Students programming in Scratch
News and Announcements

Computer Club Hosts Second HawkHack

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

Posted in: Opportunities, Students

HawkHack participants group photo

This year we held the second HawkHack in Montclair State’s history. Over 120 participants, some working remotely due to weather, were led by industry professionals from Amazon and SquareSpace. They helped the hackers get started with React and presented project ideas during the various tech workshops held throughout the event. Most participants 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 including:

TravelGPT – Solo Category Winner
An innovative and user-friendly web application created by Joshua Nee, an exchange student from Singapore, was designed to simplify the process of planning the perfect weekend getaway. The app removes 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.
MyLecturePal – Team Category Winner
All computer science students and students in other intensive and difficult majors understand the feeling of impostor syndrome (a feeling of not being good enough to do the work you’re doing). Kusum Gandham of Rutgers University used this concept as motivation for the MyLecturePal application for students that may be too embarrassed to ask for help. Office hours might be daunting, interfere with other class times and aren’t always helpful. Students aren’t comfortable asking questions in class, tutoring sometimes 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 a lecture topic down? Plus, 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 developer’s professor who first got them into programming as a freshman. Inspiring people and pushing them to greater heights was their forte. The goal was to make a project that would uplift people when they were feeling down. Since this professor loved linguistics the project was focused in the concept of Natural Language Processing (NLP). 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.

View all projects submitted on our DevPost and learn how they work. Here’s some feedback we received from our participants:

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