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Ph.D. Students Iyengar and Lee Take Home First Place at HackUMass

Two College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) Ph.D. students, Srinivasan Iyengar and Stephen Lee, took home first place in the third annual HackUMass, a 36-hour, student-run hackathon that drew almost 400 participants to UMass Amherst's Integrative Learning Center on Oct 23-25.  

Iyengar and Lee captured the prize with a web-based tool that allows homeowners to determine whether their house is a good candidate for rooftop solar panels. Using a combination of existing geographic programs such as Google Maps and cool image processing, Iyengar and Lee's program, dubbed "Solartopia," determines roof sizes, tilt and solar radiation at any US location. First place prizes included $1024 for the winners to share and two Sphero BB-8 droids.

HackUMass participants hailed from 49 universities and 8 high schools, with 220 students coming from UMass Amherst. Of the UMass participants, over sixty percent were from CICS. Hackers were treated to meals at the University's award-winning dining commons and attended workshops given by industry sponsors who provided guidance and motivation to teams developing apps, programs, and hardware systems.   

CICS, The College of Engineering, and Isenberg School of Management were partners for the event. In addition to providing monetary support, CICS faculty served as judges and advised students on event logistics and fund-raising.

Stay tuned for information about HackUMass 2016.