• Mia V

Smarting Up the Campus

Would you believe that in 2019, staff members at Ben-Gurion University are still using copy-paper?

Thursday morning (28.03.19) around 170 students came pouring in to the Student-Administration Building to attend the third annual HackBGU Hackathon. Overnight, dozens of solutions were executed on the theme “Smart Campus: Academia, Society, Environment”.

HackBGU 2019 statistics:

  • 28 hours (minus one lost to day-light-savings)

  • 174 attendees started the hackathon in 38 teams

  • 5,000, 3,000 and 2,000 Shekels were awarded in cash prizes for the winners

  • 250 cans of “Blu” energy drinks were converted into code

  • 10,000 Shekels were donated by the deans of the 5 faculties for additional development of the winning idea

  • 1 inspirational lecture on the topic of UX/UI, by Rotem Malul

  • 33 teams made it through the night

  • $5,000 were invested by Cactus Capital, in the winning team, for further tech development

  • 6 mentors, including Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of SodaStream and Bar Chaim, of IBM, who provided promo codes for cloud services.

  • 9 judges


  • 3 brilliant winners, these are their innovations:

HackBGU 2019 | Smart Campus: Academia, Society, Enviornment

Third Place – R.E.D.S

Rotem Lev Lehman, Eran Tagansky, Dvir Levi and Steven Danishevski made the fantastic R.E.D.S team! The members drew from personal experience to identify a real need within the dormitory department. Prepare to be surprised. Ready?! Currently, the process of dorm-allocation is done, in large, by human employees. The team developed a sophisticated algorithm, able to assign dorm-rooms while accounting for hundreds of constrains provided by the residents, with little to no human interaction. For their effort, they were awarded the 3rd place and 2,000 Shekels.

Second Place – #Hashtag Biscuits

#Hashtag Biscuits | HackBGU 2019

#Hashtag Biscuits were perhaps the most branded team in the room, with a logo, an ASCII Art, matching caps and an abundance of determination and morale, it was evident they came to win! Matan Parker, Shawn Seiref, Edo Lior & Ilan Pogrebinsky ended the event tired but 3,000 Shekels richer, thanks to their creative solution for lack of practice tests.

If you’ve ever studied for an exam you must have felt the frustration of not-enough practice questions. The team utilized creative ways to identify and present questions, from similar courses across departments, which may be relevant - based on text analysis, user feedback and revolutionary utilization of available tools.

First Place - SmarTest

I started this entry with “Would you believe that in 2019, staff members at Ben-Gurion University are still using copy-paper?” neither could Ido Finder, Talia Krakauer, Sveta Sokhina, Nir Katz & Tom Harpaz of team SmartTest.

Ever waited eagerly for an exam result which just didn’t come? That’s because after the tedious process of checking exams comes the even more frustrating part of hours on end of manually summing, grading, copying and analyzing the course metrics. SmarTest is a system any lecturer and TA want!

How it works?

The development is an Adobe Reader add-on. After scanning the exams, the reviewer gets a set of tools enabling him/her to mark correct/incorrect questions, retrieve previously used comments and perform statistical analyses and calculations on whole exams or individual questions. This is the kind of enterprise that had us saying “How come we don’t have that yet?”.

For their effort, the team was awarded 5,000 Shekels cash prize; as well as the 10,000 Shekels dean’s award and $5,000 investment by Cactus Capital for additional development.

Team SmarTest | 1st Place | HackBGU 2019

I, for one, can’t wait to use this tech next time I grade exams.

Which of these ideas you liked best? Let us know in the comments.

The winners of HackBGU 2019

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