After 36 hours of coding, 25 teams emerged Sunday morning as part of the Johns Hopkins University‘s first student-run hackathon, HopHacks.
The event, which was backed with sponsorship dollars from Facebook, Bloomberg, Github and local web development company SmartLogic, might have been “the first hackathon period” at Hopkins, according to co-organizer and junior computer science major Daniel Swann.
Three teams received monetary prizes after presentations concluded early Sunday afternoon:
- First prize of $1,024: DropMe, a Facebook-integrated app for iOS that allows users to “drop” messages, photos or files at specific locations pinpointed by mobile GPS. Other DropMe users near the dropped file can then pick the file up to view the contents.
- Second prize of $512: SuperScale, a mobile application used for weighing physical objects once they’re placed on the touch screen of a smartphone. According to the three sophomores who created the app: “We analyzed the relationship between vibrations and acceleration values and the effect it had on increasing the weight.”
- Third prize of $256: Facebook Concerts, a particular type of Facebook Event that allows event hosts to sell tickets online and event attendees to select specific seats while purchasing concert tickets.
Swann and his fellow organizers encouraged teams to “focus on Baltimore and the community” in their projects. Although it wasn’t a condition for participating in HopHacks, several teams programmed apps that pulled civic data from the city’s OpenBaltimore data portal:
- BuildingBaltimore mapped victim-based crime data from 2008 on top of a map of the city’s vacant lots, an effort similar to the map local hacker Cham Green produced of the city’s homicides mapped on top of the city’s vacant properties.
- BMoreSheltr is an Android app and extension of Philadelphia-based site sheltr.org, which aggregates data on the location of homeless shelters. The Baltimore version takes GPS locations entered into smartphones and generates a list of the closest homeless shelters relative to the GPS coordinates. (Perhaps there’s an opportunity for the BMoreSheltr team to partner with the Sheltr Baltimore project created at June’s Hack for Change hackathon.)
The founders of HopHacks:
- Daniel Swann, junior computer science major
- Ben Glickman, junior computer science major
- Catherine Rinaldo, senior physics major
- Nate Schloss, senior computer science major
- Tyler Cloutier, senior computer science and chemical and biomolecular engineering major