While a share of college students may be pulling weekend all-nighters to party it up, others would rather skip some Zs so they can code. Luckily for the latter group, the third-annual HackMIT event this past weekend let them develop until dawn and beyond.
This free competition, which ran from Saturday morning straight through to Sunday afternoon, enabled undergraduates from around the world to congregate and code. Contestants had 24 hours to work on a new project either alone or on a team. After the allotted time was up, designated judges from throughout the tech community evaluated the college students’ finished products.
With 1,000 hackers simultaneously sitting down to create, the resulting projects ranged greatly. These college coders were inspired by everything from parities to practicality, and here are just a few of the finished products.
Timeshares for the future
Despite your initial thoughts, we’re not talking about that cramped condo in Cabo you impulsively reserved three weeks out of the year. A team of HackMIT participants had a new take on timeshares. Not surprisingly, it got technical.
“We’ve been hashing out different ideas, but we’ve settled on making a program that lets you timeshare your processing power,” explained Lia Coleman, a junior and Computer Science major at MIT.
“While you sleep at night, there could be someone awake who could use your computer’s processing power,” she continued. “You could lend it to them, so they can speed up their own computer.”
Coleman explained to me that she and her friends were treating HackMIT as a sort of high school reunion. Although she’s local, the rest of her team members flew in from different parts of the country, so they could contribute to this creation.
Program hard, party harder
Students at HackMIT may have been sacrificing a weekend of shenanigans, but that doesn’t mean partying wasn’t on the brain – at least for one participant.
Just look at Tyler Weitzman, a second-year Stanford student who’s already created around 30 apps like Black SMS. The seasoned coder used his time at HackMIT to develop the app Party Brah. Stemming from a website he manually maintained at school, his app would allow students to keep a running schedule of parties on any given campus.
“I’ve always said the best way to learn is to stop thinking and go build something.”
“The app lets five ‘bros’ from each school post and edit parties,” explained Weitzman, who’s been programming since the third grade. “They can add the frat that’s having a party and even the theme, so the whole school can see.”
To make sure the bros are always in-the-know, any student can head to the app to tip them off.
What about colleges that are Greek-free? Not to worry: Party Brah still lets you broadcast festivities without any frat affiliation – from ragers to charity fundraisers.
Breakfast of champions
Perhaps the project that spoke to me (and probably every other professional out there) was cleverly called The Internet of Toast. A team of four students from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – Mohammad Saad, Mathew Halm, David Degenhardt, and Adam Barbato – put their heads together to make mornings a little less hectic.
These guys found a way to automate your coffee maker and toaster. All you have to do is set an alarm on your FitBit and, minutes before it goes off
in the morning, their program cues these devices to get going on your breakfast.
“So many times, you’re pressed for time and have to run out the door without breakfast,” explained Degenhardt. “This would have breakfast ready as soon as you wake up. It’d just be a waste for you to leave home without eating.”
“Also, people like to hit ‘snooze’ a lot,” Halm said. “Now you’d have a reason to get up. Your coffee is waiting for you, and who wants cold coffee?”
I don’t know about you, but that’d be a game-changer in the AM.
Why hack the night away?
No matter who I asked, there were a couple of resounding reasons for being a part of HackMIT. By and large, people just wanted to hang out with friends and meet other folks with whom they share a common interest.
“It’s an excuse to get together with your friends and do something ridiculous,” Halm said.
The overall ambiance and spirit of innovation also attract college students from far and wide. “Here, you’re surrounded by other people with brilliant ideas. It’s fun to be around all this thinking,” Degenhardt explained.
“I love seeing people being inspired,” Weitzman told me. “People who aren’t even that experienced come, and you can see their passion growing as they build. I’ve always said the best way to learn is to stop thinking and go build something.”
Hamza Fazal is a reporter for The Hear UP. After graduating from the University of Abbottabad, Hamza got an internship at the NPR and worked as a reporter and producer. Hamza has also worked as a reporter for the Medium. Hamza covers health and science for The Hear UP.
How to Prepare for a Long-Distance Move
More than 27,059,000 people move each year, whether traveling across the state or the country. Regardless of when you’re preparing for a long-distance move, there are several things you’ve got to be aware of ahead of time.
We’ve created a checklist that you can use full of packing tips and other things you need to know, like the importance of hiring movers to aid in the big move. The more prepared you are, the easier and more stress-free the move will be.
Get ready to settle into your new home after you check out these need-to-know packing tips below.
When moving to NY from California, you need to plan ahead. You need to do this to get everything in order, such as shutting off the utilities and turning it on at the new location before you’re scheduled to arrive.
The last thing you want to do is risk arriving at your new place and not having running water or working electricity when you get there. Another reason you want to plan ahead is that if you’ve decided to hire movers, you’ll need to coordinate the day they plan to pick up your items and deliver them to the new house.
Again you don’t want to arrive at your home and the movers not arrive with your items on the day you expect them to. Not only does this leave you without your necessities, but it could also mean you pay additional delivery fees that you’d not planned for.
If it helps, you could make a list of everything you need to do before you are set to move. We recommend making this list ahead of time so that you don’t feel rushed at the last minute to get everything completed.
Moving lots of items a long distance can be tricky, especially if you’re not used to driving a moving truck. Before you’re set to move, make a list of the best movers in your area.
You can do this by creating a list of mover names and estimates from your area. Ensure you have them clarify what you’re paying for because most rental companies provide a specific number of miles locally and out of state that could increase your overall rental price.
You’ll also want to inquire about the insurance needed to schedule movers to come and help transport your items. Ensure you get the estimates for each type of vehicle they offer.
When the move is complete, the larger the vehicle and the more movers you need, the higher the rental price. Once you’ve decided which moving company you’re going to work with, take the next steps to set your reservation.
If you’re making the appointment over the phone, ask the company to send you a confirmation email once the phone call has concluded. This will ensure you have tangible evidence of your appointment reservation just in case something comes up the day of the move where you need to contact the moving company.
When you move a long distance, it’s in your best interest to only pack the items you need and discard items you no longer use. The best way to do this is to take some time to declutter your home before you begin packing.
Make a pile of the items you need to get rid of, whether that means donating or discarding them accordingly. While it might prove to be a time-consuming process, in the long run, it will pay off when you don’t have to do these things while unpacking in your new home.
This is especially true if you’re downsizing and don’t have enough room to store all the items that you have currently in your home or apartment. Another reason to declutter your home is so that you can effectively determine how much packing material you need to pack, such as boxes and packing tape.
Check your local area for packing items because there are several places online where people want to get rid of their extra boxes for free. This can help you to save on packing expenses.
When you move into your new place, the last thing you want to happen is for essential items to be mailed to your previous email. This means you need to take the steps necessary to forward your mail to your new address, which can be done online via the united states postal service website.
When forwarding your mail, ensure you list the names of everyone moving and the address of the new home. Then you will need to specify a date when you want the mail to begin being sent to the new location.
Along with forwarding your mail, you need to remember to change the address on other government documentation, such as:
- Car registration
- Drivers license
- Voter registration
When you don’t place your new address on these documentation forms, completing other things you need to complete after you’ve moved can become challenging.
When you’re moving a long distance, the last thing you want to do is travel back to your previous residence to take care of things that should’ve been completed before the move.
When preparing for a long-distance move, you need to know several things, such as ensuring you forward your mail ahead of time. You should also remember to schedule movers and request estimates to help move your belongings from one place to another.
If you want to know more about this topic, continue to scroll through the posts in this section.
Khalil ur Rehman is a proud born and raised in Abbottabad. Khalil has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade having contributed to several large publications including the Yahoo News and The Verge. As a journalist for The Hear Up, Khalil covers climate and science news. [email protected]