Hacking in: Portal edition

Hackathon participants

Students hard at work during the Portal Halloween Hackathon

If you could make navigating campus life easier for students at UWaterloo how would you do it? On Saturday, October 28, 48 students came together for the fourth annual Portal Hackathon, to tackle that question.

In September, the Portal app launched to make accessing information easier for students. With widgets such as class schedules, exam information, and classroom availability Portal provides all the day-to-day information students need in one central place. The Portal Halloween Hackathon provided students interested in coding and refining their development skills with the chance to propose and design new widgets for the Student Portal.

The winners of this year’s Hackathon created an exam generator that will help students prepare for difficult midterms and exams.

Nathaniel Ruiz, one of the members of the team explains how they came up with the pitch;

Most of the members of our team were new students at Waterloo in our undergraduate year. We're all still in the process of trying to figure out how to study and prepare for midterms and exams that are worth much more than what we're used to. Slowly we've found out about aides like the Engineering Society exam bank and past midterms and finals provided by professors. But having an organized [widget] means that we can study for finals and midterms in a way that will better prepare us for success on the exams.”

Portal hackathon winners

Portal Hackathon winners: Eliseo Nathaniel Ruiz Nowell, Hongming Wang, Aishwarya Kumar, Cathy Hua, Freddy Lee and Connor Kingdon

The team developed their widget to help students develop a model of thinking before getting the answers, and also as a resource for students to come together and share their knowledge in one easy to find location.

With random questions with hidden solutions and questions ranked by difficulty, we set ourselves up for an effective studying session. Plus it's always great to know you have somewhere to ask for help!”

It wasn’t all business though. In true Halloween spirit students came dressed in costume and the best-dressed award went to a student moonlighting as an avocado.

 
 

Person in avocado costume.Overall, this Hackathon was an awesome event full of great costumes and even better ideas. If you’re interested in learning more about web development and getting some practical experience with the help of developers keep your eye on the Student Portal and the Portal website for information on future Hackathons and other opportunities to get involved

Download Portal today on Google Play or in the App Store.

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