NYU hosts 24-hour hacking marathon

Valentina Duque Bojanini
HackNY winner Dan Cadden, a junior at Temple University, presents his hack, CalClash.

The winners of the 10th biannual hackNY student hackathon were announced on Oct. 19 in NYU’s Warren Weaver Hall.

The event concluded with participants sharing their hack in a two-minute presentation before a panel of judges.

The winning hack was CalClash, a math-based game created by Temple University junior Dan Cadden. Cadden, who was participating in his first hackathon, received $999, a Keurig and a Dell tablet. He said he looks forward to participating in more hackathons in the future.

“Even if I hadn’t won, it was so much fun,” Cadden said.  “I learned so much more than I ever thought in these past 24 hours. I really do feel like I am a part of a community especially with my own team and with everyone else here.”

Rutgers senior Russ Frank participated in hackNY as a technical mentor, helping participants write programs. Frank said he hoped the hackathon would make computer science education more enjoyable.

“You need to be able to approach this with enthusiasm, and the way you get people to do that is by showing them that they can make awesome stuff, and that’s what this event is about,” Frank said.

CAS freshman Derek Qu participated in the event with several friends and said it helped him learn about programing and computer science.

“This is our first hackathon — it was a great experience,” Qu said. “I came in not knowing much, but I guess the environment really forces you to get into something that you’re maybe scared of learning by yourself.”

Poly freshman Jayson Isaac said he enjoyed the challenges the competition provided and hoped it would bring attention to the need for more engineers.

“It’s pretty cool that I can work on a platform like Bloomberg that has been hacked on for many years,” Isaac said. “There’s a huge lack of engineers in New York City, and I hope that this will create more engineers.”

Frank echoed Isaac and said he hoped students involved in hackNY would become enthusiastic about engineering.

“For computer science students, I hope that they get excited about making things,” Frank said.  “If we accomplish that, we end up with people who are excited to build and that’s exactly the kind of engineer that companies want to hire.”

Alex Berke, a graduate from Brown University and former 2013 hackNY fellow, said the competition helped her make important connections with other engineers.

“Every opportunity that has come my way careerwise is somehow connected to hackNY,” Berke said. “It’s also really great to have this community of friends in New York. I don’t think a lot of people could say that their professional network is also their group of friends, and that is very powerful.”

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Oct. 20 print edition. Email Valentina Duque Bojanini at [email protected]

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