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”.
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!
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 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 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.
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 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 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 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!
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.
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.
Lewis & Clark College
University of Pennsylvania
University of Colorado, Boulder
University of Florida
Stony Brook University
Johns Hopkins University
Jun Woo Shin
New York University
University of Illinois,
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.
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!