CSET Students Thrive at Opportunity Hack 2018

By Kaylor Jones

Students with a scholarship check in classroom setting

The College of Science, Engineering and Technology recently sent four teams to Opportunity Hack 2018, a two-day coding event where the GCU Big Data and IT/Cyber team placed second out of 27 teams, winning a combined $5,000 prize. The team, made up of students Tom Fowler, Joshua Lee, Thomas Gleason and Christian Taillon, presented their solution to a pressing problem from local nonprofits.

The team developed Survey Stack to help three nonprofits: American Association on Health and Disability, Neurologic Music Therapy Services and Animals and Humans in Disasters. The organizations had to invest countless hours of manual data entry to collect and store data from surveys. Survey Stack is an interactive web application prototype that will allow them to create survey forms that can be turned into printable PDFs and loaded back into the application. Responses from customers can then be used to produce analytics. For future analytics, the user can export the data as well.

As Survey Stack moves forward, the team will be working to improve scanning capabilities and adding more analytics to the data. After placing second in the event, the team was rewarded with a $1,000 prize and a Statement of Work contract sponsored by Repay. If their solution is installed at the nonprofits’ place of business on or before Jan. 11, 2019, the team will receive the remaining $4,000 of their prize money.

CSET sent four teams to the hack made up of 17 students from the computer science, computer programming and IT/cybersecurity programs. GCU was the second largest contingent at Opportunity Hack after ASU, which sent both undergraduate and graduate students.

Competitors were judged by representatives of PayPal, GoDaddy, Infusionsoft, MDI, Repay and Galvanize. Alongside the Big Data and IT/Cyber team, another GCU-CSET team almost made it to the final round. “This is another validation of the strength of our Computer Science with Big Data & Analytics Program,” said Dr. Isac Artzi, GCU Computer Science program lead. “[It] will be well expanded into the Master of Science in Data Science and the Master of Science in Computer Science.”

As GCU grows its College of Science, Engineering and Technology, the performances of students like these becomes especially encouraging. Our computer programming degree is ranked as one of the best in the state by college ranking sites like universities.com thanks to our devoted faculty and dedication to career preparation. Our courses are designed to instill critical thinking and effective communication skills in our students while educating them about the recent advancements in computer programming languages and utilizing software as a service. If you are interested in studying challenging curriculum relevant to the 21st century while developing essential workplace skills, visit our website to learn more about our Bachelor of Science in Computer Programming. The essential knowledge provided through this program prepares students for a career in digital, network and enterprise companies as a computer and information system manager, computer programmer, systems analyst, geospatial information technologist or web application developer.

To learn more about accomplished and our ever-growing College of Science, Engineering and Technology, visit our website or click the Request More Information button on this page to get started on your academic journey.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.