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MCIT Hackathon 2020 Recap

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The Event

During the weekend of January 18th 2020, the soon-to-be student group, CIT59x, hosted its inaugural hackathon. The goal of this hackathon was to complement PennApps, Penn’s larger hackathon in the beginning of the Fall semester. While PennApps is a great experience, it’s extremely intimidating for someone who only has a few weeks of formal programming education. The CIT59x hackathon was created to allow students to showcase the skills they learned in their first semester of the MCIT program. We utilized the Devpost platform to manage the logistics of the hackathon - you can see even more over there.

With the help of our amazing program director, Arvind Bhsurnurmath, the hackathon came to life in the Towne building. Over the course of two days students outlined their ideas, worked together to implement their project, and presented in front of alumni judges. The scope of the hackathon was broad - build off of a concept learned in the first semester. From there we saw some great projects by our own students.

We want to thank our three judges for coming to campus and investing in our students. Our three judges were Eva Herzog (Comcast, MCIT ‘18), Yuduo Zhao, (Oracle, MCIT ‘18) , and Ryan Weicker (SAP, MCIT ‘11). The judges based gave out two prizes, the creativity award and the complexity award.

The Categories

Complexity: How technically sophisticated/advanced/elegant was the hack? Was the technical problem your team tackled difficult? Did your team try to learn something new?

Creativity: How creative is the execution of the project? Did your team come up with new use-cases, big opportunities or surprises?

The Winners!

Below are our two winners with their Github repositories. Thank you to everyone who participated, we could not have done it without you!


the entree team smiling for the camera

Entree (Creativity Winner)

Team: Girri Palanyipan, Claire Walker, Catherine Weiss, Samuel Attal-Georges, Daniel Ciarrocki

Idea: Create warm introductions by connecting people based off of uncommon characteristics they have in common. Everyone likes dogs, but how many people like to paraglide?


cool space background from the interstellar team’s project

Interstellar (Complexity Winner)

Team: Chris Zhu, Weicong Dai, Zelong Zhang

Idea: Travel through the galaxy in a virtually real spaceship. By controlling the physics of the universe, the Interstellar team is able to simulate how it is to navigate around planet’s orbits.