April is probably the busiest month at Villanova. As classes wind down for the spring semester, a variety of events engage students across campus. Engineering majors are busy with poster presentations, senior design projects, the Pitch Day competition and more. This year, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Ed Dougherty ʼ69 EE, ʼ86 MSCS, director of the Engineering Entrepreneurship program, added something new to the mix—the Intel Edison Workshop and subsequent mini-hackathon.
Edison is a new, ultra small single-board computer from Intel that can be programmed by inserting the board into the USB port of a computer. According to the company’s press release, Edison can be designed to work with most any device, making the possibilities endless for entrepreneurs and inventors.
“The general concept was to offer students a four-hour training workshop one week followed by a four-hour competition, in the form of a mini-hackathon, the next week,” says Dougherty. Among the 38 participants were sophomores, juniors and seniors from various engineering disciplines. Most attended both the training and the competition, but students could choose either depending on their confidence levels and availability.