Yahoo! India R&D recently hosted ‘Hack U’ for the students of Computer Science Department at IIT Kharagpur. Hack U is Yahoo!’s exciting university program that brings the creative, out of the box concept behind Yahoo! Open Hack to engineering students on top university campuses in India.
Held over a period of four days (February 28- March 3) Hack U at IIT- Kharagpur kicked off with a series of hack-related presentations, followed by a non-stop 24-hour hacking competition by the students.
During this time students got an opportunity to attend interesting tech talks, receive hacking tips and lessons by the Tech Team of Senior Developers and Engineers at Yahoo!, and also take part in hands-on coding workshops where they get to work with cutting-edge technology.
The energy at the event was electrifying with over 230 students participating in the hacking competition. Teams came up with cool ideas and working prototypes with successfully showcasing 48 demos in just 24 hours! In terms of the participation, quality of hacks and number of demos it smashed every Hack U record possible, to become the biggest ever Hack U for Yahoo! India R&D.
“Hack U is about getting students excited about technology. In addition to huge and enthusiastic student participation, what also stood out is the way students channelized world-class science to solve real-world business problems.
I was particularly impressed to see that students were able to identify technical challenges of Internet industry and come up with innovative ideas to solve those ,” said Shouvick Mukherjee, VP & Head Yahoo! India R&D who was present at IIT-Kharagpur to kick start the event with his tech talk.
There hack prototypes demoed by students ranged from Mobile to Human Machine Interactions. While some focused on creating social interaction and content consumption experiences for Mobile others focused on human machine interaction through gesture control.
Some of the most impactful hacks developed were around deep scientific problems like data mining, entity extraction, natural language processing etc.
The winners walked away with cool ipads, smart phones and wireless hard disks (almost everything a geek can wish for!). The winning hacks listed below -
1. WikiGist - A Visual Navigator for Wikipedia that helps filter the important pages connected to a particular topic and displays them visually in increasing order of importance.
2. Follower Circles – A social app that helps twitter users group their followers into distinct communities and circles by labeling them into relevant groups based on their common interests and similarities. This way a user can share tweets with only that group who is genuinely interested in that information.
3. Story Line – This Hack helps to find out the story line of the most prominent events from the history in chronology.
Hack U Kharagpur has kick started the hacking season by Yahoo! at university campuses in India with the next Hack U planned at IIT- Madras in mid March.
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