University of Vermont

University Communications

Student Talent Showcased at Computer Science Fair 2016

Annual event features 171 projects from 286 students, draws local tech pros

Cam Weston with his project NatureVentures
Sophomore Cam Weston explains his project "NatureVentures" to judges.

Have a late-night hankering for a pint of Cherry Garcia or a handful of Oreos on campus? “Midnight Delivery” can help, a website developed by sophomore Rohit Nawani and first-year Ken Liu, both originally from Hong Kong, as part of their Beginner Web Design class. On the site, students can order snacks right to their door between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.

Midnight Delivery was just one of 171 projects showcased at this year’s Computer Science Fair on Dec. 9 in the Davis Center’s Ballroom. The annual event is open to any student who took a computer science course in the last year and wants a chance to share their work with peers and tech professionals—and a chance to win up to $300 in cash prizes, made possible by 29 sponsors.

First, second and third prize teams in a variety of categories were picked by a team of judges from IBM, Dealer.com, State Street, MyWebGrocer, and more. Nawani and Liu won first place among beginner programmers for a different project, a cryptography program.

Beyond prize money, the fair is also a time for students to impress potential employers. Sophomore Cam Weston and senior Ivan Spizizen made the most of the networking opportunity with judges and had their resumes on the table in front of their Intermediate Web Design project “NatureVentures,” a social media platform where UVM students connect over outdoor activities. They already have 600 users on the site, planning everything from ski sessions to rock climbing trips.

Other projects included “School of Rock,” an application developed by junior Sam Zonay and first-year Gordon MacMaster as part of their Intermediate Java Programming class, which suggests new bands for listeners based on their responses to a musical preference quiz; and a robot simulation using neural networks by one of last year’s winners, senior Slayton Marx.

Learn more about the fair and see the full list of winning projects.