Princeton, NJ - The Computer and Technology Club recently traveled to Princeton University for their annual HackPrinceton event at the Friends Center in Princeton, NJ. Hackers were competing for prizes, with some being provided by the event itself, and others being provided by sponsors such as the 1517 Fund, Capital One, Protocol Labs, and Verbwire. Prizes included a Nintendo Switch, iPads, and grants for $500 to $1000.
HackPrinceton was run in conjunction with Major League Hackers, the official student hackathon league that has run over 200 other events with over 65,000 attendees. MLH supports the event through a team of sponsors who donate prizes, funding, and equipment for student use. Hackers were able to use hardware kits--kits consisting of smart devices such as Google Homes and Amazon Alexas, microprocessors such as Arduinos, and microcontrollers such as the Raspberry Pi. Alongside these larger items, Hackers also had access to electrical components such as resistors, cables, and various sensors.
Hackers were also able to utilize mentorship from two of the sponsors: Protocol Labs and Verbwire. Protocol Labs was promoting their decentralized storage network, Estuary, which is hoping to be an alternative to the popular Amazon Web Services platform. Estuary is entirely open source, and enables programmers to easily upload data onto Filecoin, an open source cloud data storage platform. Verbwire is a blockchain platform that allows developers to utilize decentralized computing without having to hard-code it into their software.
Hacking began on Friday night, with the first workshop, App Development 101, beginning at 9:00 pm. Hackers were not required to go to workshops, but many attended, particularly those who are new to programming or would like a quick refresher.
As time went on, Hackers worked hard, and had opportunities to de-stress with events such as competitive cup stacking and ice-cream breaks. Additionally, other student organizations contributed, such as the Tigressions, an acapella group at Princeton, who held a performance, and the KoKo Pops, an on-campus k-pop group, who ran a k-pop dancing tutorial.
As the morning of the 13th came, teams got ready to present to the panel of judges: Jimmy Lee, Jay Logelin, Corinne Bernett, Teams were initially judged on a brief presentation, and then a group of five finalists were selected for further review. Those selected were BlazeNet, Paw Patrol, Bumble, Art Intelligence, and
The overall winner was Paw Patrol, a crowdsourced security platform. Winners of other categories included BlazeNet, Bumble, and Watch-a Say.
While no PCCC students won any prizes, the CTC considered the event a huge success. PCCC was the only community college in attendance, and this was many students first Hackathon. Organizers are already discussing a Spring HackPrinceton as well, which PCCC is already on the list of invitees.