Welcome to the Fall 2017 hackNY Student Hackathon! hackNY organizes once-a-semester student hackathons at which NYC startups present their technologies and students build original applications based on them. Check back here for info, signup for our newsletter or follow us @hackNY for additional details.

Note that registration on this Devpost site does not equal registration for the hackathon. Only participants who have registered through the proper form via the hackny.org website and received and replied to a confirmation email will be considered officially registered. If you did not register and would like to be notified if any spots open up, apply for the waiting list.


The hackathon will take place in adjacent buildings on Columba University Campus: Davis Auditorium (Schapiro), Carleton Lounge and MUDD.

The street entrance from 120th street is closed on the weekends, you will enter campus via the campus entrance on 116th and Broadway (see campus map below) from there, walk in along College Walk, head north up the steps, go around Low Library and to the back of Uris Hall (the Business School) to reach Davis Auditorium.
Campus map

Davis Auditorium
530 W 120th St, New York, NY 10027





12:00pm Doors Open to Attendees; Lunch is Served

01:00pm Opening Ceremonies,  NYC and sponsor API presentations in Davis Auditorium

03:00pm Hacking Begins in Carlton Commons and various reserved classrooms

03:00pm Workshop 1 in MUDD 833: APIs 101 with Jessica Garson

04:10pm Workshop 2 in MUDD 833: Building a deep learning based search engine in 20 minutes with Anthony Johnson

05:20pm Workshop 3 in MUDD 833: A Tour of US Census Data with Natarajan Krishnaswami

07:30pm Dinner is Served

08:00pm Ladies Storm Hackathons Meetup in MUDD 833

11:00pm MLH Event - Werewolf! MUDD 833



12:00am Midnight Surprise

02:00am Late Night Snack 

08:00am Breakfast is Served 

11:00am Devpost Submissions Due! 


12:00pm Demos Begin in Davis Auditorium

1:10pm Intermission - Lunch is Served 

1:40pm Demos resume

2:40pm Awards presentation

3:10pm Hackathon end! 


Carleton Lounge - Open for hacking

CEPSR Davis - Auditorium, Opening Ceremonies and Demos

CEPSR 414 - hackNY staff only

CEPSR 415 - MLH Hardware lab

Mudd 227 - Open for hacking

Mudd 627 - Open for hacking

Mudd 633 - Open for hacking

Mudd 833 - Workshops, Ladies Storm Hackathon Meetup, hacking overnight. (Must be vacated by 10am Sunday)

Mudd 233 - Nap room (men)

Mudd 644 - Nap room (women)


APIs 101 - We will be demystifying APIs by learning what they are and how to connect to them. This will be a hands on workshop designed for new hackers. By Jessica Garson. 3pm, 10/13, Room MUDD 833

Building a deep learning based search engine in 20 minutes - Skipping over the more academic aspects of deep learning we will show how to use some of the latest technologies to build a visual search engine using deep learning. We will walk you through code that will be beneficial to use in your own projects." by Anthony Johnson. 4:10-5:10pm, Room MUDD 833

A Tour of US Census Data - The US Census Bureau produces a treasure trove of geographic, demographic, and economic data, and they have made it easier than ever to access. Come for an overview and demo of some key concepts needed to find and use Census data. by Natarajan Krishnaswami. 5:20-6:20pm, Room MUDD 833


We will host our traditional Ladies Storm Hackathons Meetup at 8:00pm Saturday evening in Room MUDD 833. There will be new friends, great conversation, games, and, as always, cupcake decorating! 

MLH will also be hosting a game of Werewolf in the auditorium at 11pm on Saturday night. Check Slack or Twitter for up to date event start times.



The following NYC and sponsor APIs will be demoed at our Opening Ceremonies. Technical Ambassadors representing each API will be around or online to help if you get stuck. For help with a specific API, see its channel on Slack. You may use any API you like, 

Clarifai | #clarifai-help | @clarifai 

Build smarter apps faster with Clarifai's powerful visual recognition technology. The Clarifai API lets your computer see and understand images and videos. Clarifai can automatically tag all of your photos or videos so you can quickly organize, manage, and search through your content. You can also train your own model to recognize new concepts using only a handful of data examples.  Using our search functionality you can find visually similar content, filter through using keyword tags, or any other combination of custom data points.

Come learn more about the API over at clarifai.com/developer.

GIPHY | #giphy-help | @GIPHYEng

GIPHY allows users to search, share, create, and discover all the best GIFs. The best GIF APIs on the planet, GIPHY has a fully rated catalog, leverages machine learning algorithms and can handle super high volume requests. The GIPHY API provides endpoints that can be used to implement GIF Search, Translate, Random, and Trending. You can find documentation to natively embed all the best features of GIPHY into your app at https://developers.giphy.com/
To learn more about GIPHY Engineering visit engineering.giphy.com and follow us on Twitter @GIPHYEng.


1. Getting started guide: https://developer.foursquare.com/docs/api/getting-started
2. Available endpoints at a glance, with links to detailed descriptions: https://developer.foursquare.com/docs/api/endpoints
3. API "explorer" where you can play with the API very easily (need to be logged in): https://foursquare.com/dev/docs/explore  

MongoDB #mongodb-help | @MongoDB
MongoDB, Inc. is the company behind the database for giant ideas. We build MongoDB and the drivers, and sell software and services to make your life easier. By offering the best of traditional databases as well as the flexibility, scale, and performance required by today’s applications, MongoDB lets innovators deploy apps as big as they can possibly dream. From startups to enterprises, for the modern and the mission-critical, MongoDB is the database for giant ideas.

Download MongoDB here: https://www.mongodb.com/download-center?jmp=nav#community

We are hiring! We are seeking students who have a solid foundation in computer science theory, with strong competencies in data structures, algorithms, and software design. Common languages we include: C++, Go, Ruby, Python, Java, Javascript, Node.js


• Vital Signs* – healthcare data on 1.3 million doctors and other providers
• Congress API – a trove of quantitative and derived data on U.S. congress
• Campaign Finance API – Financial Election Commission data on electronic filings
• Nonprofit Explorer – data on 1.6 million nonprofits including financial information
where available


More API info in the PDF

Twilio #twilio-help | @Twilio 


The New York Times | @nytdevs

At the New York Times, innovation permeates every aspect of our journalism. From the use of multimedia in our long-form journalism to the mission of our technology department to look around corners, identifying, explicating and demonstrating the impending changes in media technology that will affect our readers.

See our API docs at: http://developer.nytimes.com/

Other NYC useful startup APIs you may want to use are Foursquare and Giphy.



The city of New York has over 1,300 open data sets available for you. You can find these athttps://nycopendata.socrata.com/. For more information about the Open Data portal APIs, you can get started here: http://dev.socrata.com/consumers/getting-started.html

If you’d like to see the full list of available datasets (as well as those that are planned to be released soon): https://nycopendata.socrata.com/dashboard

Information about the most popular datasets, keyword searches, and embeds are at: https://nycopendata.socrata.com/analytics

The City’s Tumblr with great uses and examples of Open Data in action is at: http://nycopendata.tumblr.com/



Technical Ambassadors are members of the NYC tech community who visit during the hacking hours to help hackers form teams, refine ideas, work through technical challenges, and stay motivated. You can find them on Slack, and around the event. They are ready to answer your questions, debug with you, and help your hack succeed.


MLH's hardware lab, features Arduino, Intel Edison, Amazon Echo, Fire Phone, Leap, Muse, Oculus, Pebble, Sparkcore, Myo, and more to check out for the weekend.  You can also pick up free AWS credits to use for your hack. You can also check out extra extension cables and power strips.


The hackNY Fellowship is a 10-week summer program that pairs talented technology students with inspiring NYC startups for internships. Each Fellow is mentored by a technologist at their startup and a member of the hackNY AlumNY. The hackNY Fellows live together in housing provided by hackNY, take part in group activities, and engage in activities for social good. One of the highlights of the program is the Speaker Series, a twice weekly series of dinner talks by influential startup founders, engineers, VCs, journalists, and legal experts. Applications for the Class of 2018 hackNY Fellows are now open! Learn more about the hackNY Fellows Program at apply.hackNY.org.


hackNY is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2010 with a mission to connect talented computer science students with New York’s vibrant startup ecosystem. In addition to the Spring and Fall hackNY Student Hackathons, we organize our annual hackNY Fellows Program and other tech talks and events around the city. Through our hackathons and Fellows Program, we aim to create and empower a community of student-technologists.

Many of our volunteers and Technical Ambassadors are AlumNY of the hackNY Fellows Program. Feel free to ask them about any of hackNY’s initiatives. For more information, visit hackNY.org.  


All projects must be submitted on DevPost by Sunday 11:00 AM, October 15th. There is no team size limit, but ll team members must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at the time of submission.

All participants are subject to the Code of Conduct signed upon registration to the hackathon.

All team members must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at the time of submission.


Participants must submit a project to be eligible to present. Presentation length will be 90 seconds and strictly enforced.

Projects must be functioning demos. Powerpoints and slides are extremely discouraged.

Hackathon Sponsors


$2,399 in prizes

1st Place

These awards can be won by any kind of hack - webapps, games, hardware projects, and more. Whether your hack is entertaining or useful, we’ll be looking closely at its technical merit, creativity, and overall awesomeness.

2nd Place

These awards can be won by any kind of hack - webapps, games, hardware projects, and more. Whether your hack is entertaining or useful, we’ll be looking closely at its technical merit, creativity, and overall awesomeness.

3rd Place

These awards can be won by any kind of hack - webapps, games, hardware projects, and more. Whether your hack is entertaining or useful, we’ll be looking closely at its technical merit, creativity, and overall awesomeness.

Best Social Good Hack

Use your tech skills for good. Build something that has a positive social impact, be it a visualization that helps educate about some issue, or an app that helps solve a problem.

Most Technical

This is an award for serious technical work on hardware or software. Doing some extreme math, hardcore coding, or complex building? This award will recognize you, even if your hack isn’t the flashiest from the outside.

Best Hack Design

This award recognizes great visual design and UX. Judges will look at your user interface, graphics, and product design.

Best Accessibility

Best Hack Using a NYC API

Supporting the Tech Community is very important to us. This award goes to the best hack using local startup’s API to do something awesome. Extra points to hacks using APIs presented during opening ceremonies.

Best First Hack

If you’re a team of new hackers, welcome to the world of hackathons! We have a special award to recognize the best hacks by first-time hackers. We’ll look at the technical and creative impressiveness of your hack and your learning over the past 24 hours.

Honorable Mention

Hack most likely go to viral [Sponsored by GIPHY] (2)

Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card + Amazon Echo Dot for up to 4 team members

Best Use of Encryption [Sponsored by Datto]

$200 Amazon Gift Card

Best use of Twilio API [Sponsored by Twilio]

Prize: Up to 4 BB-8 Droids (http://www.sphero.com/starwars/bb8)

Best Domain Name from Domain.com

Raspberry Pi & PiHut Essential Kit

Best IoT Hack Using a Qualcomm Device

DragonBoard 410C & Power Source

Amazon Web Services - Best Use of AWS

$250 Amazon Web Services Credit

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

All projects must be submitted on DevPost by Sunday 11:00 AM, October 15th. There is no team size limit, but all team members must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at the time of submission.


Becky Case

Becky Case
VP of Engineering @ Birchbox

Courteney Ervin

Courteney Ervin
Software Developer

Deborah Estrin

Deborah Estrin
Professor of Computer Science @ Cornell Tech

Jacqueline Garavente

Jacqueline Garavente
Investment Team @ Union Square Ventures

Shani Offen

Shani Offen
Machine Learning Chapter Lead @ Spotify

Stephanie Yang

Stephanie Yang
Data Scientist @ Foursquare

Judging Criteria

  • Awesomeness
    That's it. No hockey sticks, no market. Just awesomeness. See each prize's description for more information!

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

Tell your friends

Hackathon sponsors

Gold Sponsors
Silver Sponsors
Bronze Sponsors
In Kind

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.