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Sheridan student wins big at Stanford hackathon

Sheridan student wins big at Stanford hackathon

Third-year Honours Bachelor of Interaction Design student Christina Weng won two awards at TreeHacks, a hackathon that took place at Stanford University in California from February 15 – 17, 2019.

More than 850 people from around the world participated in TreeHacks, competing for over $119,600 (USD) in prizes.

Corporations attending the Stanford Hackathon

  1. Google
  2. Microsoft
  3. Facebook
  4. Disney
  5. IBM
  6. Oracle
  7. Github

They supported the hackers with snacks, swag, and workshops while actively recruiting students for internship positions in the Bay Area.

The winning design

In the span of 36 hours, Weng and her team designed Soteria. It is a working prototype that presents critical health and vaccination information from:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  2. Travel advisory data from the U.S Department of State
  3. Water and real-time air quality data from UNICEF and openaq.org.

“Novel key risks are highlighted for each country and required vaccinations are listed for the travellers,” says Weng.

“Travellers can also use the interactive map on the landing page to get a quick, high-level view of travel and health advisories. Additionally, a feature will be added that will allow travellers to make appointments to obtain the necessary vaccines they are missing,” she continued.


Weng and her team won first place from Eri – an international geographic information system company – for Best Use of API and its Software Development Kit.

Facebook awarded them Best Hack to Make the World More Informed.

The team received $600 USD, Oculus Rift Go virtual reality headsets, and admission to Facebook’s exclusive Global Hackathon for students, which will take place in November 2019.

Weng travelled to Stanford University alone and met her team members on site. Her  team was composed of:

  1. MBA student from Cornell University,
  2. Computer science student from UCLA
  3. Computer science/biology student from Berkeley

As an interaction design student, Weng was in charge of the front-end design and development, as well as visual design.

“It was unlike any hackathon I’ve ever been to before with the lavishness of it all, from start to finish,” says Weng. “Some highlights from the weekend included acai bowls for breakfast, performances from Stanford’s juggling and jump rope teams, lightsaber battles presented by Disney, an escape room with Red Bull, puppy therapy, and karaoke.”

In November, Weng returns to California to attend the Facebook Global Hackathon at Facebook Headquarters. She competed with her team again and meet with a Stanford mentor.  As the team completes their project the mentor provides feedback.

Hackathons Booming at Sheridan

This is not the first bout of hackathon success for Sheridan students.

Weng was part of a team of Sheridan students who earned an impressive third-place finish out of a total 78 teams at the Elevate Hackathon. It was the largest hackathon event in Toronto’s history – back in September 2018.

Peter Lu, a third-year Honours Bachelor of Game Design student, also won two awards totalling $3,500 (USD) at Boston’s Reality Virtually Hackathon in January 2019.

About Hackademics

Weng is the co-founder and president of the Sheridan student-run club Hackademics. The students comprising the club are from various Sheridan programs, including Mobile Computing and Interaction Design, as well as Centre for Mobile Innovation (CMI).

Its mission is to unite like-minded individuals who are eager to apply their knowledge and innovative skill set within the collaborative setting of a hackathon. The club recently organized Hackville, a successful 36-hour hackathon at Sheridan’s Trafalgar Campus in February 2019 – the first student-organized event of its kind at Sheridan.




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