While sitting alone in a crowded library doing HW, I thought about how many other people are facing the same problems as me in the assignment I got in Applied Combinatorics. Even though I'm not antisocial, and even though it was a busy night at the library, I didn't know anyone there. I could have easily made friends by standing up on the closest table and screaming about your math HW, but I knew that there is must be an easier method to find people who I can study with. That's how I had the idea for hivemind.
What it does
hivemind is an app for college students, where they can easily find study groups that are currently happening on campus. After getting on the app, students pick out the classes that they are taking at the university. On the main screen on the app, different color pins start popping up, every pin representing a different study group and every color a different subject. We made it so that the pins are tied down to the building, not to the group's exact location. By pressing on the pins, you can get all the emails of the same study group and ask them about where the group is location, or where we can meet-up to study. You can also make my own study group if there isn't any group for my subject close by. By joining and making study groups, you earn "honey" which is the point system for this app. With the leadership board on the app, ranking people based on the amount of honey they have, you can see who is most involved in working with others.
How I built it
We went through a discussion beforehand about what we wanted the app to be. We organized a google doc with all the necessary API calls we would need on the backend. So primarily, planning beforehand helped us a ton with what we wanted to do: there was less discussion of the product and more doing.
Challenges I ran into
Setting up the server was certainly one of the most time-consuming issues. We wanted to use DigitalOcean to run our program, but unfortunately, their initial image of Django was 1.6.1, and none of the team members knew much about how the migrations system worked there. We tried to update it, delete it entirely, and even start with an empty server, but we couldn't figure anything out to work. At the end of the day, we ran the project on two computers, one on the localhost for Django, and the other for the PhoneGap programming.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
This was one of the first couple of hackathons for all of our team members, and it also was the first hackathons where we were able to produce a product by the end.
What I learned
How to work in a group with people knowledgeable in other things, nginx, gunicorn
What's next for hivemind
This idea has a huge amount of potential. First off, it is necessary to migrate this to an actual server, that way everyone can access it. Second, we wanted to have an in-app chat system to accommodate for the talking of groups. After that, we would create a way for other campuses, other than JHU, to input their courses and buildings to bring this app to their own campus. Additionally, for the honey, we were thinking of adding 1-1 tutoring or help, that way, students can use that honey there, and get more by doing exercises on their own time in a group with their peers. Once the students feel confident enough to teach their own subject, they can also tutor. As it is best know: teaching is the best form of learning!