NYU Hackathon focuses on education

Christine Park, Staff Writer

Students gathered at the annual “Create a Better NYU Hackathon” to pitch ideas for the better use of technology at NYU. The attendees showcased their ideas to improve the educational services provided by the university.

NYU’s Student Technology and Research Committee hosted the event at the Kimmel Center Market Place from Nov. 21 to 22. Students and faculty from various schools and communities formed groups based on similar interests to present at the event.

SPS graduate student Sumit Gupta said this event was a great opportunity for students like himself to be involved in the improvement of the NYU community and its environment.

“[When] you talk about NYU, either you have a positive or negative experience, but then you don’t really know what to change exactly,” Gupta said. “You say NYU is good or NYU is bad, but then you come to these events and realize how you could make a change within the community, whatever problem you are talking about.”

The event lasted for 24 hours as groups brainstormed, coded and implemented their creative ideas into a system that could benefit the NYU community as a whole. The four main criteria were utility, creativity, impact and viability.

Poly sophomore ChiaChing Song said she had been too intimidated to attend events like this one, but gained confidence through the reassuring posters around NYU that participation was not limited to those with coding experience.

“You just need an idea to count, so I figured, even if I don’t know enough, I could come up with an idea and still be part of a team,” Song said.

Poly graduate student Sriya Sarkar said she enjoyed meeting other students from NYU and was able to create relationships with students outside of her academic interests.

“I think NYU is such a big school and it’s so easy to get sucked into the insularity of your program, especially because we’re from Poly, so we’re in like our own little bubble,” Sarkar said. “This hackathon forced us to think about interconnectedness within the school system.”

The winning team, Studor, created a search system to facilitate tutoring services that allows students, faculty and the administration to work in harmony and enhance learning opportunities for students. The team included Steinhardt senior Noah Hyams, programmer Jin Thankur, consultant Forrest Pan and CAS senior Natalie Cohen.

“Our idea was basically to connect student tutors that the university already has and connect them with the students that need help in the classes here,” Hyams said.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Nov. 24 print edition. Email Christine Park at [email protected].