CS Student Organization hosts 24 hour Global Hackathon


Recently, Women in Computer Science (WiCS), a student-run organization whose mission is “to provide encouragement and support to women in the field of computing”organized an event called HackHealth. HackHealth is an annual 24 hour hackathon where the focus is on creating technology related to data science and heath.

HackHealth is devoted to being inclusive and beginner-friendly, welcoming all current university students, regardless of major or gender, and is open to coders and designers of all skill levels.

This year marked the first virtual, worldwide 24-hour HackHealth event and the biggest hackathon so far. For the first time, WiCS opened this event to students outside Stony Brook and had 224 student attendees and 43 project submissions.76% were from Stony Brook and rest from across the world (including CMU, UT Austin, CUNY Hunter College, University of Mumbai, Oxford, and many other colleges and universities). 

The event was held virtually on the HackHealth Discord server and utilized YouTube livestreams and Zoom. The Discord server was used as the main form of communication throughout the event where attendees could view announcements, chat with each other and sponsors/company representatives, and receive direct help from technical mentors and volunteers. YouTube live streams were used for streaming the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and live technical workshops. Zoom was used for smaller events such as the Team Building Activity (for hackers looking for teammates), Escape The Room, etc.

As part of the event, WiCS held a bootcamp and Computer Science (CS) graduate students held workshops on various topics. CS Faculty Aruna Balasubramanian, Richard McKenna and Kevin McDonnell served as judges. CS and WiCS alumni who are now in industry served as judges as well, representing Amazon, Capital One, Google, and more.  “I was not only impressed with the projects, but also how well the event was organized. Everything was on Zoom including the judging, but WiCS managed to organize everything really well and also have a ton of sponsors,” reported Balasubramanian.

All workshops have been recorded and are up on the WiCS Youtube channel as well as the opening and closing ceremonies. The list of projects and the 8 winners can be found here. Photos from the event can be seen here

- Andrew Solar-Greco