Thursday, Apr 24, 2014 05:32 am est

Hackathon yields creative, user-friendly apps

Posted on December 10, 2013 | by Ward Pettibone

Daniel Cole/WSN

 

The Kimmel Center Market Place was taken over by hackers for 24 hours beginning on Dec. 6.

The Student Senators Council hosted the first Create a Better NYU Hackathon, a daylong event to encourage students, faculty and alumni to create apps, websites and data visualizations from public datasets to improve student life.

“It’s a collaborative competition,” said Griffin Dooling, Stern senior and chair of the SSC’s Student Technology and Research Committee. “We’ve got a very passionate group of students.”

Around 4 p.m., participants were allowed to access datasets from NYU dining, athletics, safety and others.

Daniel Cole/WSN

Mike Jaoudi, a CAS junior computer science major, worked on a template app called NYU Clubs, which would provide club officers with a simpler way to create their own club apps.

“Most club presidents don’t really code,” Jaoudi said. “So I’ll make it very easy, very simple to customize it and make it your own.”

Although the rules of the hackathon allowed participants to work remotely, about 15 students spent the night at Kimmel Center for University Life to keep working. Hackers were provided with dinner, a midnight snack and cots.

The teams continued to work until the 3 p.m. submission deadline on Dec. 7.

Juan Felipe Beltran, a senior visiting from NYU Abu Dhabi who spearheaded the hackathon, announced the winners.

“What I keep forgetting is that a very small number of programmers can have such a humongous impact,” Beltran said. “The data is out there, the programmers want to do it. We just [needed] to bridge that gap.”

Daniel Cole/WSN

CAS seniors Benjamin Xie, Chris Williams and Daniel Padawer, won first place for BobStreet, an app that helps locate books in Bobst Library based on their call number. Padawer said they hope to continue working on the app in the future.

Williams said the process of finding a book in Bobst was difficult, requiring multiple steps and the use of a physical map to determine where the book was supposed to be.

“What we decided to do was to do that once and for all, for all of you, so you guys never ever have to do that again,” Williams said.

Wayne Jones, an NYU-Poly alumnus, received second place for NYU Safe Walk, a map showing crimes that have occurred along a given route between places at and near NYU. Jaoudi’s NYU Clubs app won third place.

Nick Jensen, an NYU alumnus who helped run the hackathon and who now works at Hashtag NYU, said he was amazed by the projects created at the event.

“This has been such an inspiring night and day, and morning,” Jensen said.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Dec. 10 print edition. Ward Pettibone is contributing writer. Email him at news@nyunews.com.

Comments

CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
profile portrait
Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

AS
Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.

 

DY
Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

CLOSE [x]
  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    NEWS FEATURES MULTIMEDIA SPORTS ARTS OPINION
    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.

    Next