Hackers meet up at Concordia

Winners Youssef Chahdoura, Nicholas Lee, George Shen and Michel Jing. Photo by Nelly Serandour-Amar

ConUHacks II brought together students from all over North America

ConUHacks, Concordia University’s hackathon, was held this weekend at the John Molson School of Business. More than 400 students from all over North America in the fields of software engineering and computer science came together to create an application or website with their respective teams.

The students began working on their projects Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. and had until the same time on Sunday to finish them. During the closing ceremony at 4 p.m., the six teams who made the finals showcased their projects to the other participants.

The application that won first place was Blindspot, a selfie-taking application for blind or visually impaired people completely controlled by voice commands. Youssef Chahdoura, Nicholas Lee, George Shen and Michel Jing created the app. Chahdoura studies at the University of Ottawa, while the other three study at Waterloo University.

“I came in with the idea that I wanted to help blind people, and then my teammates had the idea to take the perfect picture,” said Jing. When asked what the hardest part of their hackathon was, Jing said that, for some of them, it was their first time coding in Java for Android so it was a challenge. It was Chahdoura’s first hackathon, so he said to win first place was “a really awesome experience.”

A particularly interesting project that came out of the hackathon was  the Go.study application created by Team 70. The application, explained by the team as a mix of Tinder and Facebook, initially invites the user to log their course number and university and they will then be matched with someone from their class to study with. The team said they will eventually expand their application and create a group chat.

Another interesting application was storyflow.me, a website that allows people to bring all their Instagram stories together to create a big story. The user creates a story and then invites friends to add on to it. The website is currently available for Instagram users to try out.

Over the weekend, students were also welcomed to attend different workshops offered by the sponsoring companies, such as Microsoft and Morgan Stanley. Attendees were able to visit a career fair where some company representatives were recruiting students for internships, including Google and Spiria.

ConUHacks will be back next year, but the date of the hackathon has not been decided yet.

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