HackMIT 2016

Progress was again a sponsor at HackMIT this year, and our main emphasis was on NativeScript as a cross-platform framework to create native mobile Applications using JavaScript (or TypeScript) and CSS.

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Most of HackMIT was at the Johnson Ice Rink; it gathers over 1K hackers for a 24 hour Hackathon that starts Saturday morning and runs through Sunday morning; it is much more civilized than the usual 36 hour Hackathons – a single all-nighter is much easier than two!  The event had “the usual sponsors”, ranging from a16z to Microsoft, Google and Facebook.  Infrastructure, Financial, Medical, Services, Technology and more, they were all well represented.

The two keynotes were excellent.  Dina Katabi, the Director of MIT’s Center for Wireless Networks and Mobile Computing, presented on her recent work on seeing through walls using WiFi – with multiple applications, including Emerald, a fall detection device for caregivers. Sanjit Biswas talked about his previous startup, Meraki, on mesh-based WiFi, and his current one, Samsara, on industrial sensors.

Last year one of the most popular technology trends was Computer Vision, this year it was Machine Learning: our 3 winners use it.  There was also a fairly large number of projects that included some hardware, including one of our winners.  I love attending HackMIT and similar high-quality Hackathons and see how quickly new technology is adopted.

We had 3 API prizes for NativeScript Apps and multiple teams wrote apps. NativeScript supports very well Angular 2 but it also works well by itself; since the teams didn’t know neither NativeScript nor Angular 2, they went for the “bare-bones / native” NativeScript.

Our 3 winners were

Team PushEats

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Their tag line is: “Pusheen + psychology research = healthier eating habits via mobile app”. Team members are: Katherine Tan, Stasiek Świdwiński, Cameron Yick and Wendy Sun, all from Yale (IIRC). The project site is here.

Team Picky Pusheen

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Yep, another Pusheen project!  This time the tag line is: “A mobile app that pairs friends together for everyday activities such as eating or jogging seamlessly”.  Team members are: Michael Hu, Matt Dang, Naoki Yokoyama, and Joanne Truong; I believe they are all from Northeastern University. The project site is here, and the github is here.

Team ClassSense

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And the last winner… is not a Pusheen project!  The project’s goal is to help the professor in a lecture get a feel for whether the class is following the material being presented. Team members are: Josh Rees-Jones, Nate Graf,  Chris Turner and Halaa Menasi; they come from USC, Texas A&M, NCSU and Stony Brook. The project site is here but it’s very sparse; instead check the github project here, including the README file.

Additional Info

Peter Filipov, from our DevRel team, and myself were the mentors.  Peter just published a post on the event at the NativeScript blog.  And I have more photos at this Flickr album.

And looking forward to 2017!

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