Monday, October 9, 2023

A team that included two University of Iowa Physics and Astronomy students won the "Best Use of Auth0" award for their YouNeighbor web application at the HackUIowa event Sept. 23-24 at the Iowa Memorial Union. Auth0 is a data encryption package providing authentication and authorization for users.

First-year Ph.D. student Colin Gorgen, undergraduate physics student Stephon Berry, and Siyun Chen from Drake University competed as a team. Stephon had the idea to create a community library, and they built a website called YourNeighbor, a web application that transforms neighborhoods into communities of sharing. The team said the application was inspired by a spirit of mutualism, the idea that mutual dependence isn’t just beneficial for, but necessary to the social well-being and prosperity of the individual and community. YourNeighbor allows neighbors to lend, borrow, and share items with each other for free, reducing waste, fostering community bonds, and allowing those without the financial means to otherwise access these items or resources the ability to do so.

At HackUIowa, students formed teams to work on their project (or 'hack'). Projects are open format, which means that you can hack on web, mobile, desktop, or hardware applications. Company mentors were available throughout the event for questions to make sure beginners and experts alike had the help they needed to successfully develop their projects. All teams demonstrated their hacks at the end of the event and winners were chosen by company mentors.

A team of students work at the HackUIowa event
The YourNeighbor team works at the HackUIowa event