At a hackathon that promotes inclusivity, diversity, and networking, we wanted to create an app that connects women in STEM for coffee chats, networking, and even mentorship. After all, your network is your net worth.

What it does

After entering basic personal information such as name, hobbies, and favorite food, we use a simple matching algorithm to match a user with another user based on similar interests.

How we built it

For front end, we used HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The frontend involves displaying a form the user will fill out to enter personal information and then a page to display the match. For the backend, we stored all user data in Google Cloud Platform using mLab. To connect frontend and backend, we used Python and Flask to process user data and output a match. Most notability, we used the Google Cloud Vision API to identify objects in user uploaded profile pictures. Making use of Artificial Intelligence techniques, this API allowed us to intelligently identify objects of interest, such as boba, soccer balls, or computers. Based on the similarity of objects in user profile pictures, we would increase their similarity scores.

Challenges we ran into

We have never worked with mLab, Python, or Google Cloud Platform, so these were all new technologies to us. We found the mentors here invaluable in teaching us the tools necessary to develop using these technologies.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

All of us are proud of the fact that we each used tools we have never used before. At the beginning of the hackathon, we were all quite intimated by all these technologies. However, we dove head-on in the project, and before we knew it, we were in a roll, developing a web application that we hope many women in STEM will use to connect to mentors, collaborators, and each other.

What we learned

Of course, we learned the hard skills involved in all the technologies we used. However, we learned that starting to learn new technologies is not as intimidating as we had once thought. We truly enjoyed working outside our comfort zone and with all the mentors that came to help us.

What's next for Matchmaker

We hope to implement additional features, such as adding a Yelp API to suggest restaurants to meet up at. However, getting a finished product out really inspired us to continue creating software that will increase connectivity and impact in the world around us.

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