Get On Board

August 25, 2014

Rosalind Black

Bandwagon team members
Jack Ratner ’14 (front row on the far right) with some of his Bandwagon team members.
Photo credit: Bandwagon

After completing his degree in computer science, Jack Ratner ’14 signed on with a startup company called Bandwagon. The New York based company operates on the idea that many taxi rides could be shared by people heading the same way. Bandwagon offers a free smartphone application that aims to reduce waste, congestion and pollution, and increase cab accessibility by connecting people with similar travel itineraries to each other and one of Bandwagon’s cabs. Its motto is “Hail seats, not cabs.”

As a junior engineer at a small tech company, Ratner is responsible for an array of tasks revolving around making the app more reliable and easier for clients to use. “These characteristics can make or break an app, regardless of the positive change it could have,” says Ratner. “In the case of Bandwagon, our users ought to feel like they are sharing a ride with someone, not attempting to navigate an application in order to share a ride with someone.”

At Oberlin, Ratner performed research for Cynthia Taylor, assistant professor of computer science, who challenged him to consider multiple facets of computer science problems. He also contributed to programming projects such as Prestissimo, overseen by Ben Kuperman, chair of the computer science department.

While Ratner sees graduate school as a future possibility, he enjoys his work at Bandwagon. “It’s exciting to be working with such a small, young company. After only two months we’ve grown quite a bit and our name is getting out there.”

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