Hackers of the angels.
Heidi: “I think that being able to track your progress, being able to measure your progress, that’s a really important idea right there. It’s a lot more obvious how to measure your progress on the technical side of things, then maybe it’s on the creative side. 
Bonnie: “At a corporate situation, its usually the boss who says oh, I want this to happen, so go implement it. But here [at Epoxy] you’re discussing it.  It’s raw. It’s live action pretty much, so it’s really interesting to be in that sort of environment…”

Heidi: “The ideas behind what we are doing are really complex and I think ultimately that the challenge is to make them as simple as possible for the consumer. But because everything is so complex, and just talking about it is so complex, just staying up with that conversation for an hour can be really, really difficult.”
[concerning women and older programmers]
Heidi: “(Technology) is accessible in a way, where, you don’t need money, you need very little hardware… there’s not a lot of input that has to go in for a women to start learning this kind of thing. Even later on in life ”
Heidi and Bonnie both work at Epoxy, a company that works to build the tools that online video creators need to thrive in social media. Heidi is a software engineer who formerly worked at CalTech and later Pixar Animation Studios.  Bonnie currently works as a designer.

Heidi Brandenburg and Bonnie Chen (left to right) | Epoxy

Heidi: “I think that being able to track your progress, being able to measure your progress, that’s a really important idea right there. It’s a lot more obvious how to measure your progress on the technical side of things, then maybe it’s on the creative side.

Bonnie: “At a corporate situation, its usually the boss who says oh, I want this to happen, so go implement it. But here [at Epoxy] you’re discussing it.  It’s raw. It’s live action pretty much, so it’s really interesting to be in that sort of environment…”

Heidi: “The ideas behind what we are doing are really complex and I think ultimately that the challenge is to make them as simple as possible for the consumer. But because everything is so complex, and just talking about it is so complex, just staying up with that conversation for an hour can be really, really difficult.”

[concerning women and older programmers]

Heidi: “(Technology) is accessible in a way, where, you don’t need money, you need very little hardware… there’s not a lot of input that has to go in for a women to start learning this kind of thing. Even later on in life ”

Heidi and Bonnie both work at Epoxy, a company that works to build the tools that online video creators need to thrive in social media. Heidi is a software engineer who formerly worked at CalTech and later Pixar Animation Studios.  Bonnie currently works as a designer.

Heidi Brandenburg and Bonnie Chen (left to right) | Epoxy

Tagged: #hackers of LA
“I was drawn by the visual side of computer science at first.  So, robots (for example)… I feel like it’s the same as art. When you’re painting, you imagine the scenery— what colors, what patterns it’s going to have… a robotics program is imagining that painting but with different things in the system.  Instead of putting patterns and choosing what colors, you’re choosing what behaviors is the robot going to do, how does it see. So that was fascinating. the fact that by coding, you can make something real. Something that can make a huge impact.”

Azi is a visual artists that pursued computer science as a graduate student. She is now computer scientist and formerly the Deputy Program Manager Autonomous Aerial Cargo Utility System in Washington DC. She is now the founder of ANTXplore, which explores and shares ideas and visions on the interactions of art, nature, and technology to spark synergies that lead to unexpected discoveries and innovations in order to solve the world’s biggest challenges. Azi is also very involved with Girls in Tech LA. 

Azi Sharif | ANTXplore

“I was drawn by the visual side of computer science at first.  So, robots (for example)… I feel like it’s the same as art. When you’re painting, you imagine the scenery— what colors, what patterns it’s going to have… a robotics program is imagining that painting but with different things in the system.  Instead of putting patterns and choosing what colors, you’re choosing what behaviors is the robot going to do, how does it see. So that was fascinating. the fact that by coding, you can make something real. Something that can make a huge impact.”

Azi is a visual artists that pursued computer science as a graduate student. She is now computer scientist and formerly the Deputy Program Manager Autonomous Aerial Cargo Utility System in Washington DC. She is now the founder of ANTXplore, which explores and shares ideas and visions on the interactions of art, nature, and technology to spark synergies that lead to unexpected discoveries and innovations in order to solve the world’s biggest challenges. Azi is also very involved with Girls in Tech LA.

Azi Sharif | ANTXplore

Tagged: #hackers of LA
“The concept is, in a nutshell, Uber for people with Parkinsons so they can very simply get to places that they need to be and also have a way that’s trackable to the Parkinson’s Wellness Fund for security, that doesn’t involve a lot of paperwork, that’s a more simplistic approach…

It’s not just a hackathon, it’s also for charity. It has the potential to be transformational to somebody.”

Parkinson’s Wellness Fund was one of the teams at this year’s Causathon, a hackathon brought to you by Brand Knew.

The concept is, in a nutshell, Uber for people with Parkinsons so they can very simply get to places that they need to be and also have a way that’s trackable to the Parkinson’s Wellness Fund for security, that doesn’t involve a lot of paperwork, that’s a more simplistic approach…

It’s not just a hackathon, it’s also for charity. It has the potential to be transformational to somebody.

Parkinson’s Wellness Fund was one of the teams at this year’s Causathon, a hackathon brought to you by Brand Knew.

Tagged: #hackers of LA
“We’re making a database for events and overall resources for female filmmakers. Sundance wanted a portal where someone could pull these filters and immediately see what links and resources were available. Their understanding is that the film industry is not a level playing field in terms of gender, and this is why the Sundance Institute has chosen to implement this project..”
Sundance was one of the teams at this year’s Causathon, a hackathon brought to you by Brand Knew.
We’re making a database for events and overall resources for female filmmakers. Sundance wanted a portal where someone could pull these filters and immediately see what links and resources were available. Their understanding is that the film industry is not a level playing field in terms of gender, and this is why the Sundance Institute has chosen to implement this project..”

Sundance was one of the teams at this year’s Causathon, a hackathon brought to you by Brand Knew.
Tagged: #hackers of LA
“Enough Project does a lot of raising awareness of genocide issues, specifically on the African continent… Basically we were given a giant sheet of paper that had a ton of ideas that they were hoping to get implemented and pretty much they wanted to build a mobile version of their entire service, which is kind of beyond the scope of 24 hours… We kind of pulled out what we thought was the key value that they were trying to go for and the underlying part was college students, or certainly adolescent adults because generally that’s a population that’s definitely easily encouraged and affected by this kind of stuff, but not always like reachable…

If you look at all the different ways you can get notified about stuff… texting is the only medium that you really have to respond to. You pretty much read every single text you get. We’re creating an app and texting suite where you would visit this application… and we’ll have a server on the backend go to Enough Project’s website and pull in their most recent blog posts and send you text updates every time they have a new blog post with a headline and a link to it.”
Enough Project was one of the teams at this year’s Causathon, a hackathon brought to you by Brand Knew.

“Enough Project does a lot of raising awareness of genocide issues, specifically on the African continent… Basically we were given a giant sheet of paper that had a ton of ideas that they were hoping to get implemented and pretty much they wanted to build a mobile version of their entire service, which is kind of beyond the scope of 24 hours… We kind of pulled out what we thought was the key value that they were trying to go for and the underlying part was college students, or certainly adolescent adults because generally that’s a population that’s definitely easily encouraged and affected by this kind of stuff, but not always like reachable…

If you look at all the different ways you can get notified about stuff… texting is the only medium that you really have to respond to. You pretty much read every single text you get. We’re creating an app and texting suite where you would visit this application… and we’ll have a server on the backend go to Enough Project’s website and pull in their most recent blog posts and send you text updates every time they have a new blog post with a headline and a link to it.”

Enough Project was one of the teams at this year’s Causathon, a hackathon brought to you by Brand Knew.

Tagged: #hackers of LA
“The website is about curating content - like videos, articles, blog pieces- that showcase veterans and veteran families as leaders in their communities.  Because the whole premise is to shift the perception of saying, like oh veterans, they have PTSD, they’re people we need to pity, to normalizing them and not objectifying them to people we can’t relate to. 
So at first we kind of like generated a features and functions list just to get clear from the admin’s point of view.. So after we came out with this list, and we made sure we all had clarity on what we were building out… we’re working on how to put it together.”
“What has your biggest challenge been throughout this process?”
“TIME. And also a lot of the process is that we need to test if the interface actually makes sense for people, and on the back end also it’s kind of like… it just takes time. It’s intuitive to us but it might not be intuitive for the user. And potential sponsors if we could get ahold of them! Unfortunately we don’t have the time.
Our final solution to Got Your 6’s workflow problem was to build the front end and back end of the Veterans Showcase platform. For the front-end, we created an audience-facing website that the that allowed readers to easily see and filter through the content via media types or search for specific keywords. For the back-end, we created a content management system that automatically pulled in and filtered content from 30+ partner websites, and allowed room for the admin to scale and pull in content from other sources. All in all, building something meaningful for Got Your 6 and getting to work with amazing developers and UX designers was a great experience for our first Hackathon! ”
See the hack here.
Got Your 6 was one of the teams at this year’s Causathon, a hackathon brought to you by Brand Knew.

“The website is about curating content - like videos, articles, blog pieces- that showcase veterans and veteran families as leaders in their communities.  Because the whole premise is to shift the perception of saying, like oh veterans, they have PTSD, they’re people we need to pity, to normalizing them and not objectifying them to people we can’t relate to. 

So at first we kind of like generated a features and functions list just to get clear from the admin’s point of view.. So after we came out with this list, and we made sure we all had clarity on what we were building out… we’re working on how to put it together.”

“What has your biggest challenge been throughout this process?”

“TIME. And also a lot of the process is that we need to test if the interface actually makes sense for people, and on the back end also it’s kind of like… it just takes time. It’s intuitive to us but it might not be intuitive for the user. And potential sponsors if we could get ahold of them! Unfortunately we don’t have the time.

Our final solution to Got Your 6’s workflow problem was to build the front end and back end of the Veterans Showcase platform. For the front-end, we created an audience-facing website that the that allowed readers to easily see and filter through the content via media types or search for specific keywords. For the back-end, we created a content management system that automatically pulled in and filtered content from 30+ partner websites, and allowed room for the admin to scale and pull in content from other sources. All in all, building something meaningful for Got Your 6 and getting to work with amazing developers and UX designers was a great experience for our first Hackathon! ”

See the hack here.


Got Your 6 was one of the teams at this year’s Causathon, a hackathon brought to you by Brand Knew.

Tagged: #hackers of LA
“I’m in a little bit of a daze right now. We were kind of tasked with the problem of keeping middle schoolers in touch with pen pals across different nations and within the state. We had a few problems to tackle. One was language barrier, another was time to respond back, and also how responsive they are and how fun this activity is.

We threw a twist on it… You create a profile and you’re paired up with a pen pal, and this pen pal also has a profile, and in their profile they name three things: where they’re from, their school, and something that they like… Then you create a collage and send that to your pen pal… It’s all about pictures and collages. So you go through and you show what kind of movies you like, or what kind of sports you like, or what kind of music you like to listen to.. Your pen pal see this and can “heart” it… these are similar interests to have something to talk about. Then after that you can send postcards to each other based on these activities you like that you guys shared in common. So we set up another API so it sets up a collage for you and actually sends a physical postcard. Or you could just send them an E-card. 

For me, (the best part) for all these hackathons its being able to see a finished product by the end of it. Literally, it’s been 10 hours and the amount that we’ve gotten done is substantial and its exciting to see that much work get done in such a short period of time.”
Find out more here.
Children Mending Hearts was one of the teams at this year’s Causathon, a hackathon brought to you by Brand Knew.

“I’m in a little bit of a daze right now. We were kind of tasked with the problem of keeping middle schoolers in touch with pen pals across different nations and within the state. We had a few problems to tackle. One was language barrier, another was time to respond back, and also how responsive they are and how fun this activity is.

We threw a twist on it… You create a profile and you’re paired up with a pen pal, and this pen pal also has a profile, and in their profile they name three things: where they’re from, their school, and something that they like… Then you create a collage and send that to your pen pal… It’s all about pictures and collages. So you go through and you show what kind of movies you like, or what kind of sports you like, or what kind of music you like to listen to.. Your pen pal see this and can “heart” it… these are similar interests to have something to talk about. Then after that you can send postcards to each other based on these activities you like that you guys shared in common. So we set up another API so it sets up a collage for you and actually sends a physical postcard. Or you could just send them an E-card.

For me, (the best part) for all these hackathons its being able to see a finished product by the end of it. Literally, it’s been 10 hours and the amount that we’ve gotten done is substantial and its exciting to see that much work get done in such a short period of time.”

Find out more here.

Children Mending Hearts was one of the teams at this year’s Causathon, a hackathon brought to you by Brand Knew.

Tagged: #hackers of LA
“Essentially, Middle Eastern peace activists need a fast and efficient way to communicate with one another anonymously and share content in real-time. To accomplish this task we’ve created an anonymous chat app that allows individuals to share messages, interesting links, and other interesting material that they find online.

The process involves us defining user needs, white-boarding user-stories and figuring out use cases for the app. The technology already exists for what we want to do, but that means nothing unless we have clear, defined goals for our users. That’s one of the reasons why we hopped on a Skype video chat with one of the reps from Yala. It allowed us to better understand the organization, their goals and the people apart of it.

Initially, due to time constraints, the only key security feature we were able to add was anonymity and deleting ALL session data within 20 mins of inactivity. However, we plan on getting some caffeine IVs hooked up to our veins and staying up a few nights and intensively researching cryptography and other security measures we can implement for the app.”

Check it out here.

Yala was one of the teams at this year’s Causathon, a hackathon brought to you by Brand Knew.

“Essentially, Middle Eastern peace activists need a fast and efficient way to communicate with one another anonymously and share content in real-time. To accomplish this task we’ve created an anonymous chat app that allows individuals to share messages, interesting links, and other interesting material that they find online.

The process involves us defining user needs, white-boarding user-stories and figuring out use cases for the app. The technology already exists for what we want to do, but that means nothing unless we have clear, defined goals for our users. That’s one of the reasons why we hopped on a Skype video chat with one of the reps from Yala. It allowed us to better understand the organization, their goals and the people apart of it.

Initially, due to time constraints, the only key security feature we were able to add was anonymity and deleting ALL session data within 20 mins of inactivity. However, we plan on getting some caffeine IVs hooked up to our veins and staying up a few nights and intensively researching cryptography and other security measures we can implement for the app.”

Check it out here.

Yala was one of the teams at this year’s Causathon, a hackathon brought to you by Brand Knew.

Tagged: #hackers of LA
“Wendy Walk is a non-profit designed for awareness and research fundraising for Liposarcoma, a rare soft tissue cancer.  And they were looking for… a way to find physicians that are close to them or how do I get to someone who actually specializes in the diagnosis so that I can correctly treat it.  

Before the only way to find a center that provides that kind of care for them was found on three different sites, several layers in. So what we did is we aggregated all the data and turned it into a database of specialists, so we’re making it much easier to search through, making it much more user friendly. We collected all of that information from the separate sites and created a database of all the relevant specialists.The search then would be by city, state or zip. So when people type.. whatever parameter you put it, it’ll give back whatever is closest to you.”
Check it out here.
Wendy Walk was one of the teams at this year’s Causathon, a hackathon brought to you by Brand Knew.

“Wendy Walk is a non-profit designed for awareness and research fundraising for Liposarcoma, a rare soft tissue cancer.  And they were looking for… a way to find physicians that are close to them or how do I get to someone who actually specializes in the diagnosis so that I can correctly treat it.  

Before the only way to find a center that provides that kind of care for them was found on three different sites, several layers in. So what we did is we aggregated all the data and turned it into a database of specialists, so we’re making it much easier to search through, making it much more user friendly. We collected all of that information from the separate sites and created a database of all the relevant specialists.The search then would be by city, state or zip. So when people type.. whatever parameter you put it, it’ll give back whatever is closest to you.”

Check it out here.

Wendy Walk was one of the teams at this year’s Causathon, a hackathon brought to you by Brand Knew.

Tagged: #hackers of la
“It’s a quiz, game type thing which tests kids on their sexual IQ and if they’re aware of different health risks and myths and misconceptions and then gives them a score. And then additionally they’ll be able to see then which classes are doing the best just by who’s participating… We just needed something else to engage them outside of the classroom that would be kind of cool and fun. Part of the challenge is that we need to make something that’s cool and fun for teenage high schoolers…. which is hard.”
Check it out here.
Claris Health was one of the teams at this year’s Causathon, a hackathon brought to you by Brand Knew.

“It’s a quiz, game type thing which tests kids on their sexual IQ and if they’re aware of different health risks and myths and misconceptions and then gives them a score. And then additionally they’ll be able to see then which classes are doing the best just by who’s participating… We just needed something else to engage them outside of the classroom that would be kind of cool and fun. Part of the challenge is that we need to make something that’s cool and fun for teenage high schoolers…. which is hard.”

Check it out here.

Claris Health was one of the teams at this year’s Causathon, a hackathon brought to you by Brand Knew.

Tagged: #hackers of la
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