Martin, Fred: October 2011 Archives

Two Computer Science majors have each won awards for their projects completed during a 54-hour Boston Startup Weekend “hackathon” held at Boston University. The event was held from Friday evening, October 14, through Sunday night, October 16, 2011.

Undergraduate Paul Senatillaka led the development of “Tabber,” an electric guitar that was augmented with LEDs in the fretboard, which would light up to teach you how to play songs. Senatillaka was the lead hardware and firmware developer, and created an Arduino-based circuit to control the LEDs, along with software using the Microsoft .NET framework to transmit song data to the guitar. Six fret positions over five strings were equipped with LEDs to display song data.

Tabber won first place for Best Technology and second place as an Overall Winner in the event. Senatillaka’s team included students and alums from Northeastern, Boston University, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Separately, graduate student Amit Choudhary won a second place in User Design for his project, SponsorBar, which allows web site and event sponsors to easily create more engaging, active logos that would appear in the sponsorship logo strip at the top or bottom of a web site.

Choudhary’s system was developed in PHP using Yii framework. He directly implemented the Track Results Page, where live statistics of the number of visitors are managed.

In the Boston Startup Weekend event, individual participants dynamically form teams at when the event begins on Friday evening, and then work through the weekend to create working demonstrations of their ideas. The winners are selected by showing off their projects and making a business pitch on Sunday.

senatillika_labwork.jpg
Senatillaka (foreground, with hands at keyboard) works on Tabber’s code while his teammates test and assemble hardware.

senatillika_fretboard.jpg
Close-up of Tabber’s fretboard, with embedded LEDs.

sponsorbar.png
Screenshot from Choudhary’s SponsorBar web service. See a live demo at http://sponsorbar.fastfedora.com/yii/sponsorbar/ .





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