"Create the future Aizu with CIVIC TECH! Mashup Awards Hackathon with Students in Aizu #MA11" (*1) was held in Aizu Wakamatsu City on the weekend of August 8-9, 2015. There, teams comprised of UoA students, staff, and faculty members won multiple prizes.

"Mashup Awards" (MA), which started in 2006, is a contest with a rich history and a long list of achievements. The contest is a "hackathon" type competition (*2) where developers show off their techniques, designs, and ideas through the web sites, smartphone applications, etc. they have developed. The contest is a place where around 500 applications produced by leading developer gather every year, and participants propose their idea for future web and internet. UoA students have participated in past contests and have won prizes. (*3)

This year, the MA Tohoku regional contest was held in Aizu Wakamatsu City. The goal of this contest was to solve local issues with IT, imaging the future Aizu Wakamatsu. Further, the UoA Revitalization Center (*4) positioned this contest as a place for participants of its "UoA IT Entrepreneur Development Project"' to present their accomplishments. For this reason, a lot of UoA students participated in the contest and won prizes. Among the UoA teams, the team "One Button" won the CIVICTECH Category prize, while the team "GTP" won the Student Category prize, giving both teams the right to advance to the Finals stage scheduled for early November.

Awarded teams and their applications are below.

Team: One Button
Winners of the CIVICTECH Category Award and the IBMBluemix Award
Team members: Takanori Watanabe (UoA 1st year student) and other two members
Name of the winning application: One Button
"One button connects community""
This is an application for people to communicate with others in the same area with one button. Using an easy-to use interface called the "village communication button", communication and mutual-aid between locals can be further invigorated.
Watanabe's comment: This was my first hackathon, so I didn't know how to go about designing and building application at first. However, by working on the ideas that interested me, and the idea turned into the application while brushing up the idea and hacking with my team members. As a result, our team won two prizes, which made me surprised. Thanks to Associate Professor Fujii and Mr. Tokuno, we were able to build a great app. Participating in this hackathon helped me learn how applications and services are created, as well as what I should keep in mind when developing. If I have a chance, I would like to try competing again.

Team: GTP
Prizes: Student Category Prize, Pepper Prize
Team members: Yuki Ito (UoA 1st year student) and other two members
Name of the application: Pepper (*5) teaches you Aizu dialect
This is the application for Pepper to interpret Aizu dialect to standard Japanese, and vice versa. By using this application, people can communicate with pepper in the Aizu dialect. Pepper can also learn unfamiliar words from the elderly and other speakers of the Aizu dialect.
Ito's comment: I am so glad to receive these prizes. Pepper is a robot that still has huge untapped potential as far as connecting to our daily lives is concerned. At the Finals stage, we will try our best to use Pepper's potential to our advantage.

Team: War of Snow ~Boshin War 2.0~
Prizes: Asial Prize
Team members: Shunsuke Sakurai (UoA 1st year student) and other four members
Name of the application: War of Snow ~Boshin War 2.0~
This is application gamifies (*6) Aizu Wakamatsu City's snow removal problem. By regarding snow as an enemy force, rangers of Aizu Wakamatsu (citizens of the city) cooperate with each other to remove snow with a game-like feeling.
Sakurai's comment: During the development process, we used Asial Corporation's development platform to communicate with the backend and implement the UI. I have never developed an application in an environment so chock-full of the latest technology. For this reason, I was painfully aware of how fast and easy the implementation was. Further, I am impressed to receive such a wonderful prize from Asial Corporation. I would like to continue developing with this high-tech environment, including continued development of "War of Snow -Boshin War 2.0-".

Team: Sannaki
Prizes: Aizu Wakamatsu City Mayor Prize, Twilio Prize, Nifty Prize
Team members: Syunsuke Hanada (UoA 3rd year student) and other five members
Name of the application: Sasukene
"Sasukene" is an application to visualize complaints from locals by receiving a phone call, available for 24 hours. The application focuses on "snow-removal," which causes many problems.
1. Find places where snow has not been removed yet.
2. Call to a "Sasukene" private line available for 24 hours which connect to automatic voice guidance.
3. The automatic voice guidance gives areas of Aizu Wakamatsu city and their numbers. Press the number of the area where you need a "snow-removal".
4. The information requested for the snow-removal will be registered on "Sasukene" and uploaded on the internet.
This information will be accumulated as a data and utilized for next fiscal year and later. We hope snow-removal will be promoted based on the visualized data.
Hanada's comment: It was successful for us to show the solution clearly, making a good use of API (Application Programming Interface (*7) for the problems. Further, I learned a lot of things from team members since our team was formed to support each other by providing different skills.

*1 Create Future Aizu by CIVIC TECH!! Mashup Awards Hackathon with Students in Aizu #MA11  Official Facebook page
*2 The word "hackathon" is a portmanteau of the words "hack" and "marathon". A "hackathon" is an event where participants interested in the same theme compete with each other to develop software, etc.
*3 News:UoA Team Won an Award at "Mashup Awards"(MA)
*4 CODE for AIZU
News:Code for AIZU releases "Aizuwakamatsu Fire Hydrant Map" application
*5 Softbank Pepper
*6 Gamification is the concept of applying game mechanics and game design techniques to solving problems, etc. The word "Gamification" is derived from Gamify, "adapting various tasks in a daily life so that it takes on the form of game". 
*7 Application Programming Interface(API) is an interface specification which determines the procedure and data format in order to use the implemented function and managed data, etc. by accessing to other external program.

Responsibility for the wording of this article lies with Planning and Collaboration Division

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