Udacity is pleased to announce the results of the CS101 contest!  

We were overwhelmed with the number of exciting and interesting submissions, which made it really difficult to pick just a few winners.  Each submission was evaluated by at least two Udacity employees, including individuals from our engineering, video production, and teaching teams who all contributed to judging the contest.  Dave and Peter selected a group of finalists from these evaluations, took a closer look and then had Gabriel Weinberg provide comments on these submissions.  The team at Udacity selected the winners based on all these evaluations, as well as further examination of the finalists’ submissions.

Each winner will be awarded with an expense-paid trip to Udacity’s offices in Palo Alto, California! We hope everyone enjoyed participating in the contest and look forward to meeting the winners soon!

Name: Roland Alexander Coenen (“Sascha”)
Location: Hamburg, Germany

Bio: After sitting out of the professional computer science field due to illness for five years, Sascha wanted to get back to work but feared that companies would be hesitant to employ him after such a long time. He took the AI course and is currently taking Udacity courses as a way of bolstering his CV. Sascha looks forward to finding a meaningful job for a company that lives and breathes science or for an organization the serves a philanthropic purpose.

Coenen’s Youdacity search application is a vision of what a video search might look like if it were focussed on finding and visualizing knowledge. Search results are displayed next to a video player and the section within each video file contain search terms that are located on a timeline. Users can either click on the video title to play the video in full, or click on the sections within the timeline to play just part of the video. Users can also opt for a video summary of the search results. Have a look!

Name: Connor Mendenhall

Location: Tucson, AZ

Bio: Mendenhall has spent the past year as a Fulbright student in Turkey. He took CS101 to improve his patchy self-taught Python, learn the fundamentals of computing, and understand the tools he uses every day. He plans to keep studying with Udacity to be able to write software and build devices that help make international travel cheaper, easier, and more fun.

Mendenhall’s submission DaveDaveFind is a search engine with the power to find your search query inside a video transcript. This means that when you enter in a search query, using common Python-related terms or commands inspired by bang syntax, DaveDaveFind will try to link inside the video to the moment the query occurs. Read about more features of Conner’s project and his notes that document how he built it on the DaveDaveFind Tumblr!

Name: Liang Sun  
Location: Beijing, China

Bio: Liang became interested in computing when he was a boy by playing computer games. When he saw his friend’s tweet about CS101, he was inspired to learn about how to build a search engine, so he took the course and learned a lot. He hopes to keep learning and do “some big things” in the future. He is currently taking CS253 and CS262 in hopes of becoming a professional programer.


ZhuFangZhi is a Chinese housing search! ZhuFangZhi – a homonym to a Chinese word meaning “renting a house” – is a search engine that allows users to find available housing rentals in China. The crawler draws from several big sites in China that provide housing rental information and stores it to a database. When users query for a place, the nginx server passes the place information to the database and returns relevant results.

Name: Jag Talon
Location: Philippines; about to immigrate to the US

Bio: Jag really wanted a chance at a comprehensive learning experience in Computer Science, so he enrolled in Udacity’s CS101. He looks forward to contributing to open source projects, citing DuckDuckHack as a good place to start. He is currently taking CS253 and CS262 in hopes of becoming a professional programer.

Frivolo.us, Talon’s submission, is a search engine that “grants fundamental rights to algorithms, provides advanced search capabilities, and intelligently supports a person’s supernatural attributes.” It provides searching using a bunch of innovative hashtags, ranging from #palindrome and #ted, to #altavista and #unlucky.

Honorable Mentions

Hacking Pot by Gian Carlo
Adjective Crawler for Books by Enrique Contreras
Wind Gust Forecaster by rrburton

Do you want to learn how to build a search engine? Sign up for CS101 at Udacity today!