Forty-eight hours. That’s how much time students had to push the boundaries of their imagination and challenge their technological creativity with other like-minded hackers at SBUHacks 2022.
Described as an “invention marathon,” the fifth annual SBUHacks competition took place September 23-25 in the Central Reading Room of the Frank Melville Jr. Memorial Library, inviting anyone with an interest in technology to collaborate, build and share their creations.
This year’s event was notable for being the first on-campus, in-person hackathon in two years, and for extending the original 24-hour format to 48 hours. Students were challenged to expand their knowledge by working on projects about which they are passionate alongside fellow students, together bringing their ideas to fruition. At the end of the event, projects were presented to judges and prizes were awarded.
“SBUHacks embodies the spirit of creativity, collaboration, invention and fun that we embrace here in CEAS,” said Jon Longtin, interim dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS). “It is events like these where the roles reverse: The students become the educators and we are the students. As an engineer, I was amazed by the many different innovative and clever applications that were developed in less than two days.”
Though the term “hacker” is often associated with those who use their technical abilities to gain unauthorized access to systems or networks to commit crimes, a hacker is an individual who uses computer, networking or other skills to overcome a technical problem. In that spirit, 53 diverse projects were undertaken at the event, including projects like a healthy habit platform, an animal adoption app and an illness symptom analyzer, among many others.
“This is my first time organizing this in person,” said Christopher Moore ’24, a biomedical engineering major and vice chair of the hackathon. “It’s a really exciting event. It was pretty nice online, but it was nothing compared to being in person and seeing everyone having a good time. The energy is so different, and seeing everyone working on something they thought was cool for 48 hours was great.”
Moore also serves as STEM treasurer for biomedical engineering honor society Alpha Eta Mu Beta. After graduation, he hopes to create medical devices that improve patients’ care and their quality of life. He currently conducts research in the medical Instrumentation Lab of Wei Lin, an associate professor of biomedical engineering in CEAS, where he is working to create a digital signal processor design for applications in biomedical sensors.
While the event is especially appealing to students with advanced computer skills, it offered something for participants of all levels.
“Almost all the people I’ve talked to are beginners,” said participant and the event’s partner relations coordinator Avish Parmar ’23, computer science. “They’re literally learning new technologies as they go. It’s great to see the growth during the event. One of the best aspects of this is the learning.”
Looking to the future, Parmar, who serves as vice president of the Stony Brook Computing Society, added that it was a valuable experience to interact with people who are already in a workforce of which he will one day belong.
“I got to meet people who are working at Resideo and other amazing individuals,” he said. “Just being able to introduce myself and interact with them and learn about their experience has been great.”
Samia Zia ‘23, a technological systems management major, served as the volunteer coordinator for the event.
“Since I was in high school the last time it was in person, I wasn’t able to participate,” she said. “Our meetings to prepare for this were fully online since February, so it’s nice seeing everybody in person. I was very excited to switch from being in a live event.”
“This event is successful because we as a committee pushed forward into the unknown to plan this event,” said Brian Cheung ’23, a computer engineering major and director of the SBUHacks organizing team. “Instead of worrying we are thinking and planning for a successful event.”
The event’s lead sponsor was Resideo Technologies Inc., an international provider of home comfort and security solutions.
For a full list of projects and winners, visit DevPost for SBUHacks 2022.