by Bethany Hung
Brown’s annual hackathon takes place this weekend, February 4-5! Over 500 students from around the world will gather on College Hill to learn, play, and collaborate for Hack@Brown 2017. We’ve got everyone from high schoolers to graduate students, from Canada to South Korea. All in all, they represent 119 schools.
In past years, hackers have created a diverse compendium of products. First-time hackers mixed social good with Google APIs to produce SNAPy at Hack@Brown 2016, a service that allows anyone with an SMS-enabled mobile (not just a smartphone!) to request a list of grocery stores that accept food stamps. On the more humorous side of things, another 2016 team wrote Chrome extension How Many Pens. With this installed, users can opt to replace dollar amounts with their equivalent of choice – say, that shirt isn’t $20 but rather 134 BIC pens.
Beyond the projects, we’re honored to host a diverse field of speakers and mentors. Mary Fernandez, CEO of MentorNet and activist for underrepresented minorities in STEM, will be our keynote speaker this year. Sponsors include Microsoft, Google, Bracket, pMD, Polymer, a16z, Two Sigma, Facebook, Oculus, Adobe, Qualtrics, and Cimpress. The judging team is comprised of representatives from these companies and Brown faculty, ensuring both industrial and academic perspectives.
We’re excited to see what participants come up with this year, and everyone is invited to view the results. A demo fair and judging panel will take place on Sunday in Sayles Hall – make sure to stop by to check out all the great work!