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Sheridan students build meaningful experiences and impactful solutions at hackathon

Apr 23, 2024

Two Sheridan students had the unique opportunity this past year to shepherd through one of Sheridan’s flagship events. 

Third-year Interaction Design students Florence Lee and Denise Amelia served as co-presidents of Hackville 2024 – an event that sees students create novel and impactful solutions with the help of technology in a sprint-like competition. Hacking can be defined as 'innovating a solution in response to a set problem.'

The students proceed to pitch their innovations to a panel of judges for a chance to win prizes in multiple categories. 

Sheridan hosted its 6th annual Hackville, Hack for Newcomers, earlier this year at its Hazel McCallion Campus in Mississauga. 

The student-led event welcomed 138 attendees from Sheridan, George Brown, Centennial, Seneca, Conestoga, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, York University, Toronto Metropolitan University, Concordia University, Western University, Queen’s University, McMaster University and University of Ottawa. The groups participated in a 36-hour-long weekend of hacking, networking, and attending workshops. 

Lee and Amelia shared their experience of participating in hackathons, as well as running Hackville 2024. 

How was your experience as a leader with Hackville 2024?

Our experience as co-presidents was adventurous and filled with new learning experiences. We’re fortunate to have had last year’s presidents as mentors to guide us through the onboarding process and assist with logistics and operations. At the start, we often looked to our mentors for help and advice, but over time we grew into the roles and became capable leaders and decision makers. 

Would you recommend Hackville to a new student attending Sheridan?

A hackathon is all about experiences, whether it's connecting with new people, learning new software, or creating an impactful solution. We encourage students who are new to Sheridan to attend Hackville to build meaningful experiences and broaden their horizons. 

Have you attended Hackville as a participant? What was your experience like as a participant versus a leader?

Both of us attended Hackville 2022 as participants and then joined the club. As participants, we were inspired by our teammates and felt immensely proud of what we built over those 36 hours. The same could be said when leading the Hackville team — a team full of talented individuals who through our collective effort, built the success of Hackville 2024. There is a lot of overlap between being a leader and a participant, but something unique to participating is being exposed to a lot of new people and projects in the same space.  

What are some valuable skills you learned from Hackville 2024 (as a participant and as a leader)?

Communication is key. It’s the core of how we operate and plan. As long as we constantly keep each team member in the loop and update any circumstances we might be facing, we can solve these problems with teamwork and collaboration. 

If you are interested in participating in a Hackville or helping to run a Hackville, please visit https://www.hackville.io/ for more information. 

Read more about the Hackville 2024 winners below, and view all the participant projects on the Hackville 2024 website:

1st place:

Flirt & Learn — a web application where inexperienced adults can practice flirting with different personalities given by the user.

A group of four students who came in first place at Hackville

Anreet Kaur (Sheridan), Daniel O’Brien (Sheridan), Dean Ghassemi (Sheridan) and David Houle-Tymeczko (Ontario Tech University) 

2nd place:

weve — a Chrome extension that allows you and your friends to annotate directly onto the website, add stickers, move boxes around and see what each friend added to the page. 

Two students stand at a table with a tablet on it.

Amanda Zhu (Queen’s University) and James Yang (Western University) 

3rd place:

Legal Lens — performs image-to-text transcriptions for legal documents from 100+ languages available, translates them to English, and organizes them into straightforward, key-value format. 

Four students pose with their third place prize

Nhat Truong Luu (Sheridan), Aleksandar Bursac (Sheridan), Anya Popova (Sheridan) and Suthakaran Siva (Sheridan) 

Visit Sheridan’s website to learn more about the following programs: 
Honours Bachelor of Computer Science (Mobile Computing) 
Honours Bachelor of Interaction Design 

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