This past weekend, MFA, undergraduate ComDes and Computer Science students teamed up for the first annual Computer Science + ComDes Hackathon.
In two days, teams of 4-5 students worked together to concept, design and program a mobile game. The teams consisted of at least 2 CS and 2 ComDes students, with some teams having either an extra designer or extra programmer. MFA students were able to mentor their younger undergrad counterparts as well as work with the mainly undergraduate CS students. We were lucky enough to have one team with a graduate CS student as well. Their task was to create a game that could be played on a smartphone, using the Texas State campus as their play-grid. What came out of the 2 days thoroughly impressed the guest judges.
The event was sponsored by USAA, Mutual Mobile and IBM-Design with each company sending judges to award 3 awards: Best in Show, Best Design, and Best Development.
Two of the three winning teams included MFA students, including Cameo Chattin and April Wright. Cameo’s team, Apped Pupils, took Best of Show for their app called Campus Detective. April’s team, Odd Squad, brought home Best Design for their app, Finals Faceoff.
MFA faculty member, Grayson Lawrence and undergraduate Lecturer, Sam Kapila helped to put on the Hackathon. Grayson mentioned that one of the main reason’s for putting the event on was to create a collaborative environment between the two disciplines: “What’s great about the Hackathon is that our MFA students get to collaborate with some really great developers. In the real-world, interaction designers work in these sorts of teams, but in academia, we don’t always get these opportunities. It’s my hope that one of the things they learn is a mutual respect for the skills that each other’s disciplines bring to a project.”
The Hackathon went so well, that Grayson is already planning next year’s Hackathon.