More than 60 students from Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore colleges gathered as 14 teams in Haverford’s Founders Great Hall over the weekend for the first-ever Tri-Co Hack-a-Thon.
As noted in this Haverford College post on the event, the teams “had just 48 hours to conceive, develop, and present web and mobile technology ideas” and come up with a two-minute presentation that a panel of judges then voted on “in a ‘Shark Tank’-style competition.”
Taking first place in the competition was a team made up of Bryn Mawr students Angie Yunqi Chen ’16, Renee Jingling Li ’17, Jia Li ’15, Jordan Henck ’17, and Leqi Liu ’17, and Swarthmore student Lucas Shuangle Chen ’16.
The team developed an app called “TryLinGO” that “enables users to access location-based vocabulary flashcards tailored to their current location (i.e. a local coffee place or the duck pond!).”
For taking the top spot the team was awarded $1,200, an NVidia Shield gaming device, and lunch with P’unk Avenue, a South Philadelphia web design firm.
“This was an awesome experience for everyone who participated,” says Professor of English Katherine Rowe, who as co-founder of Luminary Digital Media and a leading proponent of digital humanities, was asked to be one of the hack-a-thon judges. “The event organizers, in particular Sorelle Friedler and Daniel Burger-Lenehan of Haverford, did a fantastic job of putting this event together. When you bring together technology and the creative thinking of liberal arts students, the results are nothing short of amazing."
Rowe goes on to point out that many of the projects would immediately improve campus life.
“Next Next Blue Bus” (from a BMC team), sends you upcoming departures in reply to a simple text. So many of us would use that right now," says Rowe. "The 'Haversched' prototype (also an HC team) would 100 percent improve our current course-selection tools. We need to figure out how to enable student innovators to implement great ideas like this on campus.”
“Given the enthusiastic responses from Tri-Co students and alumni as well as the Philly tech community, we're quite sure there will be another hack-a-thon next year, and possibly other similar events in the meantime,” says Burger-Lenehan, a senior administrative assistant at the Haverford library.
Details about all the project submitted for the hack-a-thon can be found on the event website (click on “project” after the list of names).
For more about Tri-Co computer science, check out the department pages for Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore. To learn about the Tri-Co Digital Humanities Initiative, go to the initiative’s website.