Blog Posts by Balaji Narayanan

  • HackU at IIT Madras – Lukewarm start to a red hot finish

    HackU is a fun way to relive the college campus experience and each one of us look forward to these events. On March 29th to April 1st, we were at IIT Madras for the 3rd HackU in as many years.

    Hack U

    The event was inaugurated by Prof. Krishna Sivalingam of IIT Madras. Jeyandran Venugopal and Sudhir Anandrao from the Cloud Platforms Group, delivered an interesting keynote and talked about some of the key issues on the web where deep science and research can add a lot of value. Prof.P.Sreenivasa Kumar was so impressed by the session that he talked Jeyandran into providing a guest lecture on the semantic web and information / knowledge extraction to his students.

    This followed by talks on various Yahoo! technologies and a primer on some basics to get the students started. We were surprised at a low turnout of students for some of the talks. But later realized that thanks to frequent visits to the campus, most of the students had a good understanding of the technologies and were already busy

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  • Laddoos, Peacocks and Hacks from Kanpur

    IIT Kanpur, the first institute in India to start Computer Science education, hosted its first Hack U from Aug 18-21, 2011. Our daily trivia Fun-10, now a regular at HackU, provided a thrust to the event. The initial registrations crossed 350 even before we reached the campus. We landed at Kanpur on a hot and humid afternoon to be welcomed by peacocks on the tarmac. This defense airport has one of the smallest terminal buildings that I have seen.

    Thursday, 18th August 2011: The event was inaugurated by Prof.Harish Karnick with an inspiring speech on innovation and the value add that events like HackU bring to the campus. This was followed by Nishad's keynote on trends in internet technologies and computing.

    Hack U - IITK - 19  Aug  (60)

    I started off the tech sessions with an introduction to Hack U, setting the tone for the upcoming sessions. Arnab demonstrated the power of YQL next showing examples of real world use cases.

    Later in the evening we spent over an hour discussing some of the real world issues that

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  • Holi(y) HackU – A recap from IIT Kharagpur

    After a power-packed Hack U 2010 season, we kickstarted the 2011 season travelling east, to the oldest and largest of the IITs at Kharagpur. This institute, known for its fests like Spring Fest, BitWise, hosted its first HackU from Mar 17th to 20th. We had built the momentum beforehand by running trivia questions titled Fun-10 for a week and it provided enough impetus for the big event.

    Thursday, 17th March 2011: Prof. Jayantha Mukohpadhyay inaugurated the event and Chelliah set the ball rolling by making the introductions. Praveen gave the keynote talk on Yahoo!'s vision and talked about the User-Generated Content (UGC) Cloud and some of the challenges. More than 150 students attended the sessions that ran well into the night.

    Saurabh started the tech sessions with Hacking for Innovation, where he talked about the spirit of hacking and showcased some examples. Next came Rajesh, to speak about YQL, one of the hot favourites with students. He showcased the power of YQL with demos.

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  • Back to Mumbai

    Amchi Mumbai! This was the first time Hack U India revisited a university: The previous Hack U at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay was a big success characteristic of a bollywood blockbuster.

    Based on the success of the first event, we knew that this event would be much anticipated both by the crew and the students alike. True to expectations, even before we landed on campus, we had over 250 registrations. We knew we were in for an exciting weekend.

    The Hack U kick off was at 5:30 pm at the FC Kohli Auditorium with a welcome note by Muthusamy Chelliah, Head of Academic Relations at Yahoo! Bangalore, followed by Professor Dhamani from IIT Bombay. Hari Vasudev, the VP of Platform Technology group at Yahoo!, kept the students engrossed by talking about Yahoo! Open strategy and Cloud platforms.

    With the informative introduction talks over, it was time for the tech crew to take over. Arnab Nandi, our Hack U veteran, delivered "Hack 101 — An introduction to Hacking" to prepare the

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