Hesburgh Libraries announces 2024 Hackathon winners

Author: Hesburgh Libraries

How can technology be leveraged to create unity and encourage a more inclusive future? Fifteen teams of undergraduate students at the University of Notre Dame examined that question as part of the Hesburgh Libraries 8th annual Hackathon held April 12-14.

The weekend-long event challenged students to develop technology-based solutions to everyday problems related to this year’s theme, Unity in Diversity for an Inclusive Tomorrow. The event kicked off Friday evening, and teams presented their projects Sunday afternoon in the Hesburgh Library Carey Auditorium.

A panel of judges evaluated final project submissions in five key areas: innovation, impact, usability, technical merit and presentation. Prizes were awarded to teams who excelled in the criteria on the judging rubric.

Congratulations to the 2024 Hesburgh Libraries Hackathon winners.

1st Place – $3,000 Award


VoxME places 1st in the Hesburgh Libraries annual Hackathon

Mathew Mjaess, College of Arts and Letters, Economics
Andrew Vittiglio, College of Arts and Letters, Economics and Computer Science

Voice is a social cue, and having speech characteristics that align with one's identity is important. In many diverse communities, individuals undertake a practice known as voice training or therapy. Recognizing a lack of affordable and accessible voice training resources, VoxMe offers a voice training app to aid individuals struggling with voice identity. The web application needs only 10 seconds of audio, which it dynamically analyzes in real time. It provides users with insightful feedback and visual data representations, making it easy to track and understand a variety of voice metrics such as pitch. The initial phase of this application is targeted toward certain communities, but VoxMe sees potential for the application to expand. In the future, the technology could be used to help individuals with medical conditions that affect their vocal cords or as a vocal training method for the theater community.

2nd Place – $2,000 Award


A11yVate places 2nd in the Hesburgh Libraries annual Hackathon

Meng Chen, College of Engineering, Computer Science
Leyang Li, College of Engineering, Computer Science
Renee Shi, College of Arts & Letters, Computer Science and Political Science
Danny Tong, College of Engineering, Computer Science

Students on campus encounter physical and social barriers every day, from an individual who is temporarily disabled due to a broken ankle to someone who has a hard time finding ways to connect with people outside their immediate social circle. Through their crowdsourcing information space, A11yVate hopes to “unite all Domers together in a community without walls and barriers” so everyone can flourish. The platform, which aims to make campus more accessible and inclusive, allows users to report potential accessibility issues, such as a large puddle blocking a sidewalk in front of a building. The program then maps out alternative routes for individuals who may not be able to navigate that barrier. It also allows users to seek help from members of the community. In addition, the space also serves as a social hub for multicultural events across campus. The program utilizes open AI to process suggestions, Google Maps to visualize routes, and speech detection to improve accessibility.

3rd Place – $1,000 Award

Survive the Semester

Survive the Semester places 3rd in the Hesburgh Libraries annual Hackathon

Amy Do, College of Arts & Letters, Visual Communication Design
Eva Gorzkiewicz, College of Engineering, Computer Science
Julia Kim, College of Business, Finance

Across campus, students come from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. “As a student from a low socioeconomic background, life is not easy,” said one user in an interview with team Buds. “Hidden fees, such as textbooks, plane fares and going out to dinner, can add up quickly for any student, and I wish my peers were more empathetic.” To help students better understand their classmates from differing backgrounds and “promote an inclusive academic community where every student's voice is understood and valued,” Buds created Survive the Semester. The VR game seeks to foster empathy through meaningful immersion into the experiences of lower-income students. Interactive scenarios are designed to mirror potential hardships students may face.

Honorable Mention – $500 Award

Equality Explorer

Hesburgh Libraries Hackathon honorable mention Equality Explorer.

John Battaglia, College of Engineering, Computer Science
Anthony Flanagan, College of Engineering, Computer Science
Thomas Oblepias, College of Engineering, Computer Science
Aidan O’Connor, College of Engineering, Electrical Engineering

Individuals often cite the lack of opportunity as the number one reason behind the absence of diversity in their everyday lives. Hoping to better connect users with their local community, Equity Explorer aims to give users daily opportunities and incentives to explore new parts of their world, helping them examine personal bias and maximize their impact. The app helps users build community by highlighting local businesses, populating daily events, and using AI to help detect and highlight divisive language in its daily populated news articles. The program also uses gamification to incentivize users to check in daily.

Honorable Mention – $500 Award


Hesburgh Libraries Hackathon honorable mention MixStir.

Jeremy Arellano, College of Engineering, Computer Science
Deep Brahmbhatt, College of Engineering, Computer Science
Gabriel Sheikh, College of Engineering, Computer Science

With the goal of uniting people through the international language of food, MixStir aims to enhance global culinary exploration and cultural connectivity by introducing users to daily international recipe challenges. The application contains recipes categorized by country with a display of the country’s flag and the history of each dish. It also gives a list of ingredients and local markets where they can be found, along with interactive cooking guides. The application allows users to share their cooking adventures by uploading photos and videos. It also allows users to plan and invite people to a dinner party. In the future, MixStir sees the possibility of incorporating dietary restrictions into the application and being able to assign certain recipes to coordinate with international holidays.

2024 Hackathon Judges

Judges for the 2024 Hackathon.

A special thank you to our judges.

Karla Badillo-Urquiola, Ph.D., Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Engineering
Ashlee Bird, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of American Studies
Danielle' McGhee, Web and Digital User Experience Librarian, Hesburgh Libraries
Amanda Gray Perry, Web and Digital User Experience Librarian, Hesburgh Libraries
Erik Runyon, Technical Director, Notre Dame Creative