Skip to content

What is a Hackathon?
Hackathons are typically thought of as competitions for computer scientists. Teams are provided with a prompt for something to “hack” (or create) in a defined period of time and everyone presents their pitch at the end.
The first Husky Hackathon saw representation from many different colleges including CAMD. The three architecture students to participate – Julie Chan(CAMD ’22), Alexis Cook(CAMD and COS ’19), and Kathryn Platt (CAMD ’20) – all competed on the same team, along with master’s in informatics student Lakshmi Pavani Adusumilli. The 24-hour event was organized by the D’Amore McKim School of Business, State Street, and IBM. Students had to work the IBM cloud into their solutions. The prompt given: create something that would improve student life.

Our pitch

“Shift” is a website and app that helps students put their best foot forward in the professional world. When given an input of text or audio, Shift analyzes the tone and provides feedback as to whether students are striking the right level of formality and using language that is appropriate for the situation. A few common uses we identified included: analyzing social media profiles to determine which posts to delete; and reviewing email drafts to make sure communications are not perceived as passive/aggressive. Not only does Shift tell you which parts of a text sound inappropriate, but it also provides feedback on how to improve what you have written.

How we stood out: by doing the things we already do in architecture school
We didn’t try to bind ourselves to the code and instead focused on mocking up a full website using Adobe products. We dedicated valuable time to working on our verbal presentation, ensuring we would hit all the major points of our app within the five-minute time limit. We outlined the problem we were trying to solve, explained our solution, and shared case studies with personal stories to which others could relate.