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ECE finalists in the 2015 OHI/O Hackathon

More than 500 student engineers from across the Midwest converged at The Ohio State University this past weekend, all hoping to save the world through the power of software.

Over 24 hours, Nov. 14 to 15, the 2015 OHI/O Hackathon gave participants a chance to design code that solves an ongoing societal problem – from healthcare to parking woes.

Hosted by The Ohio State University College of Engineering, several of the top 10 finalists were students currently enrolled in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) program, including Team Buckeye Current and Team Schedule 4.

Click the links for individual stories on each of the ECE team finalists:

Team: Buckeye Current

Team: Schedule 4

“A lot of great projects going on this weekend and I don’t think it could have turned out any better,” co-organizer and Ohio State Electronics Club president Eric Bauer said. “We had a lot of universities come together. People from Ohio, Kent State, Akron, even Indiana and Louisville. Throughout the night we’ve been working on some great projects. I’m glad that the Hackathon was able to provide them with whatever they needed.”

Bauer noted such creations as an app that makes parking profitable and easier for drivers heading to events, a polygraph test that fits in your pocket, and even audio/visual sunglasses.

He said they were all encouraged by the number of participants.

“We were expecting 350 people and we got over 500. That was an outstanding attendance. We’re hoping to make this even bigger next time,” Bauer said. “Love the turnout. Love the people. Everyone was excellent to each other.”

Coinciding with the Hackathon was another in the ongoing ECE MeetUp social/tech events. Alumni and faculty were encouraged to help Hackathon participants with judging and mentoring during Sunday’s event.

Co-organizer J. Martin Troth said his expectations for judges and mentors was simply to arrange a panel to help guide the participants along and offer problem solving ideas.

“We were thinking it was going to be difficult finding a qualified panel,” he said. “Somehow we managed to pull it all together and we got over 60 folks to help out. They were all extremely qualified industry leaders, and we had over 75 mentors as well. I didn’t know we would have such a positive response. It was amazing.”

“Raise your hands if you think you learned something as a participant?” the event MC Suzy Bureau asked the crowd. “OK, lots of hands. You should be incredibly proud of yourselves. Not everyone can do this. Not everyone made it, and you guys did.”

Keynote speaker Matt Faluotico said the point behind the OHI/O Hackathon is focusing students toward solving real-world problems, and using that technology to advance society.

“Why do we do OHI/O? Because fostering a tech culture here at Ohio State is an investment in our future. It is an investment for the future of Columbus. It’s an investment in the future of Ohio State, and it’s an investment in the future for ourselves,” he said.

OHI/O is sponsored by Wexner Medical Center, Translational Data Analytics, Hyland, Aver, Fuse by Cardinal Health, Tata Consultancy, Esri, Rockwell Automation, Epic, covermymeds, RetailMeNot, JPMorgan Chase, Battelle, Targeted Victory, AwareAbility, Taivara, ITW, TechnicalYouth, Aerotek, Google, Soylent, Beam Dental, and CrossChx.

The event was organized by student and university groups such as Buckeye Hackers, Open Source Club, Electronics Club, ACM-W, Mobile App Developers Club, CWDG, Engineering Career Services, College of Engineering, Department of Computer Science & Engineering, and University Libraries.