Students Develop Tech Ideas into Reality at HackNYU 2016

The excitement at HackNYU 2016 was almost tangible, as over 500 participants came together to collaborate on projects and develop websites, applications, and hardware. The event was hosted February 19-21, 2016, at NYU Tandon School of Engineering and the NYU LaGuardia Co-op in Manhattan; students from NYU’s portal campuses in Shanghai and Abu Dhabi participated online, making this event the biggest global hackathon hosted by NYU yet.

The event, which emphasized innovation and creativity along with time management, gave participants 48 hours to develop and engineer solutions to today’s community problems. This year, students could also use HackNYU’s new feature, “Project Collaboration,” to present their project ideas and form teams well before the event. Pre-hackathon workshops allowed students to develop skills and gain information.

This year’s competition expanded into four possible tracks:  Accessibility, Dental Health, Sustainability, and Education and Student Life. Each track came with its own challenges to inspire students to come up with ideas, as well as its own resources they could utilize for the development and testing of their project. The judges for each track were chosen based on the focus for each track, and projects were judged based on their application and creativity, as well as application to the NYU community.

Winners for each of the four tracks were announced at the closing ceremony, in no specific order (see box below). Each winning team will receive prizes worth $500. Organizers also used the closing ceremony to make participants aware of the C3 (Campus Coding Collaborative) program, an initiative developed by the IT Department, the Department of Student Affairs, and Student Council. The program gives selected applicants a grant of $3,000 along with mentorship and design space at the LaGuardia Co-op to develop their project after the event.

Students and faculty gave positive feedback, believing the event was well organized and truly provided participants with an opportunity to apply their skills and innovate. John Vivolo, Director of Online and Virtual Learning at NYU Tandon Online, a department that served as a main sponsor of the event, stated, “Creative and intense, the students worked really hard on all their projects. As a judge, I treated it just like any vendor calling me up trying to sell their educational technology product, which I get a lot of. I threw the gauntlet out there, and many of them answered with quick and concise pitches on their products.”  


HackNYU 2016 Winners:



  • MailEfficient: Laura Graesser, Laksha Sharma
  • 100 NYU: Yuan Lai, Yuxiang Zhang, Yuning Liu, Bonan Yuan
  • Confluent: Jonathan Chin, Richard Vo
  • Fi-LocSanthoshkrishnachaitanya Chelikavada


  • Project Press: Niela Sultana, Shiny Croospulle, Elon Xie, Jesus Leal, Qiao Jing Wu
  • Sentiment Forecast: Carter Yu, Savannah Lim, Dennis McDaid
  • Share Meals: Jimmy Kim, Mahamitra Jagadheshkumar


  • Thinker: Andrew Keller, Teon Brooks
  • Buddi: Samantha Shi, Sean Kelly
  • Stack: Baaria Chaudhary, David Santiano, Dylan Crow

Dental Track

  • Tooth-Bit: Vidyadhar Thatte, Shaun Chua, Ted Wong
  • Oral Imagenostics 2: David Rafanan, Pat Sukhium, Andrew Kary, Alvin Babu, Kevin Nguyen 
  • Denticaid: Stephanie Colaiacovo, Katie Rothas, Janice Konadu 

Lathika Chandra Mouli
New York University Shanghai
B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Class of 2017