Posts Tagged Computer Science

Tufts Hackathon Success

This past weekend was the first annual Tufts Hackathon. Teams of students gathered to create various programs in only 24 hours.

From the Music Machinery Blog

Two participants, Barbara Duckworth and Jennie Lamere, joined up to create a program that would give its user movie suggestions based on its sound track. Basically, users could put in their favorite artists and the program would suggest a movie that had a soundtrack with similar sounding music. After working hard on their program all night long, Barbara and Jennie received the rookie award which was for the best project by a team with a majority freshman and no upperclassmen.

From the Music Machinery Blog

For more information about their work, visit Barbara’s blog post.

For more information on The Hackathon in general, visit their website.



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“Derp” Gets an Update

Nearly three years ago in Ming Chow’s Game Development class, Richard Mondello, A12, and Philip Tang, E12, created an app they called Derp. Derp is a “fast-paced two-ball pong-inspired game that you play with a someone sitting directly across from you.”

Ming Chow’s Game Development class, in the Department of Computer Science, teaches students how to create complete computer and video games from start to finish. The class focuses on the different elements to a game,  user interfaces, sound, animation, and game hacking.

A new version of Derp, that now supports the iPhone 5, was released after the new year. Check it out!


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When Amadou Crookes, A15, Nate Tenczar, E15, and Jake Rosenberg, E15, entered Tufts’s first ever Hackathon, they had no idea they would leave the 24-hour intensive programming marathon with the code to smartphone gold.

The three initially entered thinking they’d work on an iPhone game, but after one of their friends from MIT had a difficult time getting to campus and suggested Tufts make an app more like MIT’s, the group decided to work on a Tufts-centered app instead.  Together, they decided to create an app from which any Jumbo could easily access many necessities on their mobile device – an often arduous and frustrating task before the launch of their creation, iJumbo.

The group received rave reviews from the two professors and one industry adviser who made up the Hackaton’s panel, and after a summer of re-coding their work on a Mac, iJumbo was released this fall. Complete with news from the Tufts Daily, a campus map, Tufts Dining menus and nutritional information, Joey tracker, TuftsLife events, and Trunk, the app has everything a Jumbo could ask for. It has been rated 11 times in the iPhone App Store, averages a perfect five stars, and is touted by reviewers as being “better than fall ball” and “the most useful app at Tufts.”

Despite their success, the group keeps working to improve the app by adding more features to enhance the iJumbo experience. They’re also working on an Android version, which should be available soon!

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Every Jumbo on the hill since spring 2010 knows and raves about GetchaBooks, a free service created by Jumbos that searches for the books you need for a semester and compares prices to help you purchase the most cost-effective option, all based on your classes! Since its inception that spring, the site has been a runaway hit, earning them recognition in and TechCrunch. A year after their success on the hill, GetchaBooks made their way onto more than 1,200 other campuses.

Two years since the fateful launch of the site, two members of the GetchaBooks founding team, Michael White and Ricky Mondello, both A12, graduated from Tufts and moved on to bigger projects that unfortunately leave little time for expanding the site. But fear not, current Jumbos! GetchaBooks will still be around for the Fall 2012 semester and may continue to expand to schools near and far. Mondello and White, along with co-founder and Bard graduate Michael Walker, have chosen to release their code for GetchaBooks so anyone with a knack for coding and love for saving money on textbooks can bring the site to their school. In their own words,

“We want you to take our code and build your own take on GetchaBooks, specifically for your school or region, to help even more students save money. As a bonus, you can make money for yourself through online bookstore affiliate programs, or you can donate the money to charity.

[…] Have fun!”

With their generous action, we’re sure students everywhere will save on textbooks! For more on GetchaBooks, check them out on Twitter and Facebook.


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Benjamin Hescott Awarded 2011 Computer Science and Engineering Undergraduate Teaching Award

This year one of our own TDC-dancing, It Gets Better-supporting Jumbos was honored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. The honoree was none other than beloved computer science assistant professor Dr. Benjamin Hescott, who received the 2011 Computer Science and Engineering Undergraduate Teaching Award. The IEE highlighted Dr. Hescott’s commitment to his students, creative teaching methods, and passion for increasing gender diversity in the computer science field. Congratulations, Dr. Hescott!

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