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LSBU teams up with IBM to hold largest IT industry partner-sponsored student hackathon

LSBU partners with IBM and global tech firm to hold largest IT industry partner-sponsored interdisciplinary student hackathon
30 June 2015

London South Bank University's (LSBU) Informatics students teamed up with Student Enterprise to launch the 2015 IBM Hackathon, the largest student hackathon to be sponsored by an industry giant and a global tech firm. The event was sponsored by IBM and Innovative, a global integrated library systems provider which is currently contracted by LSBU.

A hackathon is a social programming event that brings programmers and designers together to develop a software application. Students were challenged to develop a portable app to revolutionise the way University Library services are provided using IBM's latest powerful Bluemix and Watson Analytics tools.

Teams of students used their knowledge and skills to solve a real business problem while competing to win a day trip to IBM Hursley, one of the largest computer laboratories in Europe. Student from the Informatics, Computer Science, Digital Media and Project Management subject areas took part.

"The event provided a unique learning experience through inter-disciplinary collaboration. The event aimed to promote the IT community on campus as well as give students the opportunity to work with industry advisors on developing a real-world business proposal," said Jeffrey Chang, Principal Lecturer in Strategic IT Management, who organised and led the hackathon.

"Taking part in the IBM Hackathon gave me the opportunity to work with contemporary technologies while developing software in a short timescale. This experience has strengthened my ability to project manage under pressure. Additionally, attending the IBM Hackathon has advanced my aptitude in public speaking and presentation," said Jordan Paisley, BSc Information Technology student at LSBU.

The judging panel included: Paul Fryer, Academic Initiative Leader at IBM, and Alison Chojna, Acting Head of Library and Learning Resources at LSBU.

"It was great to see the creative and relevant ideas that the teams produced. The winning team in particular showed great commitment and skill both in designing and presenting their concept to the judging panel," said Colin Carter, Director of EMEA Library Engagement at Innovative.

"The IBM help team were fantastic in bringing us up to speed on the Bluemix platform which was a joy to use. Working under pressure was a persistent challenge that I felt we handled really well. Presenting and pitching our product was great fun and an invaluable opportunity to get more experience presenting business pitches," said Abubakr Mogahed, BEng Computer Systems and Networks student.