UofTHacks in Photos: Hackers visit U of T for 36 (sleepless) hours of code

UofTHacks in Photos – a Flickr Slideshow

UofTHacks V

The executive organizing team of UofTHacks V: Back row, Yuxiang Dai, Calvin Luo, Farial Fazle, Parami Wijesundara, Anujan Muregesu, Jenny Zhang, Lucy Lu and Jatin Rampal (volunteer). Front row: Laine London (volunteer), Frank Lai, Daniyal Arab, Shweta Mogalapalli and Ganishka Bakshi. Executives not pictured: Kashav Madan and Taamannae Taabassum (photo courtesy of U of T Hacks)

Read: Thank you to the Executive Members of UofTHacks!

Hackers are skilled coding experts, who solve problems by applying their technical know-how. From January 19 to 21, nearly 400 hackers assembled at the University of Toronto’s St. George campus to code in teams on personal projects or challenges set forth by the event's sponsors.


Read UofTHacks: Canada’s first student-run hackathon enters its fifth year

But it wasn’t all code and no play. The 36-hour event included technical workshops and demos, movie trivia, friendly Nerf battles and a cup-stacking contest to see who could build the tallest tower.

“It’s been great so far. We had our traditional midnight pancakes at 12:30 a.m., followed by a really competitive spicy-noodle eating competition at 1 a.m.” said third-year computer science student Shweta Mogalapalli, a member of the organizing committee as she replenished the offerings in the snack room. “Students got lots of great insights and valuable advice from our recruiting panelist session as well.”

But sleep? Very little.

“Two hours,” said Daniyal Arab, a statistical sciences student from the department of computer and mathematical Sciences, U of T Scarborough, who has been part of the organizing committee for four years. “It’s the most [sleep] I’ve gotten at any UofTHacks.”


Among the final project results presented on Sunday, trio from U of T and the University of Waterloo, Manik Chaudhery, Antonio Kim and Jacob Nazarenko, who met on Facebook and formed a team in advance of the event, integrated Interac’s API (application programming interface) with Google Home actions, winning the title sponsor’s $1,000 prize. A duo from McMaster, Kerala Brendon and Liane Ladouceur, won the Google Home assistant challenge with TakingNotes, an at home music tuner and tutor.


And the best 'hack' of UofTHacks? “Doctors within Borders,” an app designed to notify and route connected medical personnel to an emergency in their immediate area, created by third-year U of T students Asic Chen (computer science), Andrey Khesin (mathematical sciences), Christine Cheng (computer science) andDmitry Ten (computer science).

Calvin Luo, president/chair of UofTHacks recognizes this year's executive members and thanks all UofTHacks volunteers who helped make the hackathon a great success.

Taamannae Taabassum, VP of Communication:

As our VP of Communication, Tammy oversees everything regarding the website (hacker portal, sponsor portal, frontend, etc.) as well as all public relations and social media.  Apart from managing the web dev team and the PR team, she also personally designs the event’s logos, packages, and themes.  She’s been an integral part of our team for the past 3 years, and we’re going to be sad to see her graduate this year.  UofTHacks won’t be the same without her.

Daniyal Arab, VP of Finance:

Dan oversees the Sponsorship team, which had one of the best years ever in our five year history.  Dan's also been part of UofTHacks for the longest time out of all of us - he started out as a volunteer for UofTHacks II and then joined in subsequent years as part of the sponsorship team.  I have no doubt that the results generated this year are due in no small part to his experience with being a liaison

Jenny Zhang, VP of Operations:

Jenny Zhang is our VP of Logistics.  She works with the Logistics team to oversee everything regarding regarding running the event - that includes taking care of venue bookings, food, merchandise, mini-events, workshops, volunteer coordination, etc.  She’s burned many nights in Bahen poring over schedules and room confirmations and the like.  This is Jenny’s second year with us, and she’s spent a lot of time and energy into making sure the event ran as smoothly as it did.  

Kashav Madan, Web Dev:

Kashav is actually the ONE MAN ARMY of the web development team.  He built like 99% of the website alone over the summer (and last summer too), and actively manages it.  He also handles all of our application portals, scoring portals, and even the judging system on the day of the event.  He's our secret weapon for anything tech.

Parami Wijesundara, Public Relations and Social Media:

Parami is our other ONE MAN ARMY when it comes to Public Relations and Social Media.  Parami single-handedly fends off the flood of emails and messages that come our way, from hackers with questions to interested sponsors.  Somewhere in the middle she's still found the time and energy to send out shoutouts and handle our social media channels (twitter, facebook, etc.).  She's unstoppable.

Anujan Murugesu, Sponsorship Liaison:

This is Anujan’s first year with us at UofTHacks, but he’s already made a huge impact.  Anujan spent an enormous amount of time during the sponsorship period contacting potential sponsors and soliciting funding.  A big reason why we were able to hit our budget, and then some, was because of his tireless efforts.  We applaud the constant energy and passion he brought to the team and to the event.

Ganishka Bakshi, Sponsorship Liaison:

Ganishka is a rising star of our sponsorship team.  Not long after she joined the team, she netted a title sponsor (Interac).  She's also one of the most diligent and reliable people around - we've borrowed her skills ordering food (she got us most of our caterers as well).  She's an absolute pleasure to work with and a big reason for our successes this year.

Frank Lai, Sponsorship Liaison:

Frank is another member of our sponsorship team.  He’s extremely dedicated and thorough with his responsibilities.  He spent a lot of time answering questions and helping our sponsors over email and phone calls.  His commitment to providing the best experience to sponsors at UofTHacks was also a big reason why our sponsors left happy the event happy.

Shweta Mogalapalli, Logistics:

Apart from being an exec at UofTHacks, Shweta is also a Microsoft student ambassador.  She knows hackathons like the back of her hand, having been to plenty of them as a Microsoft representative.  Shweta was part of the logistic team as a volunteer coordinator, and pulled long hours making the planning portion of the event went really smoothly.  She thinks of everything and frequently catches the things that other team members may have forgotten.

Lucy Lu, Logistics:

This is also Lucy’s second year working as an exec with UofTHacks.  As a veteran of the logistics team, Lucy has been indispensable in planning and overseeing the variety of fun events we had at UofTHacks.  Lucy’s a rare combination of responsible and fun - a perfect fit for our logistics team, and we’re super thankful at all her efforts to provide an awesome experience for our hackers.