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Student success at Leeds Transport Hackathon

Published: Wed 19 Feb 2014

Three students from the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science have won the runner-up prize with their software application "Where's My Bus" at the Leeds Transport Hackathon, an event sponsored and provided by Stride. Connor Aspinall; 1st year BSc Computer Science for Games student, Callum Eidson; 1st year BSc Computer Science student and postgraduate MSc Computing student Ben Farnfield beat dozens of other entrants to claim the competition’s second place prize.

The Hackathon event called for budding developers to build useful and innovative applications based on real transport data. With support and training from Dr. Yang Lan, Dr. Paul Trundle and Dr. Mariam Kiran, the three students designed and developed their application in an incredibly short timescale, narrowly missing out on the top spot to a team from the Open University.

Our students created an application to seamlessly integrate social networking with real time transport data. The application used a Twitter hashtag to retrieve bus arrival times upon request. Users of the app waiting for a bus (perhaps in the pouring rain!) can Tweet: 

 "Absolutely soaked! #wheresmybus" 

and the app will locate the user based on their mobile device’s GPS position, find the nearest bus stop and retrieve information on the next bus due at that stop. The user will then receive a reply Tweet:

 "Here's your bus! Bus number: 38 Arrival time: 06:58..."

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