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Innovation Meets Imagination at SBUHacks 2024

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While some students spent the weekend resting or preparing to watch the Super Bowl, others were armed with caffeine and laptops to compete in the sixth annual SBUHacks, a 48-hour “invention marathon.”

The 2024 SBUHacks took place February 9-11 and brought together more than 300 student programmers, designers and creators to learn, build, and share ideas and projects. It took place in the Frank Melville Jr. Memorial Library Central Reading Room.

Students worked individually or in teams to compete in various categories such as Best Beginner, Best Social Impact, Best Health Hack, Best Security, Best Game Development and Cleanest UI/UX. New this year was the introduction of a Best in Show prize category.

“We hoped that the Best in Show prize category would foster increased creativity and diversity of projects,” said Christopher Moore, a senior majoring in biomedical engineering and director of SBUHacks. “Previously, we only had category prizes where there were distinct project areas that teams could win in, but the Best in Show prize encourages teams to pursue any idea outside of predefined categories. We’ve included a runner-up prize as well to complement the Best in Show, which gives us a chance to recognize a team that made an outstanding project but missed the top spot.”

Sbuhacks 24 3Student groups offered workshops and fun throughout the weekend, such as a Tetris tournament, paper airplane tournament, engineering quiz and catapult workshop.

The weekend culminated in a closing ceremony in which winners were announced following review by a panel of judges which included Stony Brook faculty, staff, and industry leaders.

“The spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship is alive and well at Stony Brook. I was excited to see such an amazing level of creativity and collaboration at SBUHacks,” said Andrew Singer, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “The way that teams of students, at all levels, integrated the latest technologies into their projects was truly a demonstration of the talented students we have on our campus.”

“I’m incredibly proud of what we were able to accomplish for this year’s event. We were able to bring together some of the brightest minds of SBU and beyond for a weekend full of energy and creativity in an atmosphere brimming with fun and enjoyment for all participants,” said Moore. “It was truly inspiring to witness the creativity and innovation that these students were able to put forth in just 48 hours. Witnessing the broad range of projects, from tackling interview stress with an AI trainer to apps that help those with disabilities, was a testament to the power of collaborative problem-solving that hackathon events like ours inspire.”

Teams competed for prizes valued at more than $1,000. “Slay the Interview,” which provides AI-generated interview questions and feedback, took home the Best in Show prize and “Dynamic Learning” won the Best Social Impact award.

“I am glad that I attended SBUHacks because I was able to learn a great deal, such as how to actually create a website, and make connections with many talented people, especially my teammates,” said Alex Tran, a freshman computer science major and member of the “Slay the Interview” team. “SBUHacks helped me to feel more confident with my chosen major in computer science as I realized that I enjoyed being able to create a program that can help people to deal with their problems in life. SBUHacks was one of the most exciting, engaging, and inspiring weekends that I have ever experienced.”

For descriptions of the winning projects, visit the SBUHacks website.

Best in Show
Slay the Interview

Best in Show Runner Up
PragatiPath AI

Best Beginner

Best Social Impact
Dynamic Learning

Cleanest UI/UX

Best Health Hack

Best Security
Don’t Phish Me

Best Game Development
Emergency Medical Technician Simulator

Best Use of AI in Education
Listen AT

Best Use of MongoDB Atlas
Hocus Potus

Best Domain Name from GoDaddy Registry

Best Use of Google Cloud API

— Beth Squire

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