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Computer Club Hosts Second HawkHack

The themes of travel, mental health, life after graduation, and nutrition were all present

Posted in: Computer Science, CSAM Students

HawkHack participants group photo

This year we held the second HawkHack in Montclair State’s history. With over 120 participants, some working remotely due to weather, we had a good time. Industry professionals coming in from Amazon and SquareSpace to help the hackers get started with React and project ideas to the various tech workshops help throughout the days. With the night young those who suck it out stayed and worked all night on their projects. As the timer counted down to the end of the 24 hours of straight coding we received many projects. Some of the main projects were:

An innovative and user-friendly web application designed to simplify the process of planning the perfect weekend getaway. We’ve taken the hassle out of trip planning by offering a one-of-a-kind service that crafts personalized itineraries based on your unique preferences and interests.
All computer science students and students in other intensive, difficult majors understand the feeling of impostor syndrome- feeling not good enough to be in your field, and too embarrassed to ask for help. Office hours might be daunting, interfere with other class times, or not always helpful. Not a lot of students are comfortable asking questions in class. Tutoring often requires you to sign up at the start of the semester, so what happens if you’re doing well but suddenly can’t seem to get one lecture topic down? Plus, I think we all know the feeling of our questions being left on read in a class group chat. The solution is something that’s been there all along creating a community for and by students, polling student understanding of a course lecture by lecture, topic by topic, and an extra-credit scheme to incentivize students to help each other.
Banzai Buddy
Banzai Buddy was inspired by the professor who first got me into programming as a freshman. Inspiring people and pushing them to greater heights was his forte. I wanted to make a project that could also uplift people when they were feeling down. Since this professor loved linguistics I felt it appropriate to venture into NLP for the project. Banzai Buddy takes in a prompt from the user and uses cosine similarity to match keywords in the prompt to similar words from a quotation database.

And those are only a few of the projects, view all projects submitted and learn how they work on our DevPost. With all of the participants and teams, there could only be one winner, for our solo category Joshua Nee an exchange student from Singapore won with his creation of TravelGPT, and for our team category, Kusum Gandham and Kusum Gandham of Rutgers University won with their creation of MyLecturePal.

Don’t just take my word for it here’s some feedback we’ve received:

I just wanted to say thank you again! You helped us a lot and made the event so fun!!

Khushi Gandham, Rutgers University

Thank you for a good time, event planning is your thing, we’ve been to many hackathons, and by far this was the most fun. All the activities and involvement made it o much better. It was a great event and we want to come back if you ever do this again.

Haider & Cynthia, Rutgers University

Thank you so much for hosting the event it was a great time even though I didn’t stay the full 24 hours. When I transfer here in the fall I would love to be part of the group that helped make this happen you guys were amazing