Automotive and Hackathon!

Hi everybody! This week was very busy, as always as you might say right? But this week was particularly interesting because we visited an automotive company and I took part in a hackathon!

Visiting Faurecia

Faurecia is one of the major car maker supplier in Europe. The company is expanding in Asia and also has a presence in North America. On Monday, we visited one of the company’s plants dedicated to acoustic materials, whether fibrous materials or foam.

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Faurecia’s logo.

As part of our curriculum, we had presentation about the main missions of the company. In the morning, we had general presentations about the product that Faurecia sells and manufactures. In the afternoon, we had a very interesting visit of different areas of the plant : some of them were dedicated to acoustic materials characterization, others were dedicated to acoustical or vibration measurements. We also visited a reverberant room and had a course about the use of SEA in the automotive industry.

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The ENSIM team at Faurecia!

At the end of the day, most of us were satisfied because we had a real sense of what do acoustical engineers in the automotive industry really do! And we were happy to see that ENSIM’s training fits the needs of the automotive industry!

Hackathon

This weekend, I also participated in a Hackathon! This was the first time ever and this really was an amazing experience. Let me tell you more about this!

As you know, I live in Le Mans, which is known worldwide for the endurance car race “24 hours of Le Mans”. The same principle is applied here, but with code! If you read the blog regularly, you know that I love using Matlab when I have to code. But most of my friends in Computer Science see it as a cheap and non-optimized way. So I wanted to prove them that Matlab can do nice things too! I already did that with my example a few weeks ago, but now this was the serious stuff.

There were 4 subjects for the hackathon, and we chose a subject about open data. The idea was simple : We had a lot of data coming from a database from Le Mans city. Our goal was to parse the database containing entertainment places and shows and to come up with atypical ways to interact with the data. We also had to allow the end-user to add his own data to the system and to generate PDF reports. The underlying idea here is that the end-user can prepare his trip on his computer and print a PDF to have all the data he needs without having to launch the programm.

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After 24 hours of code, here is our GUI. It looks simple but some elements are the results of hours of reflexion!

This was quite difficult at first because we had to parse data from a website, and then plot it in the correct coordinates system. Then, we changed the datatips to display the name of the event instead of the coordinates of the point. Finally, we added buttons so the user can add points to the database or generate PDF reports.

You have to understand that we registered for this hackathon only for fun! We only wanted to show our friends what we could do with Matlab. However, I personnally thought we wouldn’t win because of our truly talented competitors. But one thing we did right is simply follow the instructions. Some teams decided to focus on one aspect of the programm (example :  handling multiple sources of data) or programming Siri-like applications. This was truly amazing but it was only the answer to one problem. On our side, we decided to provide a simple but working solution for each question. At the end, if you look at the questions one by one, we might not be the best, but on the overall, most of the work we did corresponded to what was asked!

So when we head that we were the winners for this subject, it was quite surprising! We are very proud because though ENSIM is one of the organizers, we were the only team that won a prize! We won a t-shirt, a USB key and a discount at a local restaurant to celebrate our victory!

That was an amazing experience and I would like to thank my teammates Cyril and Léopold, as well as all the people who made this happen. Maybe we’ll meet again next year!

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Léopold, Cyril and me!

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