11 October 2016 – Final-year Information Systems student Piyush Varanjani was one of the 12 winners of the Hack The North competition, Canada’s biggest hackathon that took place from 16th to 18th September at the University of Waterloo.
It brought together 1000 students from around the world to experiment, connect and create in 36 hours.
Being the sole student representing Singapore, Piyush worked with two other students (Kenta, from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Arun Galva, a Computer Software Engineering student at Carleton University). He designed and pitched the idea of Lyfe, which incorporates the use of a Chrome extension to track users’ facial expressions when watching videos and their reactions. Lyfe aims to crowdsource these expressions to inform users exactly what they can expect from a particular video in real time.
Piyush said, “I have learnt to use different APIs to create applications for users”. He added that he was humbled by the opportunity to meet many talented people at the hackathon and expressed his gratitude to the School of Computing for funding his participation in this competition. Summing up his experience, Piyush declared, “Hack The North is a manifestation of changing times, in terms of how a small number people can churn out products in real time with the perfect team, grit, coffee, and cold pizza.”