Student entrepreneurs implement programming skills at annual Hackathon


Middle and Upper school students group together for a photo in their Hackathon sweatshirts. Credit: Jacky Zhang

Sophia Musante

Upper school students participated in the third annual Hackathon in Mudd Library Nov. 8 to 9.

Hackathon offers students opportunities to learn new skills and prizes

The event, which Lukas Seklir ’21 and Amaan Irfan ’21 organized, featured workshops about developing presentations, artificial intelligence and other facets of programming. Students furthered their programming skills and competed in small teams of up to four people to create a new project in 36 hours.

To conclude the event, teams presented their program to a panel of six alumni judges. The first, second and third place teams received a Nintendo switch, a portable speaker and a Raspberry Pi.

Students recount their experiences

Seklir said he was inspired to help lead this year’s event because of his positive experience co-leading a team last year.

“I had only worked alone on projects in the past, and the Hackathon allowed me to work with a team,” Seklir said. “This was very valuable for me, and I am now working on a few projects in teams. I have continued to program in my spare time and have greatly developed my knowledge through writing lectures and projects.”

Hackathon attendee Peter Shen ’22 said he greatly enjoyed last year’s event and wanted to improve his programming this year while having fun.

“Last year’s experience was pretty memorable,” Shen said. “I learned to work on code with other people and collaborate, which is entirely different from working on a project alone. I hope this year, my team and I can create something beyond just a bare-bones frame of a program, which is what we kind of did last year.”

Participant Liana Wadhwani ’22 said the event allowed her to grow as a programmer and bond with her teammates.

“I learned how to work when there is a very pressing deadline,” Wadhwani said. “Programming has taught me that [if] you don’t get something right the first time, all you have to do is keep working at it.”

Seklir said he hoped for this Hackathon to be as much of a success as last year’s.

“I hope students come away from the Hackathon having enjoyed the experience, furthered their friendships with teammates, increased their interest in computer science and with the start of a project that they can carry on and develop,” Seklir said.