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Regional Hackathon 2018

Sheridan students place third in Toronto's largest ever hackathon event

October 04, 2018

Sheridan student club Hackademics received $3,000 for their impressive third-place finish out of a total 78 teams at the Elevate Hackathon, the largest hackathon event in Toronto’s history.

Over 500 student developers and industry professionals, working in teams of four to eight individuals, participated in the landmark competition, which took place at the MaRS Discovery District Auditorium from September 21 – 23.

Hackademics is a student-run club comprised of individuals from various Sheridan programs, including Mobile Computing and Interaction Design, as well as Centre for Mobile Innovation (CMI) student researchers. Its mission is to unite like-minded individuals who are eager to apply their knowledge and innovative skill set within the collaborative setting of a hackathon. A hackathon is a large, often days-long event, in which a number of designers, developers and business analysts work intensively together on software or hardware projects.

Participants at the Elevate Hackathon were charged with the task to develop a Smart City – a fully connected urban centre that uses technology to improve financial security, housing affordability, environmental sustainability, communication, and social and economic equality for its citizens. Arriving at 6 p.m. on September 21, hacking officially began at 11 p.m. and continued throughout the weekend.

The Hackademics team made the decision to design a system that was simple, inexpensive and easily deployable to help the community with its current noise problems. In the Hackademics’ pitch, noise reporting is made easier by a proactive, streamlined reporting process that produces scalable, data-driven aggregated reports to increase health benefits for citizens of Toronto.

“We developed Arduino-powered sensors that could be installed across the city to create a real-time database of how sound pollution is affecting people in Toronto every day,” said Alexandra Thompson, Interaction Design student and co-founder of Hackademics. “We used that data to make a user-friendly interactive map of sound levels. By connecting that functionality to our mobile app, we aim to empower people with information so they can make decisions about where to live, work and play.”

“This is just the beginning of what is sure to be an exciting future for Hackademics,” added Christina Weng, Interaction Design student and President of Hackademics. “We plan to send out teams of developers and designers to more high-profile events like Elevate.”

This accomplishment further exemplifies Sheridan’s expertise in applied research and innovation, especially in the growing field of mobile computing.  

“This achievement is a testament to the talents and hard work of our incredible Sheridan students and researchers,” said Dr. Edward Sykes, Computer Science Professor and Director of Sheridan’s CMI, a technology and healthcare-focused research centre. “Sheridan continues to establish itself as a leader in innovation by developing creative solutions to real-world problems through the use of leading mobile and related technologies.”

Driven by industry need, CMI research projects evolve organically from small and medium-sized enterprises. Students are actively involved in its groundbreaking research from the onset, helping them gain practical interaction within the workforce. Click here to learn more.

To learn more about Sheridan’s acclaimed Honours Bachelor of Computer Science (Mobile Computing) program, click here

Pictured top right: Members of Sheridan student club Hackademics pose with their prize cheque. Hackademics placed third in the competition out of a total 78 teams. Photo source: Hackworks.