Binghamton University students hack programming problems

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VESTAL (WBNG) — Hack BU changes the way people think of hacking. Instead of breaking into computer systems, students were given 24 hours to create a solution that could be solved by coding.

“Hacking is just another word for coding,” organizer Junhson Jean-Baptiste said. “A lot of people think it means ‘hacking’ like breaking into systems and stuff, but the definition we are using is hacking like just buildings something. Coding, putting a program together, figuring it out the solution for a problem.”

Hundreds of students were given free reign to create whatever they would like. There were also categories that award additional prizes, such as best Valentine’s Hack.

Theresa Gundel’s group attempted to win that category and Funniest Hack with their heart themed game. Players competed in multiple mini-games in an attempt to get a high score.

“Most of my time has been spent figuring out how to use Pie Game,” Gundel said. “I spent six hours yesterday just making tic-tac-toe. It I wasn’t using Pie Game, I could’ve done it so much faster. Figuring out how to make things actually show up on the screen and do what you want when you click this button. A lot goes into it.”

Her group stayed up for the full 24 hours to win last year’s competition with a game about how women are discriminated against in STEM workplaces. This year, they were able to get about five hours of sleep and still complete their prototype.

Any student could compete no matter their major. Jean-Baptiste said that major technologies, including the ATM, were created at hack-a-thons.

Technology companies including Facebook, Citi and Lockheed Martin were judges for the competition. They also provided job and internship opportunities for students.

Brendan Tierney

Brendan Tierney

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