DC Engineering Wins Annual Appathon Contest

Groups of students huddled together in the Texas Tech University Livermore Center, working furiously against the clock.

After being postponed a week, so students could avoid icy roads, the annual 24- hour Appathon mobile application-creating contest was held Friday at 6:30 p.m. through Saturday evening, and contained five groups of students.

Team DC Engineering works to complete their app at the mobile application-creating contest, Appathon, at the Texas Tech University Livermore Center. (Photo by Jordann Fowler)

The event was sponsored by the Texas Tech College of Media & Communication and the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering. Food sponsors, such as Breakfast at 12, Fazoli’s and Domino’s Pizza donated meals to feed participants.

Several students who entered the contest as individuals became one team, Hashtag, during the “Shout Out” portion of Appathon, in which those without a team could join or create one.

The student groups of DC Engineering, Heights and Lights, The Newbies, QuadApps and Hashtag competed with varying numbers of team members to design an app based on this year’s theme of “Where Is…?”

The Newbies, a 3-person team, simply named their app, “Where Is?” after the Appathon theme. Their creation contained GPS links to bus routes, residence halls and dining halls. Jackson Miller served as a programmer for his team, along with another programmer and one designer.

Miller, a 16-year-old computer science major from Santa Rosa, California, said he met his teammates at an Association for Computing Machinery meeting. According to Miller, he was convinced to participate in Appathon after speaking with one of the coordinators of the event.

Team Heights and Lights works to complete their app at the mobile application-creating contest, Appathon, at the Texas Tech University Livermore Center. (Photo by Jordann Fowler)


“To experience a stressful situation and getting out of it OK,” Miller said, of how Appathon will benefit him in the future, noting his team could not figure out the Google Maps interface for five hours.

TimeForge, a labor management software company, was one of the sponsors of the event. The company has hired a student who competed in Appathon last year for a few projects. Erik van Gilder, chief technical officer of TimeForge, said the business had interest in sponsoring the event to aid students’ exposure to real-world problems that go beyond the classroom.

When the 24-hour time limit was up Saturday evening, the judges ranked the teams.

DC Engineering, a two-person team, won the event and took home their prizes of iPad minis.

In second place, Heights and Lights, received GoPro cameras.

The Newbies came in third place, the QuadApps finished in fourth place and in fifth place was Hashtag.

Winner DC Engineering created The Transportation and Parking Services App, which allows Texas Tech students to pinpoint where the next bus is located. Utilizing iBeacons, this creation allows users to view real-time GPS services, so students may know if the bus they need has just left the bus stop or is currently on its way.

About Allison Terry

Allison Terry is an electronic media and communications major from Lubbock, Texas. She hopes to work in the media industry after graduation.

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