Seneca News

July 10, 2020

More than 400 postsecondary students hunkered down at home during Seneca’s first virtual COVID-19 Business Response Hackathon recently. 

Elizabeth Adenle (pictured right), a student in Seneca’s Project Management – Information Technology graduate certificate program, was part of the four-person team called Pandemic Safe that won top honours in the hackathon. Their innovative solution was a mobile app that provides up-to-date COVID-19 data aimed at helping politicians make decisions.

“The hackathon exposed me to a lot of different experiences that I’ve never had before,” said Ms. Adenle, who acted as project co-ordinator for Pandemic Safe. “I was able to assist with testing the app’s functionalities. It was a very good learning experience for me, and it was so much fun at the same time.”

Ms. Adenle worked alongside three students from Conestoga College. Their winning app uses a machine-learning algorithm to provide a range of projected COVID-19 cases for a specific geographic area and displays available health-care supports. It facilitates user-consent-based contact tracing during community events and enables users to track symptoms if they are unwell.

Elizabeth Adenle

Other teams involved in the week-long hackathon created solutions for digital recruitment in human resources, online appointment scheduling in health care, remote applications for expense payments and more. Teams worked remotely to develop these solutions, which passed through two rounds of judging. Prizes included cash and paid internships along with networking opportunities.

Participants were mentored by professionals from organizations that sponsored the event. They also heard keynotes from Microsoft Canada, Sightline Innovation, the Toronto Product Management Association, Thinking North and Job-O during the proceedings.

The hackathon was organized by Seneca students under the guidance of Mark Buchner from the School of Software Design & Data Science.

“The hackathon not only showcased outstanding leadership capabilities of our passionate students,” he said, “but it highlighted participants’ technical talent, employability and job-ready skills to industry leaders involved in the event.”