ProfHacks Recap

Rowan University held its inaugural hackathon, ProfHacks, the weekend of Saturday March 12th and Sunday March 13th. A hackathon is a 24-hour competition during which students come together to form teams, build technical projects and compete for prizes. Over one hundred high school and college students competed in ProfHacks and over $3,500 in prizes were awarded for various challenges in three different categories. The event’s theme was physical web: consisting of the categories of sensor journalism, quantified self, and smart buildings. The first place team, consisting of two freshmen engineering students from Penn State, built Code Cubes: a capacitance sensing box that allows you to control the computer cursor by moving your hand in the box. This method of input was then interfaced with a program which visually represented segments of logic and code as 3-D blocks. The user would use the box to control the cursor to make connections between the code blocks to write a program. The team used an Arduino Nano ($5) to implement the capacitance sensing box and stated that the total cost was less than $10. More about the projects submitted can be found at our project site on DevPost.

All participants received a wristband which they could use in their projects. A phone app could scan the wristband and create a live anonymous data set of participant activities.

Over a hundred people attended and had a great time. One of the highlights of the event was when the IEEE chair, Jake Culleny, was pied in the face on his birthday.

There are news articles about our event on Technically Philly, the Courier Post,, and Rowan’s own The Whit. Highlighted photos are below.

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