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5 amazing projects from Cal Hacks

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OCTOBER 07, 2014

More than 1,000 hackers gathered at Memorial Stadium this weekend for Cal Hacks, a 36-hour hackathon where students compete by coding apps. The Clog went around to some of the hackers to talk about their projects. Here are five we thought were the most creative and useful for college students.

1. A game that encourages exploration

Alex Dominitz/Courtesy

UC Berkeley students Gavin Chan, Phoebe Lin, Kevin Hui and David Cheng worked together on an Android app that encourages people to be active and explore the area they live in — for example, the UC Berkeley campus. Using GPS, the game tracks distance and location, allowing you to accumulate currency based on how far you travel. With the currency, you can place traps on the map. You earn points when other players walk over your traps.

2. Money-saving and bill-splitting app

Alex Dominitz/Courtesy

UC Berkeley freshmen and EECS majors Philip Hayes, Jiahang Li and Yihe Li worked on an iPhone and web app that enables friends to split costs and save up funds. It could be used to save up for a new TV or to split the cost of the party you threw last Friday. This app isn’t just for roommates. It could easily be used by a group of friends or even a family.

3. Roommate all-in-one

Alex Dominitz/Courtesy

UC Berkeley students Irene Lee, Yan Li, Risa Pesavento, Patrick Lin and Jong Lee created a web application for roommates to split bills, share events and even check off chores. As college students with roommates ourselves, we can see how useful something like this might be.

4. Eco-friendly and health-conscious directions

Alex Dominitz/Courtesy

San Diego State University student Adrian Galicia, UC San Diego students Anish Kannan and Atl Arredondo, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student Wilson Shao and University of Michigan student Henry Millison from University of Michigan created an app that gives directions by combining biking, walking and public transportation.

“We want to provide a better way to find methods of green and healthy transportation,” Millison said. When we talked to them, they were planning on adding a feature to show how many calories you burn and how much gas you save.

5. Wi-Fi-enabled chessboard

Alex Dominitz/Courtesy

Designed by Stanford University freshmen Sasha Maldonado, Rishab Mehra and Mauricio Narvae and UC Berkeley juniors Adam Golinski and Ivan Aguilar, this chessboard allows individuals to play against artificial intelligence or other people via Wi-Fi.

“Chess grandmasters have difficulty in practice, since online moving is different than on board, and chess is time sensitive,” Mehra said.

But you wouldn’t have to be a chess grandmaster to use their product. College students could use the board to play with friends at other schools or with siblings back at home.

Image sources: Adrignola under Creative Commons

Contact Elise Lagana-Aliotti at [email protected].

OCTOBER 07, 2014