Class of 2016
Computer Science and Mathematics Majors and
Physics and Computer Information Systems Minors
Dylan Tokotch describes himself as a “technology nut.” An apt description considering he spent 36 hours straight as part of a team competing at Hack.UVA, a computer programming event at the University of Virginia. The final result – a third-place finish.
The three-man team which was composed of Dylan and two of his friends from UVA, held a conference call during the week before the event to brainstorm ideas for their project. “We wanted to create something that would have a chance of getting best overall, so it had to be innovative and have technical rigor,” said Dylan.
The trio came up with a rough idea of what they wanted to develop from scratch at the competition – a video-streaming app. They had no idea how to do it or even if it would be feasible. These were challenges the team would tackle at Hack.UVA.
Beginning the timed event at 7 p.m. on a Friday, all three members of the team worked straight through. “A long time to go without sleep,” said Dylan. “Meals were catered and everyone ate while they worked.”
The team’s idea revolved around a scenario in which a group of people want to watch a video. Instead of everyone gathering around one phone to watch it, the app streams portions of the video to a number of smart phones which are then placed together on a table, essentially forming a large screen on which the video can be viewed, with each device displaying part of the video.
Currently, the app is capable of only showing video files. “With tweaking, we could share any media files from pictures to business presentations,” said Dylan.
The judges awarded first-, second- and third-place prizes for overall technical rigor, polish and creativity and the excitement of the team members for their project. “Attitude is everything now-a-days in the business world,” said Dylan.
The team’s efforts paid off with a third-place finish and included a monetary award.
Not only did the app catch the attention of the judges, but other competitors also took an interest wanting to know when it was going to be on the market.
In addition to the competition, major sponsors, such as Nvidia, gave professional presentations that were enlightening. “Getting to see the most recent ideas in the field was really cool,” said Dylan.
During the summer of 2014, the three friends who all live in the same hometown of Roanoke, Va., worked on putting the finishing touches on the app to push to the Android market.