Halloween Hackathon

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This Halloween, over 1,000 undergrads will descend upon West Campus for a weekend fueled not by candy, but by coffee and Red Bull. For 36 hours, students will network, code, and put their skills to the test. With $15,000 worth of prizes at stake, the competition promises to be intense.

From skilled mobile app creators to those coding for the first time, YHackers will have the opportunity to meet other students interested in programming, learn new skills through specialized training sessions, participate in a costume contest and rap battle, and much more. This year, programmers from 80 different schools and coming from countries including Jamaica and Canada, will be attending the hackathon.

During the hackathon, students will be working in teams of up to four with the goal of creating the best hack. Although most people coming to YHack have already formed teams, there will be plenty of opportunities for students to meet other programmers. Out of over 250 teams, the judges will select the top eight to demo their hacks. The first place team will win $3,000. Although some students may come to YHack with ideas in mind, YHack organizer Charles Jin says “some of the best things that might happen probably aren’t even planned yet.”

The YHack team has been planning for the event since last spring, obtaining sponsorships, figuring out logistics, and making the preparations to ensure the hackathon runs smoothly. According to Jin, YHack was started to “get the CS community at Yale more engaged.” And they’ve succeeded—the number of Yale students attending the hackathon has more than quadrupled since last year, with over 200 Yale students participating this Halloween.

This year’s YHack, which marks the second year a national hackathon has been hosted at Yale, will begin on Friday, October 31 and conclude with a ceremony in Commons on Sunday, November 2. Yalies interested in participating can still sign up for the event by visiting the YHack website.

Anny Dow

Anny Dow is a junior in Silliman and a Cognitive Science major with a focus on positive emotion and decision making. In addition to being on the YEM team, Anny is a research assistant in the Yale Positive Emotion and Psychopathology Lab and a project manager for the Yale Undergraduate Consulting Group. She enjoys hiking, playing the violin, watching Disney movies, and drinking ridiculous quantities of coffee.

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