Computer Science News
Hackin' the City
Organised by the UCL Financial Industry Series, this year's Hackin' the City Winter Hackathon took place at Level39 Technology Accelerator in Canary Wharf. It provided a platform for the brightest Computer Science students in the country to pit their skills against each other in a round the clock Hackathon. A total of 32 students attended, including students from UCL, London School of
Economics, Newcastle University, Royal Holloway, Kings College London, and Imperial College London. We had a diverse selection of contestants from a range of academic backgrounds such as Computer Science, Physics, Mathematics and Finance, as well as a proportionate share of undergraduates and postgraduates, 20% of which were women.
The theme of the event was "Workplace Optimization" where the 7 teams brainstormed and designed software solutions to make the workplace more efficient. The atmosphere in the room
remained electric for the entire duration of the event with every team showing an impressive group dynamics despite the fact that many developers had signed up as individuals and were strangers to each other at the start of the event. The ability to work sufficiently well with a team so as to take an idea and develop it to completion in the space of 24 hours was both rare and admirable and it was
therefore pleasing to see every team succeed in this regard. Each team came up with excellent ideas, that they developed with the help of RBS mentors.
The event was judged in two rounds. The preliminary round was held at 11am on Sunday where each team pitched their idea to a panel of judges including Nasir Zubairi "Business Mentor of the Year", New Buckland; Nicholas Steiner, creative entrepreneur; Michail Michalakopoulos, PhD RBS Global Banking & Markets.
They had 5 minutes to pitch their idea which was followed by 5 minutes of questions from the judges. The teams pitched their ideas with fervour and conviction, impressing the judges who gave feedback on their ideas. Three finalist teams proceeded to the second round which was identical to the first but had new judges, including Prof Stephen Weston, Chief Development Officer, Maxeler
Technologies; Stefano Tresca, Partner iSeed; Daniel Schaller RBS Markets & Investment Banking and Axel Katalan Level39 Head of Community.
The winners were:
1st Place: Team Kudos, whose idea was to allow individuals to give "kudos" to colleagues for doing them favours in a work context, fostering collaboration.
2nd Place: Team Float, who built a virtual office leveraging on real time and continuous video communication, aiming to improve communication in the work place.
3rd Place: Team Trackers, who built a mood tracker application, which tracked the mood of employees over the day, aiming to improve productivity.
Overall, the event was a great success with great teams and projects built, some of which look to be continuing well beyond the Hackathon, having already intrigued more than one investor.