October 24, 2016

Cloud Hackathon


In collaboration with IBM, the FIU School of Computing and Information Sciences (external link) hosted a Cloud Hackathon. This event was offered as part of the Introduction to Cloud Computing course (CEN4083) and open to students who are not currently enrolled in the class. CEN4083 is a new course offered as a shared course to FIU, UCF, and USF. IBM supports the hackathon with free trial access to the IBM Bluemix (external link), an industry-leading PaaS platform. You will get exposure to cutting-edge cloud technologies and mentoring from cloud computing experts. Top projects will be publicized by IBM. The top four students with the best projects will also win a Raspberry Pi starter kit (sponsored by IBM)!


The hackathon will take place from March 9th to April 3rd. You can participate individually or in a group of no more than two students. Each group will be asked to come up with an idea for a project and implement and demonstrate it in four weeks. Your projects will be ranked by the organizers of the hackathon, including Dr. Ming Zhao, the creator/instructor of CEN4083, and cloud computing experts from IBM. Detailed submission instructions will be posted here later.

With IBM Bluemix (external link), you will get access to a free, 30 day trial of various runtimes (like JavaPHP) and services (like Watson (external link)Mobile (external link)) delivered from IBM Softlayer (external link) cloud data centers. Register for IBM Bluemix now using https://apps.admin.ibmcloud.com/manage/trial/bluemix.html (external link) to make sure you are ready to go on the day of the hackathon.

IBM will also provide guest lectures and free starter code to help you start the projects and to use a catalog of free services like NoSQL data storage, Internet of Things, telephony, SMS, and email. The guest lectures will be given by IBM cloud computing architects on March 5th and 17th (see details below). Do not miss them! Access to the free starter code will be posted here later.


  • Smart Move, by Luis Castillo (FIU) and Yamel Peraza (FIU) (Winner!)
    • Developer-oriented job search engine, with CareerBuilder API and Cloudant integration
  • Home Automation, by Vladan Lalovic (FIU) and Luis Puche (FIU) (Winner!)
    • A system that automatically controls home appliances based on Watson Visual Classification and Control4 home automation device
  • Proximity Emergency Notification System, by Chris Schwendeman (USF)
    • An app that a user to exchange text messages with people nearby, using Mobile Data and Twilio and written in Node.js
  • Weather Alerts, by Olena Tkachenko (FIU) and Danish Waheed (UCF)
    • A Java and RapidApps app that pulls weather alerts from Weather Underground API and sends them to a phone
  • Raspberry House, by Benigno Rodriguez (UCF)A system that allows users to change the lights and colors of a dollhouse to express sentiments by tweeting at the doll house Twitter account. The dollhouse is wired up with a Raspberry Pi and LED lights is connected to Bluemix via MQTT. The app is written in NodeRED and integrates Twitter.
  • Mood Miami, by Brittney Ackerman (FIU) and Adam Merille (FIU)
    • A Twitter sentiment analysis app, extracting tweets from Miami using Twitter API and running sentiment analysis on them and displaying the results
  • OverZealder, by Oedelin Jean (UCF)
    • A mobile app to read Wikipedia articles streamed from Bluemix
  • KeyNote, by Roberto Arciniega (FIU) and Maria E. Presa Reyes (FIU)
    • A web application that allows a user to upload class notes and find key terms for those notes, using Alchemi API key extraction to highlight words that are recognized as important


The hackathon is open to any registered student from FIUUCF, and USF, but only a limited number of spots are available for students who are not enrolled in CEN4083. So register ASAP if you are interested!

To register, email to cloudhackathon@gmail.com with the subject “Hackathon Registration.” In the email body, include the full namestudent ID, and university of your team members as well as proof that you are familiar with Java or PHP programming (e.g., records of the programming courses that you have taken.) Qualified registrations will be accepted on a FCFS basis!Resources:

  • Getting Started Guide (external link) by Carl Osipov (external link): Instructions, Inspirational Examples, Sample Code, Frequently Asked Questions
  • Bluemix Account (external link): IBM provides 30 day free trial access to Bluemix. Make sure that you get the access when the Hackathon starts and the free period does not expire till the end of the Hackathon (April 3rd).
  • Guest Lectures (external link): Under Cloud Hackathon Lectures
  • Q&A Forum (external link): post your technical questions here.

Key dates:

  • March 5th, IBM guest lecture (external link) (9:30-10:45am, ECS 235)
  • March 9th, Cloud Hackathon Kickoff
  • March 17th, IBM guest lecture (external link) (9:30-10:45am, ECS 235)
  • March 23rd, Project proposals due
  • April 3rd Extended to April 12th, Final submission due
  • April 21th, Hackathon winner announcement


More information: