Swansea Computer Science Students come top in University#newsHACK Wales Challenge

Undergraduate students from the Department of Computer Science won three out of four prizes as well as winning top place in the BBC’s newsHACK initiative!

As part of the BBC’s innovative future internet-led plans, the newsHACK initiative invites teams from Universities around Wales to make, create and write the news. 

The Challenge: How might we create a location-aware personalised news experience that shapes itself around YOU?

Six teams took the opportunity to pitch their ideas in front of BBC judges at the event which took place in the Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff 26-27 March. Each team had to impress the judges with their designs and prototypes.

As part of the BBC’s innovative future internet-led plans, the newsHACK initiatiTen students, nine from the Department of Computer Science and one from Media Studies made up Swansea’a two teams, Oxwich and Rhosilli. Those who participated were Stuart Watson, Priya Patel, Kajal Grant-Hindocha, Riza Gulsen, Matheus Torquato, Cameron Steer, Mathew Lloyd, Peter Jenkins, Kristoffer Page and Jonathan Bailey. The two teams won 3 out of the four prizes available, including the prize for overall best hack. The categories for hacking were: Deliver the news (won by Swansea Team Oxwich); Visualise the news; Talk about the news (won by Swansea Team Rhosilli) and SurpriseUs! (won by Swansea Team Rhosilli).


The lucky winners will be visiting the BBC connected studios in London!

Cameron Steer, a 3rd year Computer Science undergraduate said, “I found BBC #newsHACK to be a fantastic exercise of creativity and meaningful personal development. The two days provided me with a fast paced exciting environment, full of enthusiasm, creativity and social activity. I gained hands on experience with innovative BBC tools, and engaged with experts from development to journalistic backgrounds. Being part of an amazing team I was given the power to innovate and shape the future of the way people engaged with the news.”

Priya Patel, 2nd year undergraduate, "What I learnt from the Hack is that you don't need to be a pro at anything, as long as you get on well with your team and are willing to work, you can achieve anything. It was great to meet new people, both fellow Uni students from the universities and staff of BBC. I learnt that its not all about the competition but its an experience working with things such as API that you wouldn't normally work with on a day to day bases. Overall, I think the Hack was the best thing I signed up too, it wasn't what I expected it to be but it was better. I would totally do it again"!