engine wrote in C / X11 raw.
Demo program GUI elements. It's just a button. It was a test more than something that could be used.(Won most technically challenging)

Time well spent- edits a constant 24 hour clock of what a person has done for 24 hours. Time tracking software. I like this one a lot! Because it showed you how famous people worked during their days and in the future you could compete with friends and co-workers.

Monorail madness - a game,  a cat game that Nick my son would love. Cat on a rail fighting off evil Ninja cats and eating hamburgers to save CATURDAY!!!!! It was a better game than some of the ones I have downloaded over the years! (Sorry for bad photos)

Hack Locator - find all Hackathons by entering email and location. So when a Hackathon is registered on in your area then you will be notified. Python and Jango are back end. Basically an autonotifier of local registered HackerLeague Announcments.

Turn Down for Death Cube - custom game engine. A cube that continues to randomly changes and where the character teleports from room to room, sometimes to die in a trap based in the room. Very basic form but more to come. Written in Java. Based on the movie the Cube.

Hackathon(no name) - news, articles and info pulled into a simple app. Similar to Zite. It was working well and used Facebook to integrate and track your types of news items.

Awesome Guitar (that we couldn't get to work) - make a guitar with an LED in every position so that would light to a song and teach you how and where to put your fingers. A program was built to help the guitar be self tuning. Also an app to record your jams that would also allow you to upload it for everyone to use. 

Univfeed - web app, build a campus community, delivers notices via email, desktop, tablet and mobile. Has a calendar app, anyone can post. Great mobile version, searches all notices easily. NoJS back end, bootstrap in front end, res calls from mobile devices. From St.Bonaventure. 

DeepSpellCheck - for tumblr users. Does an auto spell check and then helps you see the errors that can be formatted into an HTML file to be posted anywhere. Expanded to grammar and more sites. A great example is using the app to search all of Facebook or Twitter to find words you may be looking for.

Agnu SecureShelf - a small bookshelf with alarm system. It will notify the user when someone takes a book and you will get an email, or text. It also makes an audible alarm. A key pad is added to the shelf to program, secure valuable books. Very simple and cheap, using arduino and a simple script. 2nd place

Redtooth - powered by Bluetooth, map a set of data and create an output. And it can distribute the computing power across mobile devices. The judges were extremely impressed with being able to use mobile devices to split data crunching.In an example he used two iPad's to split the computation he sent to them, automatically. 1st place

A Rover - rover using Rasberry PI and Arduino board. It can take pics. Recycled 3D printer prints to make the rover. Very neat and pretty cool in 24 hours!

 This is a great event that helps grow the young minds of our area and of our future. I am happy that this happens as often as it does and I truly thank the organizers for their hard work and determination! We have talent all around us here in WNY.