Hack U™ at UCLA

A team of Yahoos from Academic Relations, University Recruiting and the Developer Network partnered with the folks at UCLA and launched our first Hack U™ at the campus. Over 70 students participated during the three days (October 13th – 15th) and the quality of the hacks was outstanding. The events began with a tech, great food and of course coding throughout the night. We needed additional overflow rooms to handle all of the hackers. UCLA Hack UUCLA Hack UThe energy was high and the student team that won couldn’t have been more surprised to come in 1st place - especially as one of their teammates is a political science major!

Judging was performed by Yahoo!’s Allen Rabinovich and Gopal Venkatesan and the UCLA faculty judge was Anke Audenaert, Professor of Internet Analytics at Anderson School of Management, and Yahoo! alumnus. Watch the final awards presentation.

The winning team, including Elison Chen, Rupen Dajee, Benjamin Lin and Sam Chuang, developed an app called ServU, a SMS-based services in which anyone with a text-messaging plan can get services like weather, maps, a dictionary, news and music billboards. Their innovative hack won all team members iPads and bragging rights.

Winning second place was the application MotionPoster. This app augments reality by adding buttons to static movie posters and allows the observer to watch trailers, find out more about the movie, and get nearby show times.

Third place went to the team building Linguipendence - a Chrome extension that adds an automatic translation service to Facebook to enable users to converse globally.

The Yahoo! Tech Award for the best use of Yahoo! Technology was a hack called Twitter Explorer - a tool that parses a user’s tweets to determine the news, videos, images and products that are most relevant to that user.

An honorable mention was given to Life Mixer - a humorous application that asks users how much free time they have and provides suggestions on what can be done during that time period.

The Yahoo! Hack U™ team would like to thank Dr. Alfonso Cardenas, Daniel Quach, Nima Rahnemoon, and Laurie Leyden for all of their support.

The full list of Hack Ideas from UCLA can be seen in the Hack U™ page.

About the Author

Pat Brogan is a Yahoo! Campus Relationship Manager