Past University Hack Days

Fall 2010 Campuses

Early 2010 Campuses

Fall/Winter 2009 Campuses

A big thanks to all the campuses for a fantastic fall 2009 University Hack Day season!

2008 Winners

On September 12th and 13th, each of the five Hack U winning teams from the 2007-2008 season flew out to Yahoo HQ in Sunnyvale, CA and battled it out for the championship, plus bragging rights for their school.

2008 Season

Here are some quick links to pages listing out all the great hacks from the various schools visited for HackU 2008:

2007 Regular-Season Results

From Georgia Tech:

  • Roger Pincombe - OneBigCanvas
    Collaborative drawing app in Java
  • Roger Pincombe - DialPrice
    Price Checking service
  • Hemanth Pai - Accessibility Toolkit for Webpages
    Javascript/CSS tools for improving accessibility
  • Christopher Sladky, Eric Goodwin, Patrick Eisenmann, Katie Collins - Trip Hacks
    Geo location hack
  • Jeff Starker, Juan R. Patten - See Them Live
    YME Plugin
  • Deepak - YKids
    Educational Maps hack for kids
  • Alex Guan - BusTracker
    Mobile widget for tracking busses
  • Rohit Sinha, Akshay Goil, Sam Asghari, Evan Hurst - Absolute Everything
    Meta-mashup of Yahoo, Google and Facebook
  • William Harris, Cameron Paul - Magic Player
    Mouse-gesture driven video player
  • Enrique Santos, David Hollis, Andy Davis, James King - Brainiac
    MindMap hack
  • Travis Gockel, Jon Go - Mobile Quiz
    Quiz-style study app
  • Jeffrey Bernard, Trevor Stone, Tuan Dang, Abs Jain - Flixr
    Qix-like game with Flickr images
  • Trevor Stone, Jeffery Bernard, Tuan Dang, Abs Jain - HandyMap
    Map manipulation with LEDs on fingers of gloves picked up by Wii remote
  • Stan Komsky, John Oleynik, Shantanu Talapatra, Kenter Wu - AutoPicSaver
    Facebook app
  • Nick Padgett - Skedu
    School locator maps mashup
  • Praful Rana, Sid Parmar, Jon Lee, Richard Grimm - Buzzwords
    Event listing with voting
  • Mike Pulaski - Syncr
    Synch directories with Flickr
  • David Foster - NetDraw
    Javascript-based drawing program
  • Jeff Wei - ChatBlog
    Automatically blog IM conversations
  • Michael Tanner - Ajax JSON Edit
  • Andrew Guyton, Hillary Lipko - GT Campus Information Mashup

The winners were DialPrice, Skedu and Trip Hacks. Photos on Flickr

From Carnege-Mellon University:

  • Brian Krausz - Map Tag
  • Matt Thompson - flolcatr
  • Matt Thompson (again) - Demograph
  • Paul O'Shannessy - yWeather
  • Sam Hashemi and Steve Hillenii - Traffic

Winners: Demograph, Map Tag, and Traffic.

From the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:

  • Alex Lambert - Telescreen
  • Andy Ying - FlightTracker 2.0
  • Chad Weider - FlickrType
  • Cyrus Omar - Context
  • Emily Tse - Y! Contacts (Yahoo! Widget)
  • Greg Schechter, Ben Juang - University Search Widget
  • Rahul Mailk Kyle Millns, Adil Dhanani - Flava
  • Robert Boyce, Elizabeth Ford, Mo Kudeki, and Jessa Wang - Columbus
  • Sameer Sundresh, Justin Conroy, Andy Ying - Name My Job!
  • Steve Bezek - Personalized Digg Stories
  • Steven Kloder, Greg Schechter - Gas Maps: Pricing Your Road Trips
  • Suraj Samaranayake, Dave Alongi, Mike Barker - Mosaic
  • Will Duff - Pages
  • You Lin - Visual

Winners: Pages--which we ought to just go ahead and put online in the YUI section--Telescreen, and FlightTracker.

From the University of California at Berkeley:

  • Ryan Luecke, Gabor Angeli, and Stewart He - Psychic Skype Hotline
  • Carpool Commuter Hack
  • Suhaas Prasad, Min Xum, Ryan Zheng, Jerry Zhang - International News Map
  • INGAPO (Meet-There)
  • Capture the Flag Pac-Man

Winners: Psychic Skype Hotline, Carpool Commuter Hack, INGAPO, and Capture the Flag Pac-Man. Pictures are up on Flickr.

From Stanford University:

  • Loren Yu and Mike Fischer - for Flickr Fuse
  • Joel Brandt, Jacob Leverich, and Marcello Basta-Forte - Go2Pod
  • Nathan Sakunkoo, Patty Sakunkoo, and Phakorn Peerapong - Friend Cluster
  • Honorable mention: Charis Charitis - Music Searcher

Winners: Flickr Fuse, Go2Pod, and Friend Cluster.

About the 2006 Season

During the fall of 2006, Hack Days happened on the campuses of five universities across the USA, including the University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, Carnegie-Mellon University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. We chose five finalists and brought them to Sunnyvale in March to show their hacks to our founders and top engineering talent. And the winner is .... Greg Schechter, from UIUC

Faced with a diverse field of hacks mashing up sources from Maps, Music Engine, Search, Flickr,, and YUI, the judges chose a hack built with Yahoo! Widgets, Greg's Slide Rule Widget. Here's a quick video of Greg's winning presentation, thanks to the new YDN Cam and Matt McAlister's Jumpcut editing skills. The widget itself is tough to see, but you'll get a good feel for its capabilities and the thouroughness of Greg's hack.

Greg later accepted a summer internship with Yahoo!, and became part of the team that won Best Hack at our summertime internal Hack Day. (Sorry, we can't show you the winning hack yet ... when it goes into production, we'll be sure to let you know!)

Got Widgets? Check out Greg's Slide Rule yourself.

About the Public Hack Days

September, 2007: Bangalore

We had over a hundred hackers, 31 hacks submitted, and a ton of photos uploaded to Flickr. Where present, we've included an URL; if it's not working, please let us know on the blog entry.

And now, the winners:

  • Brainiest Hack: YaHealer! Allows doctors to share photos of a brain scan over two Yahoo! widgets that are connected over the Web, Allows for collaborative annotation of large sets of images (architectural blueprints, for example) without either user having to download the whole set of photos.
  • Non-Technical (or "We Admire the Cheek"): Yahoo! Hindi Search In this non-technical hack, the presenter pointed out that it's a shame that you cannot type search queries in Hindi. When you do, the suggested results show up in English instead. He then went on to show us where to get live translation, and strongly suggested that we implement it. Hacks are there to work around things that annoy you about existing applications, and that is why we deemed it worthy to give this one a prize.
  • Really Needs an Interface: Tag Management A set of command-line Ruby scripts--shown in 10px Courier--that deals with tags. The first script identifies duplicates like "movie" and "movies", asks you which to keep and automatically renames all tags accordingly. The second script allows you to create bundles of tags instead of having to do them by hand inside
  • I Wish I Had a Mac: Third Tag A Yahoo! Widget that allows you to tag files to make it easier for you to find them, much like Quicksilver or Finder. The widget works both ways: in addition to being able to drag files into the widget and add tags, you can also drag text files into the widget and get a list of recommended tags based on their content.
  • Most Parallel: Collaborative Browsing Using xmpp4mosh plugin for mozilla, greasemonkey and javascript, this hack allows two or more users to surf web sites in parallel without using a proxy. The gestures of one user are replicated for the others, allowing for easy instruction or example.
  • Most Viral: Facebook Friend Folio See all your friends, their photos on Facebook and Flickr, their geographic location on a map, their horoscope and their favorite movies, all in one page instead of having to click through to each profile.
  • Most Likely to Arrive at next Hack Day On Time: Social Routing This application is a maps hack that uses the traffic APIs to show you how likely it is to arrive some place in time. As the really cool social extra it also interfaces with twitter to allow for your friends or "people in the field" to report street blockages and gridlock as and where they occur and offers shortcuts and alternatives based on the wisdom of the community using the app.
  • Best Desktop Hack: Desktop Wallpaper Love A Windows application that creates desktop wallpaper from Flickr images, filtered through Yahoo! Buzz feeds, resulting in a daily wallpaper of what's hot right now.
  • Best Self Expression: Smart Editor A YUI Rich Text Editor that analyses the text you type while you type it and uses several APIs to show you relevant photos from Flickr, News, and Results can be dragged into the editor if you want to enhance your text with multimedia.
  • Best in Show: Maps Doodle Yahoo! Maps with a Canvas overlay. Allows you to draw on a map--highlighting a way to walk to a certain destination, for instance--much easier than creating lines using the API. As you draw, your movements are recorded, so you can send them to a friend as a URL so that he or she can re-play what you have drawn.

June, 2007: London

We were hit by lightning, twice. It rained, indoors. Umbrellas emerged. Hacking continued. Rockets flew, robots walked, The Rumble Strips rocked.

Here's the full time-tagged video, courtesy Yahoo! Research Berkeley:


"You can see a list of all the hacks (including which hacks won the judges awards), you can launch URL demos for many of the hacks, and, best of all, you can jump to any hack instantly to watch it (no waiting for it to load or fast forwarding through the video to try and find things). We've also displayed the list of hacks directly on the video time line, which makes scanning around for hacks incredibly simple."

Matt McAllister's full 15-minute video, with special bonus behind-the-scenes footage, is online for your remixing pleasure at Jumpcut.

September, 2006: World Headquarters, Sunnyvale CA

Fun was had, felt was rubbed, Beck played, many hacks were completed. Videos are here:

... but at the very least you MUST check out Mo Kakwan's contribution, Blabber. Mo won the Best Schtick award and made a short film and a start-up around his experience, which is awesome.

Over 4000 pictures made it up to Flickr:

... and a whole bunch of links were bookmarked on

The complete list of winners is on the Hack Day blog, here:

... along with two of our best presentations, Matt Sweeney's "Web 2.0: Getting It Right the Second Time" and Ian Lamb's "The New Hacker's Tookit."

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