Soon to be celebrating one year of existence, the Vanier Tech Club sent two teams to MariHacks on Sunday February 11th, held at Shopify’s downtown Montreal offices. This was the first ever hackathon open only to CEGEP and high school students in Quebec. 35 teams of programmers worked furiously for 12 consecutive hours trying to turn their ideas for websites and applications into reality. Many came in with little to no programming experience, and were able to benefit from a great learning experience thanks to their teammates and the dozens of mentors on hand, including some from Microsoft, ElementAI, and Shopify.
Both of the VTC’s teams were able to finish their projects during the hackathon. One team, composed of Teresa Altamirano Mayoral, Phillip May, KC Tsiolis, and Yi Heng Liu (their friend from Marianopolis) created an adventure game designed to make Math more enjoyable, where players have to solve problems ranging from high school algebra all the way to CEGEP linear algebra. The other team, composed of Cesar Sioufi, Yasaman Sabbagh, and Hummam Houara built an application with the help of Google Maps to help newcomers to Montreal navigate the city and help establish a community. Unfortunately, neither team progressed to the final round.
However, two projects featuring Vanier students qualified for the finals. MathWorks, an application designed to make solving Math problems more interactive and engaging for students, was designed in part by Vanier’s own Tomer Moran and Sara Zdanovskis. DemocracyBot, a Facebook Messenger bot which Vanier’s Ben Stix contributed to, finished in 3rd place. The bot detects the user’s location and allows them to send pre-written messages to their local Member of Parliament.
MariHacks proved to be another great hackathon experience that the Vanier Tech Club participated in, marking their 4th hackathon. This semester, it has also kicked off a machine learning project with the goal of getting a machine to recognize handwritten Math solutions and evaluate their correctness. As always, anyone is welcome to the Vanier Tech Club. No programming experience is necessary. Visit their club room in D115 or send a MIO to Konstantinos Tsiolis for more information.
Written By: KC Tsiolis