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!

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

Announcing the Spring 2017 hackNY Student Hackathon Judges

With our spring 2017 student hackathon only a week away, we’re excited to announce the judges who will dole out prizes to the best hacks! Check out the full list of prizes on Devpost!



Anne Bauer
Senior Data Scientist at The New York Times


About hackNY:
“I am excited to see what problems the HackNY hackers will attack, and how they will create new solutions!”

Anne Bauer
Anne is a senior data scientist at the New York Times, where she builds models and data products to interpret and act on the company’s data with a variety of groups including marketing, print circulation, and the newsroom.


Before becoming a data scientist she was an astrophysics and cosmology postdoc in Barcelona and Munich, and received her Ph.D. in physics from Yale. She enjoys building systems to turn intractable amounts of data into usable insights.



Jenn Schiffer Jenn Schiffer
Community Glitch Engineer at Fog Creek


About hackNY:
“I’m always excited about tech communities that recognize a need in the overall industry and turn their focus to it–in the case of HackNY that’s civic tech. It’s time for technologists to help others more and be celebrated for it, and I look forward to witnessing that first-hand.”

Jenn works on Fog Creeks latest product, Glitch, an in-browser IDE with a focus on inclusive community, ethical tech, and creativity. Along with making art and jokes and apps, she runs the meetup JerseyScript in Jersey City and co-emcees/organizes Brooklyn JS. She has never swum across an entire river but she could probably do it easily.



Robyn Burgess
Conversion Director at BounceX
Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Runaway Apricot


About hackNY:
“I love how resourceful hackathons force participants to become. The skills to overcome the time crunch and manage clashing personalities on a team are as invaluable to life in business as the creative problem solving inherent in hackathon challenges.”

Robyn Burgess
As a Conversion Director at Bounce Exchange, Robyn turns website visitors into customers for a portfolio of clients by tailoring websites to user behavior. Previously Robyn was a Client Relationship Manager at Experian Marketing Services, where she developed strategic cross-channel marketing solutions across the entire spectrum of the customer life cycle.


Robyn’s growing expertise in all facets of digital marketing is joined with a lifelong passion to explore the question: Why do we eat the way we do? As an Anthropology major at Columbia University, Robyn founded Runaway Apricot, a food blog committed to teaching people the skills to be better cooks and the resources to be more enlightened consumers. Her essays and recipes for local, seasonal and healthy cooking from scratch now reach over a million readers per year.


Runa Sandvik Runa Sandvik
Director of Information Security,
Newsroom at the New York Times


About hackNY:
“Hackathons are a great place to experiment, be creative, learn new things, and meet people who are passionate about what they do.”
Runa is a privacy and security researcher, working at the intersection of technology, law and policy. When she is not hacking rifles or writing articles for Forbes, she teaches digital security to journalists and helps media organizations improve their security posture.


Runa loves to travel and has spoken at numerous conferences around the world. She is a former developer with The Tor Project, a technical advisor to the Freedom of the Press Foundation and a member of the review board for Black Hat Europe. She tweets as @runasand.


Tracy Chou
Founding Team Member at Project Incude


About hackNY:
“I love that hackathons are all about the ethos of creativity and creation with code; can’t wait to see what people build!”

Tracy Chou
Tracy is co-founder and CTO of Elucd, a new startup that measures and quantifies community sentiment to enable data-driven management of public sector institutions. She is also a co-founder of the Arena Summit and Project Include.


Previously, Tracy has been a tech lead and software engineer at Pinterest, Quora, and the U.S. Digital Service. Tracy is most well-known for her work pushing for diversity in tech; she was named to the Forbes Tech 30 under 30 list in 2014 and has been profiled in Vogue, WIRED, The Atlantic, and other outlets for her advocacy. She holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University.

Thank you again to all our wonderful judges. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone (and their hacks!) next weekend!



To see who else has judged for hackNY, take a look at our hackathon judges from Fall 2016, Spring 2016, and Fall 2015 (part 1 and part 2)