By Michelle Lai (Career Services, Hackbright Academy)
At Hackbright Academy, we devote 4 weeks of the Engineering Fellowship to an independent project.
Independent, as in, each student is responsible for the inspiration, design, engineering, testing, and presentation of their app. Students have support from instructors, teaching assistants, career services and mentors along the way, but they write every line of code and make every decision for which technologies and frameworks to use themselves.
After six weeks of classroom learning and pair-programming, and four weeks of independent project work, Hackbright is proud to present all 40 of the Fall 2014 final projects.
Data That Speaks
When you wake up and need a little extra sunshine to get out of bed, look to Happy California by Alaina Valenzuela to surface only the local tweets that will make you smile. If you rely on Twitter as a news source, Political Twitter by Emily Bookstein can show you the accounts you follow which have the greatest political impact on your feed! To avoid the reality of politics, allow Madame Forêt’s Game by Amy Shelton to make psychic predictions of your survey answers. Even nuttier, navigate Wikipedia by finding the shortest path of wiki-links from “peanuts” to “politics” with wikiGraph by Erika Arnold. On a more serious note, EchoRoot by Allyson Stronach analyzes the language of sex ads to determine whether there may be a sex trafficking network lurking behind the words.
Fun & Games!
If you are planning a wedding, wedUP by Meredith Capone will help get you down the aisle with energy left to party. Of course you’ll need to plan the epic party decorations. For ideas, take a romp through the digiTate experience brought to you by Nora Humpage. When inspiration strikes to create your own fine art, capture your ceramic glazes on GlazeHub by Marlene Hirose. Add a (spiked) punch bowl and throw in a Microsoft Kinect to make pants for all your guests. No idea what I mean? SewKinect by Cass Malloy uses the Kinect camera to draft bespoke leggings and skirts patterns. Stylishness guaranteed! When you’re ready to capture the moment, DecorateIt by Larissa Muramoto snaps a shot, applies skin smoothing and big-eyes filter, then lets you put stickers all over your pic. Mix in a thrilling round of RedruM by Sonia Kumar to the evening. Finally, turn up the beats and get the Audio Snowflake music visualizer by Wendy Dherin onto the nearest screen. Mesmerizing your guests not only allowed, but encouraged!
Where in The World?!
It is possible the digital snowfall experience may kick off a real snowfall chase. Check the slopes with SnowBase by Piera Damonte which reports live conditions collected by 900 stations throughout the Pacific Northwest. On your way to Tahoe, find all the In & Outs on the way which will minimize your detours with TripWise by Caroline Orsi. When you get there, dress like the locals by scouring FLAIR by Olga Sergeeva.
Backseat riders to snowcapped destinations can enter the Videodrome brought to you by Kate Reese to enjoy movies suggested by machine learning and social recommendations. Once you all arrive in your snow-covered cabin, cozy up with popcorn and hound down favorite episodes of your favorite shows with ShowHound by Wendy Canepi. If interactive is closer to the climate, compete with friends to become the biggest, baddest star on the planet in Stellar by Ugaso Sheik-Abdi.
It’s Friday and you might be wondering what to do. Don’t hesitate to check out Jessica Hunt’s This Weekend app with improved filters and term-searching through the Eventbrite offerings. Taking a wine and art tour through Oakland is always a great option. Use Getgo by Juli Brady to plan your bike tour. What’s this? Your last bicycle got stolen? This time scout for your next bicycle on BikeList by Jessica McElroy to view your new bike’s ownership history so you can be sure you are not contributing to cycle of bike theft. It’s possible you would like to get out more, but having a little one, it’s become almost impossible. Little Turtles Daycare Finder by Penelope Hill will match you with a daycare that fits your schedule, location, and preferred languages. If you’re staying in to host a dinner party instead, trade your extra lemons with Harvestr by Anna Akullian to find a neighbor with too many tomatoes. Extras from your dinner party can also be gifted to a nearby college student! Get home safely after-dark with resCue by Nadine Farah who gives you a discreet way to notify your network if you find yourself in a pickle.
Bonjour! Are you learning a new language for travel or business? Learn by playing a game over video chat with a native speaker. You’ll both have a laugh on Babel Chat by Andrea Mitchell trying to get them to say that word without saying these words. You may be a teacher trying to get your students to improve on those standardized tests, but tracking progress has become homework you don’t have time to do. CommonClarity by Katie Schick gives teachers a way to surface actionable insights by uploading the results from Common Core State Standards data. If your students need more studying resources, MyLibElf by Loretta Powell will save time by searching for a book across multiple library systems at once! Finally, if you are learning computer science, you may want to take a look at The Travelling SalesWoman by Florie Coggins who brings the classic NP-complete problem to life!
In the event you wake up to rattling walls, there’s no need to wait for the journalists to shake out of bed. Heather Bryant’s TerraNote is already collecting the latest tweets from your local and making it available alongside official seismic data for your perusal! When news articles eventually surface about the stirring, News Context Explorer by Lena Gunn will pull out the people, places and things in the text and use Wikipedia to provide the correctly translated proper nouns in your target language.
Money$ Money$ Money$
If you are researching startups, it may help to see which investments Venture Capital firms share? Carly DaCosta makes this easier to discover with InCommon. If you’re researching the cost of an eye exam, there’s a bit of black magic when it comes to guessing the doctor’s bill. WhichDoctor by Sara Packman lets you untangle medical jargon and search for procedure pricing. Are you expecting a big tax return? Make an impact by funding a collection of crowd-funded classroom projects by topic using ChoosyDonors by Linda Zhou.
If you have no idea what you want to eat, text Cook Roulette by Julie Hollek for a sensible, yet random meal. Cross reference your recipe with Canary by Mars Williams to make sure your meal is allergy-friendly, or can be easily made-so. If you’re feeling spritely, chase down Where The Truck? by Danielle Yasso to find your favorite mobile morsels across town. A more stationary option is by no means an easier option to decide upon. To help you, try Parsley by Lauren Chow which gives you a recommendation based on your social network and your taste profile. Micki Balder suggests for you to AskRonnie, a chat bot who converses with you to discover your hunger or thirst pangs. Half Full by Kate Kuchin points you to a spot with elbow room and a chance to hear what your friends are saying. Finally Gather Map by Savannah Henderson optimizes for location in coordinating a spot in the middle given varying forms of transportation. Using all these apps before for every meal is highly recommended.
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