Monday, November 1, 2010

Hack fest

Close to 150 students participated in ‘Hack U' — the University Hack Day event for IIT Mumbai students held recently at the Powai campus. At the outset, let it be noted that one is not talking about hacks of the writerly kind. Or the kind who break into e-mail ids or cellphones... The hacks referred to here are geeks who drool over the inner workings of computers.
Expert mentors
Hack U is a novel concept where students get the opportunity to work on product ideas, develop working prototypes in a 24-hour ‘Hackathon' and eventually have a chance to win cool prizes. Conceptualised along the lines of Yahoo's Open Hack Day, the three-day event provides a platform for the student community to develop, build applications using Yahoo!'s Open APIs (Application Programming Interface) like YQL, YAP, or create a new product concept itself.
Hack U kicked off with a series of hack-related presentations, followed by a non-stop 24-hour hacking session by the students. Technology experts also conducted technical talks on Yahoo!'s Open Platforms like YUI, OAuth, YAP and YQL during the event.
Hari Vasudev, Vice President, Cloud Platform Group, Yahoo India R&D, delivered the keynote address stressing the need for hacks to deliver personally meaningful experiences to users on the Web.
It encouraged participation from students for hack ideas and innovative concepts on shared research interests such as information extraction, parallel/distributed programming and more. Students got to interact with Yahoo! web experts, received hacking tips and lessons, and hands-on exposure to cutting-edge applications and technologies.
Neha Jatav, student researcher, at IIT Mumbai was thrilled to see “such enthusiastic mentors to help around all the time during Hack U. It was an experience that CSE junta should experience to learn what it is like to code without the fear of grades and deadlines just for the sake of your happiness, just for accomplishing your own targets.”
Mayank Singhal, IV Year Dual Degree Student of Computer Science and Engineering said, “Hack U is probably the fastest way to learn how it works in the real world of geeks; and that too while having a lot of fun. Interacting with Yahoo! engineers is even more fun, they are in my opinion the friendliest techies I have met. In short, Hack U is far too awesome to miss.”
Professor S. Sudarshan, Computer Science and Engineering Department, IIT Mumbai, recalled Yahoo! Hack U was held for the first time in India at IIT Mumbai in February 2009, allowing students to interact with top-notch programmers, such as Rasmus Lerdorf, the creator of PHP.
Students were introduced to some of the APIs provided by Yahoo! which allowed creation of many interesting applications.Open Hack Days started as an internal event that brought Yahoo! developers together around the globe. The annual event has developer workshops and progresses to an overnight Hack Camp, concluding with demos, judging and award presentations.      

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