Category Archives: McMaster

McMaster startup QReserve awarded $25k from OCE

QHamilton, Ontario, September 2, 2014 — McMaster University startup, QReserve Inc., is excited to be awarded $24,896 through Ontario Centres of Excellence’s (OCE) SmartStart program to introduce its publicly available research equipment database platform to universities and colleges across Canada.

“Every year, the federal and provincial governments invest millions of dollars in research tools and resources”, says QReserve Inc.’s CEO, Brandon Aubie. “This funding from OCE will help us help researchers and industry better utilize these resources. The QReserve platform works as a search engine for research equipment and we plan to bring it into university and college campuses across Ontario and the rest of Canada starting this fall.”

QReserve was founded in March of this year by McMaster University PhD graduate, Dr. Brandon Aubie, and McMaster University professors Dr. Fred Capretta and Dr. John Brennan. Their service provides universities and colleges with a turn-key research equipment database platform that is automatically connected with other institutions. This enables students, researchers and industrial users to discover and access resources across campuses and research institutions.

Dr. Capretta explains the impact QReserve’s resource database will have on Canadian researchers: “Obtaining funding for research gets harder and harder every year. So when a university purchases new equipment it’s more important than ever that it gets utilized to its full potential. With QReserve we’re helping people to find this equipment and encouraging collaborative use of existing resources. Bottom line is we’re trying to help research get done and save money at the same time.”

Their proof-of-concept platform was launched this summer at McMaster University containing nearly 300 pieces of equipment and research services and is quickly gaining traction. Aubie adds, “We’ve demonstrated a clear need for this service and are excited to add thousands of new resources for students, researchers and industrial users across the country to discover”.

QReserve is free to access at


About QReserve Inc.

QReserve Inc. was founded in 2014 at McMaster University with the aim of making research equipment and resources more accessible to students, faculty and industry. The company provides an open-access online platform for cataloguing and searching research equipment and services across university and college campuses and industrial research service providers. QReserve’s search platform integrates with existing university technology infrastructures to provide a turn-key internal institutional resource database that automatically integrates with other institutional databases. QReserve currently operates out of the McMaster Innovation Park in Hamilton, Ontario.

About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc. (

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario’s global competitiveness. OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario’s industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, domestic and foreign investors, and government ministries. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices, innovation, entrepreneurship and research, OCE invests in such areas as advanced health, information and communications technology, digital media, advanced materials and manufacturing, agri-food, aerospace, transportation, energy, and the environment including water and mining. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario’s Innovation Agenda as a member of the province’s Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), which helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs and industry rapidly grow their company and create jobs. Learn more at

McMaster students use supercomputer to create fractal videos

Originally posted on


cas-logoA group of computing and software students have created some stunning videos using one of the most powerful computers in the world.

The fourth-year students used the Blue Gene/Q supercomputer, located at the University of Toronto, to generate fractals – never-ending patterns that repeat at different scales.

The shapes are generated with a simple mathematical formula, but create incredibly complex shapes.

“Each pixel in an image is assigned coordinates,” says Ned Nedialkov, associate professor in computing and software. “These starting coordinates are then fed into a formula, resulting in new coordinates, which are plugged into the same formula for the next iteration, and so on.”

Nedialkov compares the process to zooming in on a digital map.

“Imagine the whole eastern coast of Canada laid out on a map. Then, as you zoom in and get closer, you can see the actually coast line, then the details of the beach, individual stones, pieces of sand, and then every molecule that makes up the sand.”

The shapes take billions of computations to create, and without the use of a supercomputer would take months to complete.

The exercise helps students learn both about fractals and supercomputers, which are used for a variety of tasks, including weather prediction.

Video of the fractals can be found here.



Vote in the Mobile Start App competition



The McMaster W Booth School of Engineering Practice, in partnership with Innovation Factory, conducted a series of events to support start-ups in the mobile application sector called Mobile Start App. This initiative included a Video Pitch Competition where students from the Golden Horseshoe with an app idea have posted 2 minute videos on YouTube.

The winners of the competition will be selected by vote count, and will receive a $1000 cash prize and representation on the McMaster University website and social media.

Check out the video pitch competition entries below and vote on who you think should win!







Woof wins 2nd annual Indellient prize

For the second year in a row Indellient (@Indellient) has sponsored the Indellient Prize in Software Entrepreneurship at McMaster University. The $1500 prize is awarded via a now annual contest open to McMaster students. Last year’s inaugural competition was won by Dillion Dixon and his timetable generator app.

This year the winner of the contest is a name familiar to regular readers – Woof (@MyDogWoofs). The social network for dog lovers and their pets has been a wonderful success, though it was noted that the overall pool of competition this year was stronger as well. Congratulations Woof!


McMaster Programming Challenge 2014


Originally posted on


Are you ready to flex your programming muscle? The McMaster Programming Challenge is back!

Allowed langauges are: C, Clojure, C++, C#, D, Erlang, Go, Groovy, Haskell, Java, Javascript, Lua, Objective C, OCaml, Pascal, Perl, PHP, Python 2, Python 3, Ruby, Lisp, or Scala.

Free t-shirts for the first 85 competitors!

Date: Sat, Jan 25, 2014
Time: 12noon – 5pm
Location: TBA
Cost: FREE!

(We will email you all the info you need for HackerRank closer to the date of the event)

The challenge is for any McMaster students interested in programming. Teams will consist of at least two or at most four students.

We will be using the HackerRank online marking system that checks your programs very quickly against our public and hidden test cases. Another advantage of this system is that you can track your place on the leaderboards in real-time. Lastly, time spent marking programs is almost non-existent!

The challenge will consist of approximately 10 problems and part marks will be given based on the number of test cases that are correct. These questions will vary between very easy and very difficult. We expect a fair amount of first year students to compete and all skill levels are welcome.

Challengers may use the internet during the competition mainly for accessing HackerRank, reading documentation, and reading things like Stack Exchange. Despite this, challengers must only submit code that is entirely their own.

For practice check out HackerRank, IEEE Xtreme, CCC, DWITE, ECOO and Project Euler.


Student presentation event hosted by Innovation Studio

wboothYou’re Invited

Student Presentation Event Hosted by Innovation Studio

Wednesday December 18 | 11:30 am to 1:30 pm

Hamilton Central Library Auditorium at 55 York Boulevard in Downtown Hamilton

Complimentary Lunch Served | Festive Social


Join us for a free community event that will feature project work in development by graduate students enrolled in the W. Booth School of Engineering Practice at McMaster University.  It’s an opportunity to learn about engineering-based, student-led projects helping to tackle a range of challenges from local food production and public transit to specialized manufacturing and healthcare.


This informal event – hosted by Innovation Studio in partnership with Hamilton Public Library – is part of an overall effort by the W. Booth School of Engineering Practice to deepen relationships with our community through experiential learning and public engagement.


Feel free to share this invitation with others in your network.


Please RSVP

Richard Allen, Business Development

W. Booth School of Engineering Practice | 905-572-0363

Second annual Indellient Prize in software entrepreneurship announced

The second annual Indellient Prize in software entrepreneurship has been announced for McMaster University students who wish to participate. The inaugural competition was held earlier this year and was won by Dillon Dixon for his timetable generator app.



Indellient Prize in Software Entrepreneurship

Time: Tuesday February 4th, 7:00-10:00PM.
Place: ETB 126

Prize: $1500

We are pleased to announce a Prize for Software Entrepreneurship for all
McMaster degree students, including co-op students currently on work term.

This contest is made possible by a generous donation from Indellient Inc., a
rapidly growing Software business in Mississauga co-founded by multiple
Entrepreneur and McMaster graduate, Adam Caromicoli, who will also donate his
time to sit on the panel of judges.

We also thank the McMaster Industrial Liaison Office from supporting the
Software Entrepreneurship program, and for the load of Glen Crossley, who will
be the second judge.

This prize supports the effort of Computing and Software at McMaster to foster
entrepreneurship, and Christopher Anand, instructor of CS 4EN3 Software
Entrepreneurship will be the third judge.

To enter, you must send a proposal to on or before Feb 1st,
2014. The proposal must be a pdf, and follow the structure of a business plan.
The teams with the strongest proposals will be invited to present their
proposals on the 4th. Non-contestants are welcome to attend subject to room

Presentations may use a data projector (provided) or other aids,
and will normally include a software demonstration incorporated into the
presentation. Presentation time will depend on the number of finalists, but
plan for 15 minutes.
Non-student participants:
Teams may include non-students, but in this case you
must include a breakdown of the contributions of each member.
Multiple Entries:
Teams may contain overlapping members, but each student may
appear as a presenter for only one project.

Tips for preparing your presentation:

Have you identified a real problem effecting many people or of high
value to some people.
Are you really solving the problem.
Innovative use of Software:
Did you make use of software in an innovative way.
(You don’t have to excel in all areas, but should aim to excel in several
Quality of the Presentation:
Is your presentation easy to follow and
convincing. Does it lend confidence in your team. Can you handle questions
from the judges and/or audience.
If this is a for-profit enterprise, do you have a strategy for
making money. (Note that you don’t have to make money right away, but whoever
is investing in your business will need to see a likely profit.)
Are you creating an organization which can sustain itself,
including financially (will you turn a profit, or will your social enterprise
have a long-term supporter), in staffing (do you depend on superhuman effort or
extraterrestrial intelligence), legally (are you at risk of being found to be on
the wrong side of the law, including copyright and patent law).
Does your problem definition and solution consider all relevant
aspects of your problem (e.g., security, privacy, societal, marketing,
environmental,…) effectively harnessing the skills of your team, and citing
committed outside support where necessary.
Can I use previous coursework?
Yes, this is not for course credit, so you can
reuse any project work. (McMaster students own work they submit for course
Should I have a separate demo?
No, integrate the demo into your presentation.
Use it to illustrate how your solution really is a solution, and not a bit of
Do I need to follow a design template, or talk about design?
No, you don’t need to follow a template, or use the waterfall method or
any particular development methodology. Your presentation is short, so
don’t mention routine things everyone should know.
For example, we assume you can make tables in a database.
We only want to know about the database if you think your design has some
advantages (for scalability, security, etc.) But even then, don’t get bogged
down in details. Other examples: the UI kit you use is cross-platform, or the
graphical design tools helped you stick to consistent UI metaphors which you
observed to accelerate learning by your beta testers, or the animations you
feature would be impossible on any platform except hand-optimized OpenGL and
this will be a big barrier to anyone trying to copy your UI.)
Does the whole team need to be there?
No, we know sometimes people have midterms.

The only rules we will follow is that everyone will have 15 minutes for their
presentation. If you allow questions during the presentation, you have to
budget for this. (You should allow for some questions, but keep them under
control.) The judges may ask some additional questions after the end of the
presentation, if they choose.

How will your entry be evaluated?

We will give each team a numerical score
broken down as follows:

Product (35)

* Definition – clarity, vision (20)
+ What problem is it trying to solve?
+ What will the technology do?
+ What is the core value proposition?
+ What are differentiating factors?
* Build Plan – realism, quality of approach, staging strategy (10)
+ Effort to build versus Time to Market
+ Product Versions (as part of a Go To Market strategy)
+ Technology Choices
* Sustained Value (5)
+ Intellectual Property Strategy
+ Staging (How will you add future value?)

Customer Perspective (20)

* Market – logical mapping of value to market, realistic ability to approach,
clarity (10)
+ Who is the target market?
+ Short, medium and long term plan for roll-out/differentiation.
* Problem Identification – definition of business / human problem and clear
mapping to solution (10)
+ What problem do they have and why?

Marketplace (20)

* Competition – Research depth, clear comparison and differentiation (15)
+ Who / what are the competitors?
+ Product Comparison Table.
+ How can you maintain competitive advantage?
* Marketplace Sizing – Research depth, realism, understanding of the market (5)
+ What are the sizes of specific target markets?
+ Who are your potential partners, channels?
+ How much of the market do you plan to capture?

Finances (15)

* Capital Investment – specific requirements with supporting details, specific
timing and sources (5)
+ Specific Requirements.
+ Sources.
+ What is the risk in sizing your requirements?
+ When do you need financing, and for how long?
* Sources – specificity and creativity (5)
+ Who will be targeted for investment?
+ Creative forms of financing, e.g. from customers and suppliers?
* Management – detail and realism (5)
+ Return of investment.
+ Cash flow projects – quality and reliability.
+ Break even point from a cash perspective.

Resources (10)

* Technology – crisp definition of requirements, challenges, risks (5)
* Human – rationale for selection, clarity of sourcing (5)
+ What existing resources can you draw on for development and advising?

MacGDA sign-up form for Academia Game Lab Competition


McMaster University has been invited to participate in the Ubisoft Academia Game Lab Competition. Participants can receive awards, including a paid internship to turn your prototype into a full game. McMaster University, Mohawk College, Redeemer University College and triOS College students graduating on or before April 2015 are all eligible to participate. MacGDA (@MacGDA1) has provided the following sign-up form for those interested in participating:


Ubisoft Competition Signup

Click here for details:
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