Category Archives: McMaster

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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Woof breaks into top 50 iOS social networking apps on launch day

Woof (@mydogwoofs) is an app for dog walk tracking, analytics, photo sharing, and finding nearby dog parks with amenities. Two of the three Woof co-founders are McMaster University Computing & Software students.

Woof launched yesterday and was also featured in The Hamilton Spectator. Woof was able to break into the top 50 app store social networking apps on its first day of release.




McMaster Children and Youth University: Video Game Design

McMaster Children and Youth University
The Ron K Fraser Lectures


brockVideo Game Design

Dr. Brock Dubbels

October 26, 2013

Location: McMaster University – Togo Salmon Hall (Room 120)

Video games can be a lot of fun. But, have you ever stopped to wonder how they are made? Dr. Dubbels will examine the different types of video games and explain how they’re developed and what makes them so entertaining.


About the speaker:

Brock Dubbels is currently a post-doctoral researcher at McMaster University. His appointment includes work on game design in the department of Computing and Software (G-Scale) as a CLIR Fellow.


Interview with Woof co-founder David Elsonbaty

davidTell me about yourself.

I’m David Elsonbaty one of the technical co-founders here at Woof (@mydogwoofs). I’m a third year computer science student at McMaster University. I have a huge passion for iOS development and love keeping up with new innovations and building cool things.

What is Woof?

We call Woof ‘a dog lovers second best friend’. Woof’s free mobile app offers many features that apply to different types of dog parents; from photo sharing, to walk tracking and even seeing nearby dog parks – Woof does it all and more!

Why did you decide to make Woof?

I simply love dogs since I was a little kid, I’ve had Dexter (A crazy loving labrador retriever) for a year now. I’ve have worked with Adrian Domanico (Developer/Co-Founder) before in the past as research assistants at McMaster University, and we both met Dan Seider (Biz-Dev/Co-Founder) at the Queen’s Startup Summit last year. We all knew that we’re gonna be working together on something big, just weren’t sure what. A few days later after the competition, Dan introduced Woof to us, me and Adrian fell in love with the idea and we all haven’t been able to stop working on it since.

How does the walk tracking feature of the app work?

The walk tracking feature of the app uses minimal cellular data to find your location, it provides live information such as distance, and time elapsed. During your walk you can mark your dog’s territory, browse through the map to see nearby dog parks, and see other dogs’ territories around you.




What sort of social features have you included?

When you first open Woof you enter the trending news feed, where you will see recent popular dog photos. You are able to like them and will soon be able to comment too. Once you get to your profile, you are able to find dogs that are nearby and follow them or search for fellow canine friends. When your are taking your dog for a walk, as long as you are tracking it – you are able to mark where your best friend does his business. But wait, there’s more! When another Woofer opens the map and clicks on your dog’s territory, you’ll be notified that it has been sniffed!

Have you had any challenges developing Woof?

We’ve definitely ran into many challenges along the way, we’ve had a hard time deciding what features to cut from our MVP. Everything took longer than anticipated, we’ve also had a hard time creating our Woof Apple Account due to the lengthy downtime after the Apple’s hack. However, to our surprise we have managed to build Woof with a budget of under $10,000 and buckets full of sweat equity.




How do you plan on marketing Woof?

We have put together a list of Facebook related dog pages with large followings and have been reaching out requesting to get their help with our launch. A fair amount of them have agreed to share Woof on their pages at our launch and we have actually developed some close relationships with a few as we have been very open to returning the favour where possible.

What’s your monetization plan for Woof?

As it is part of our mission to connect dog parents with their local dog communities it only makes sense for us to keep the app free, and we plan to keep it that way indefinitely. We are looking into creating a smart dog collar, but will do this once we reach scale.




How can readers get Woof?

Editor’s Note: The app is now available on iOS devices…


We’ve just recently submitted Woof to the App Store for approval, readers can check out our website at, enter their email and we will notify them once Woof is on the App Store sometime next week.

What are your future plans for Woof?

We will be continuously working on adding new features to the app – many based on popular demand as well as porting Woof over to android. We’ve developed a partnership with SPCA and will soon be integrating their Meet Your Match program in our app. This will allow anyone in North America to find dogs that are up for adoption nearby; by filling out a short questionnaire, you can be matched with dogs that suit your lifestyle and personality – it’s like eHarmony for dogs.




How can the community in McMaster and Hamilton help you make Woof a success?

Well we simply couldn’t thank you enough for writing about us, that on its own will help us a lot! If readers could download the app, share it with friends, and send us feedback that would definitely be very helpful to making Woof a success.

Have your time and experiences at McMaster helped you to get Woof off the ground?

I worked as a research assistant during the summer of 2012 with Dr. Anand (Associate Professor, Computing and Software) at McMaster University. This introduced me to the world of iOS development, without which I probably wouldn’t have had the experience to develop something like Woof. I’ve also fast tracked a couple of third year courses last year which were beneficial to the development of Woof.

McMaster Game Development Association launches

macgdaThe first ever meeting of the McMaster Game Development Association (@MacGDA1) took place last night on campus. The networking event was sponsored by Hamilton Economic Development (@hamiltonecdev) and brought in about 40 students, mostly from software development related programs, but also from humanities, multimedia, anthropology, etc.

Part of the club’s activities will revolve around building a non-trivial game together over the course of the school year. The club has done a great job of reaching out and including the local video game industry in their activities, and the local video game industry has already supported them by sponsoring their posters, events, etc, which is great to see. There’s always been potential for a larger video game industry in Hamilton, between the strong creative community and the video game related programs at McMaster University. Congratulations to club president AbdulRahman and the MacGDA executives on a very successful first event! And let’s hope this new club can help catalyse more video game development in Hamilton.






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