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Fall 2017 Hackathon Recap

This past weekend saw our Fall 2017 hackathon, hackNY’s 16th hackathon, return to Columbia University. For 24 hours from Saturday into Sunday, over 240 hackers from nearly 50 different colleges built apps to help you fight procrastination, hacked hardware to help save energy, made memes more accessible, and questioned the correct pronunciation of “gif” (it’s definitely with a hard G). Over 40 enthusiastic teams presented their 90 second demos to the judges and audiences and showed just how creative, determined and innovative they could be.

We started the weekend off with technology presentations from NYC companies Clarifai, Giphy, ProPublica, NYTimes, Foursquare, Buzzfeed, Twilio during opening ceremonies. Once hackers got started, we invited them to workshops such as Jessica Garson’s “APIs 101”, Anthony Johnson’s “Deep Learning Based Search Engine”, and Natarajan Krishnaswami’s “Tour of US Census Data”.

Jessica's Workshop
APIs 101 Workshop with Jessica Garson

During a super successful Ladies Storm Hackathons Meetup, our very own Hanne Paine (h’14) helped our women hackers savor their accomplishments with brownies and an “I can” poster they all contributed to!

LSH Meetup
Another great Ladies Storm Hackathon Meetup

Our hackers ate delicious food from Otto’s Tacos, Inday, Insomnia Cookies, Schnitz, Kings Kolache, and Vanessa’s Dumplings. GIPHY brought their super fun Giphy Frame to take GIFs of the hackers in motion.

IMG_9822
Hackers in VR

Thank you to our awesome judges: Becky Case, Courteney Ervin, Deborah Estrin, Jacqueline Garavente, Shani Offen, and Stephanie Yang for giving us their time and insight. And a big thank you to our awesome sponsors and partners a16z, BuzzFeed, Datto, Spotify, Giphy, The New York Times, MongoDB, Codecademy, Kickstarter, Microsoft Research, Twilio, Clarifai, Flybridge, Insomnia Cookies, Columbia Engineering and the awesome ADI student group there, and MLH for supporting the NYC tech community and the next generation of hackers.

First Place
First Place team BodyID with judge Becky Case and MLH’s Mike Swift

First PlaceBodyID

Second PlaceDeluminator

Third PlaceRemembrance

Best Social Good HackOcean Cleanup

Most TechnicalTraeC

Best Hack DesignMapping the Times

Best Accessibility HackWhere’s My Bus

Best Hack Using an NYC APIEmergency

Best First HackGrab It by the Giphy

Most Likely to Go Viral (sponsored by Giphy)Grab It by the Giphy

Most Likely to Go Viral (sponsored by Giphy)Feel Your Gif

Best Use of Encryption (sponsored by Datto)Anxiety Bot

Best Use of TwilioTalk Me-me 2 me

Best Domain Name from Domain.comGifMe

Best IOT Hack Using a Qualcomm DeviceLionBike

Best Use of AWSRemora

Honorable MentionTalk Me-me 2 me

[Photos by Libby Grace – View more photos on the hackNY Facebook group]

hackNY is excited to present: the Fall 2017 hackathon judges

Our fall 2017 student hackathon is a week away and we’re excited to announce the judges who will be evaluating this fall’s hacks! Check out our Devpost for more information on the hackathon!



Becky Case
VP of Engineering @ Birchbox


About hackNY:
“HackNY will always have a special place in my heart for the work they do – not only in creating an amazing program for interns, but also in their support for female engineers. Plus my favorite interns from the past five years have come from HackNY!”

becky_case
Becky is the VP of Engineering, overseeing global technology, at Birchbox, a leading beauty and grooming retailer best known for its monthly subscription of personalized samples. She is a musician-turned-computer-scientist who specializes in architecting large-scale systems in the e-commerce space. Prior to joining Birchbox in January 2012, she worked at a variety of early-stage startups, including OpenSky, as well as the multi-million­-dollar­-per-­day Zappos.com (and has a shoe collection that proves it!).



courteney_ervin Courteney Ervin
Software Developer @ the NYPL


About hackNY:
“I love seeing what people create when they care passionately about the problems they’re solving.”

Courteney Ervin works in the space where open source meets social good. She’s a developer at the New York Public Library, where she supports accessible literacy in the city and beyond.



Deborah Estrin
Professor of Computer Science @ Cornell Tech


Deborah Estrin is a Professor of Computer Science at Cornell Tech in New York City. She is founder of the Health Tech Hub in the Jacobs Institute and directs the Small Data Lab at Cornell Tech. She holds The Robert V. Tishman Founder’s Chair and has recently taken on a leadership role as Associate Dean. Her current research focus is on mobile health and small data, leveraging the pervasiveness of mobile devices and digital interactions for health and life management (TEDMED). Estrin co-founded the non-profit startup, Open mHealth and sits on several scientific advisory boards for early stage mobile health startups.
deborah_estrin


Previously, Estrin was on the UCLA faculty where she was the Founding Director of the NSF Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS), pioneering the development of mobile and wireless systems to collect and analyze real time data about the physical world. Her honors include: ACM Athena Lecture (2006), Anita Borg Institute’s Women of Vision Award for Innovation (2007), The American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2007), The National Academy of Engineering (2009), The IEEE Internet Award (2017).


jacqueline_garavente Jacqueline Garavente
Investment Team @ Union Square Ventures


About hackNY:
“Hackathons serve as a reminder that many of the great projects in this sector are conceived without millions of dollars and hundreds of people. I’m looking forward to seeing what your brilliant ideas and coding skills will bring!”
Jacqueline Garavente joined Union Square Ventures in August 2016. She began her career in Artificial Intelligence at IBM Watson before moving to the NYC based startup, Dataminr. Her past areas of research include machine learning, application of open source data and the intersection of technology and economic development . She has been happily based in NYC with brief stints in Africa and LatAm. She graduated from New York University in 2013.


Shani Offen
Machine Learning Chapter Lead @ Spotify


About hackNY:
“What struck me about my first hackathon was that it created a very intense community in a very short amount of time. It was fun and inspiring and I don’t use those two words together in many contexts. It changed me in some way. It made me feel hopeful and excited about tech, and that feeling has helped me face the many things that are seriously messed up about the tech world, especially as a woman. I also loved the experience of getting so much done so quickly. It gave me a very gut-level understanding of what constitutes an mvp (minimum viable product), and how to build and iterate quickly, which has served me well ever since.”

shani_offen
Shani got her PhD in neuroscience from NYU in 2008, with a focus on computational vision. She has recently joined Spotify, where she leads a machine learning team in the quest to design a new era of awesome interactive audio ads. Before that, she served as director of data science at the online publisher About.com, where her team looked at data generated by O(10^9) sessions by O(10^8) visitors to O(10^6) articles on O(10^3) topics from O(10^2) countries over O(10^1) years. Her favorite algorithm is division, she is amused by superstitious pigeons, and she recommends fiction as a good way to expand your priors.


stephanie_yang Stephanie Yang
Staff Data Scientist @ Foursquare


Stephanie is a mathematician and software developer with a passion for big data. She works on core location intelligence at Foursquare which connects mobile user experiences to the places people go. She joined Foursquare in 2014 after four years of quantitative finance where she wrote automated algorithms that traded futures contracts.
Before moving to New York, Stephanie earned her Ph.D in mathematics at Harvard and was a NSF Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Michigan. She worked for several years at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and she taught several classes in both English and Swedish.


Stephanie spends her free time as a technical scuba diver and telemark skier.

Thank you again to all our wonderful judges. We’re excited to see you all next weekend!



If you’re curious about who else has judged our hackathons in the past, take a look at these posts from Spring 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016, and Fall 2015 (part 1 and part 2)

hackNY 2017 Fellowship Speaker Series

The Speaker Series is a core tenet of the hackNY fellowship, and it wouldn’t be possible without the individuals listed below. We’d like to take a minute to thank all of the leaders in the NYC tech community who spoke to the 2017 hackNY Fellows this past summer.

Countering Human Trafficking

hackNY alumNY panel

hackNY alumNY panel

hackNY alumNY panel

rob_spectre

Rob Spectre
Brooklyn Hacker

Hosted at: NYU Courant

alex_berke

Alex Berke
Software Engineer @ Google

Hosted at: WeWork

catherine_moresco

Catherine Moresco
Software Engineer @ Google

Hosted at: WeWork

keeyon_ebrahimi

Keeyon Ebrahimi
Machine Learning Engineer @ Clarifai

Hosted at: WeWork




hackNY alumNY panel

hackNY alumNY panel

hackNY alumNY panel

The story of hackNY

lisa_luo

Lisa Luo
Android & iOS Engineer @ Kickstarter

Hosted at: WeWork

steve_gattuso

Steve Gattuso
Freelance Software Engineer

Hosted at: WeWork

walter_menendez

Walter Menendez
Data Scientist @ Buzzfeed

Hosted at: WeWork

chris_wiggins

Chris Wiggins
Head Data Scientist @ The New York Times

Hosted at: The New York Times




The story of hackNY

Weapons of Math Destruction

Early Stage Startup Investment

Lessons Learned from Founding Hopscotch

evan_korth

Evan Korth
CS Professor @ NYU

Hosted at: The New York Times

cathy_oneil

Cathy O’Neill
Author of mathbabe.org and Weapons of Math Destruction

Hosted at: Columbia Data Science Institute




ann_miura_ko

Ann Miura Ko
Co-Founding Partner @ Floodgate

Hosted at: Giphy

samantha john

Samantha John
Founder of Hopscotch

Hosted at: Kickstarter

The Manager’s Path

Social Good for Coders

Social Good for Coders

How Coding is Changing Investigative Journalism

camille_fournier

Camille Fournier
Managing Director @ Two Sigma, Ex-CTO @ Rent the Runway

Hosted at: Clarifai

rapi_castillo

Rapi Castillo
Progressive Coders Network

Hosted at: NYU Courant

leslie_martinez

Leslie Martinez
Hack the Ban

Hosted at: NYU Courant

sisi_wei

Sisi Wei
Deputy Editor of News Applications @ ProPublica

Hosted at: Digital Ocean




Jonah’s Path and the story of Buzzfeed

Mostly Human

Union Square Ventures

Union Square Ventures

jonah_peretti

Jonah Peretti
Founder and CEO @ Buzzfeed

Hosted at: Buzzfeed

laurie_segall

Laurie Segall
Senior Technology Correspondant @ CNN

Hosted at: CNN Time Warner Center

albert_wenger

Albert Wenger
Partner @ Union Square Ventures

Hosted at: Union Square Ventures

brad_burnham

Brad Burnham
Partner @ Union Square Ventures

Hosted at: Union Square Ventures




Tech lobbying

Leveraging Small Data: n=”me”

Building Networks

Data Science at Foursquare

julie_samuels

Julie Samuels
Executive Director @ Tech:NYC

Hosted at: Silicon Valley Bank

deborah_estrin

Deborah Estrin
Professor of Computer Science and Associate Dean @ Cornell Tech, and co-Founder @ Open mHealth

Hosted at: MakeSpace

gary_chou

Gary Chou
Founder of Orbital Labs

Hosted at: Datadog

stephanie_yang

Stephanie Yang
Data Scientist @ Foursquare

Hosted at: Foursquare

Thank you again to all of the Speakers who donate their time to our Fellows!

Announcing the Class of 2017 hackNY Fellows!

Meet the Class of 2017: This Fellowship of 28 students comes from 25 universities, spread over 3 countries and 3 continents! Our Fellows are interning at 22 different New York City startups this summer and learning everything they can about New York’s tech scene. They are an impressive, diverse group, with great tech skills and strong ideas about the future of our industry. Thanks to the generosity of a varied community of supporters, the Fellows program includes community-style housing in Union Square as well as a series of pedagogical lectures introducing the hackNY Fellows to founders, investors, journalists, technologists, and all-around leaders from the NYC startup community. Fellows will be sharing their unique skills with the group by hosting workshops – from neural networks to origami and unicycling to various dance styles! Alumni from the program return to mentor the Fellows during the summer, helping them navigate their new internships, New York City and life in general. This year the Fellows will also be working on several social good projects that use their various backgrounds and technology skills to help others. We are so excited the Class of 2017 is joining our community!

Since 2010, hackNY has partnered with over 100 host startups to host over 200 hackNY Fellows. This year, our 28 Fellows will be hosted by 22 exciting startups. We look forward to continuing the long partnerships hackNY has had with many host startups, and we are also excited to be working with 10 of our host startups for the first time. View all the host startups we’ve worked with and more program details on our Fellows site.

Announcing Demo Night 2017: An evening of demos and celebration will take place Friday, August 4th. This event commemorates the end of the summer and is a chance for the Fellows to show off the summer projects they worked on, both professionally and personally. Demo Night is open to the tech community, and RSVPs and more information will be coming soon.

Adisa Malik
Yale University

Andrea Dean
Lewis & Clark College

Annie Zhang
Columbia University

Bethany Davis
University of Pennsylvania

Christina Zhu
UC Davis

Cynthia Zhou
MIT

Denis Kazakov
University of Colorado, Boulder

Derek Tsui
Stanford University

Diana Navarro
Rutgers University

Doug Rudolph
Rutgers University

Ekua Awotwi
Stanford University

Franky Liang
University of Florida

Gustavo Poscidonio
Stony Brook University

Heman Gandhi
Rutgers University

Hugh Han
Johns Hopkins University

Jacob Aronoff
Northeastern University

Jun Woo Shin
New York University

Kush Maheshwari
University of Illinois,
Urbana-Champaign

Marley Alford
Bard College

Melanie Sawyer
Columbia University

Norman Mu
UC Berkeley

Reid Horton
Stony Brook University

Samantha Ong
Wesleyan University

SaraAnn Stanway
Rutgers University

Sean Zhang
Boston University

Shelly Bensal
Carnegie Mellon University

Suzanne Wang
Wellesley College

William Held
NYU, Abu Dhabi

Spring 2017 hackathon recap

hackny collage
photo source: Doug Menuez
This past weekend, hackNY held its 15th hackathon! During our Spring 2017 hackathon, we welcomed 275 hackers at the NYU Courant Institute. They built apps that help you check your workout pose – before you wreck your pose, crowdsourced a solution to the dearth of feminine hygiene products in homeless shelters, created extensions to help detect email phishing scams, and much more!


After mentors from MongoDB, Twilio, Clarifai, JW Player, and the NY Times demoed their APIs during opening ceremonies, Sam Agnew lead a workshop on getting started with APIs and web development in Python, which was followed by Lesley Cordero’s Intro to Geospatial Analysis. To unwind, hackers could join the MLH Werewolf game, and women could attend the traditional Ladies Storm Hackathons meetup to enjoy cupcakes and some Quiplash.


In addition to cupcakes and snacks, attendees enjoyed food from Perfect Picnic, Inday, Veselka’s, and Vanessa’s Dumplings. Thanks to Insomnia Cookies and MatchaBar, we offered cookies and tea alongside our hackathon Tshirts for our midnight surprise! We also welcomed the traditional King Kolaches for breakfast on Sunday.

Food at hackNY

We had the pleasure of welcoming photographer Doug Menuez over the weekend. Doug was onsite the whole weekend documenting hackers for an upcoming project. See more photos from the weekend and follow him on Instagram for more of his work!


Thank you to our awesome judges for thoughtfully evaluating hacker demos, to our partner MLH, and to our sponsors without who this wouldn’t be possible: Intel, MongoDB, Quotidian Ventures, a16z, Twilio, and UltraPress.

closing ceremonies at hackNY
photo source: Doug Menuez


All of our submissions and winners are listed on our Devpost. This year we introduced a new prize category: Best Social Good Hack!


First PlaceCHEFI


Second PlacePeriod Peace


Third PlaceMonopose


Our top three hacks will present at the New York Tech Alliance in May!


Best Social Good HackCleanHood


Most TechnicalInSight


Best Hack DesignNerve-hackNY


Best Hack Using an NYC APIManSplainer


Best First HackMimic


Best Use of MongoDBCleanHood


Best Use of TwilioPeriod Peace


#HackHarassmentgoodbot


Best Domain Name from Domain.comPeriod Peace


Best Use of AWSCHEFI