two female students working on their laptops together

On Saturday, April 2nd, Hun’s Computer Science club hosted a hackathon, or a codefest, for several neighboring schools as an opportunity to brush up on their skills and collaborate with other student programmers who share their passion for program design. 

Students from Lawrenceville, Rutgers Preparatory School, and Montgomery High School joined Hun students on campus for twenty-four-hours of programming and web design. While a handful of students participated in person, the entire hackathon was held virtually with over two hundred participants from around the world. 

Sunny Park ’22, who spearheaded the planning and execution of the hackathon, notes that the goal of the hackathon was to create an application, website, business plan, or software device that would solve a problem relating to education or homelessness. Students then presented their work to a panel of judges for a chance to win internship opportunities from a number of sponsors that Sunny secured. 

“I have done hackathons before and I remember having so much fun and not only learning so much but really enjoying the work I was doing,” she said. “I decided to plan and host Hun’s hackathon because I really just wanted my community to share that same experience.” 

During the hackathon, Sunny’s role was to be a mentor for all students participating. She spent the entirety of her time checking in on each group, working through ideas and business plans with them, and helping them with programming. When asked what she enjoyed most about the Hackathon, Sunny notes she loved seeing eager students ready and willing to stay up all night. 

“You have to be really passionate about something to want to stay up for twenty-four hours straight to work on it,” Sunny said. “It gave me so much happiness to see younger students at Hun so excited to stay up all night to code, when so many people were sleeping, they were still up working on their projects. It really reminded me of myself when I was a freshman.” 

Congratulations to the students who took first place for their app called “The Rescued”, which tracks food availability at several grocery stores in the area as a way of keeping users up to date on fresh foods at their local grocery stores. A group of Hun and Montgomery High School students took second place in the hackathon for their project titled “Visionary” – a mobile app that assists the visually impaired through machine learning; the app allows the user to take a picture and the app will tell the user what it is they have taken a picture of.

Rest assured future and current Hun hackers, next fall Ms. Wright, Computer Science and Engineering department chair will be teaching a first-of-its-kind cybersecurity course as an elective for students. After being nominated by the National Cybersecurity Teaching Academy to take an eight week intensive course at DePaul University,  Ms. Wright will offer a course titled “Advanced Topics in CS: Cybersecurity”. 

“Cybersecurity is a computer science topic that doesn’t require any prior knowledge of programming,” Ms. Wright said. “It is becoming increasingly more popular in the career field since basically every business needs a cyber security expert to keep the company safe. Offering this course will allow us to better expose our students and they will be much more prepared for their future endeavors.”

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