Wow, what a fantastic weekend in New Brunswick, NJ for HackRU. HackRU is a student-run hackathon at Rutgers University. This semester’s hackathon drew over 250 students, who hacked 24 hours straight to build an innovative demo.
Context.IO was there to provide a prize and to mentor the students along with a number of our API peers. Sendgrid, Twilio, Rdio, Amazon, Yahoo, and Twitch (among others) were also sponsors.
HackRU was the last of the official 5 collegiate hackathons to participate in Major League Hacking. MLH is an organization to help promote and be an advocate for collegiate hackathons by awarding points for attendance and winning hacks.
There were a number of fantastic hacks to come out of HackRU. Here’s a few that used Context.IO:
Quiq is a cool hack that was designed for the purpose of rapidly answering similar emails. The students initially thought about Quiq as a tool that professors would use. Professors routinely get asked the same questions very frequently. Quiq would provide a graphical interface to the inbox with pre-canned responses to facilitate rapid and timely email responses.
Great job, team Quiq, for attacking a very real and relevant problem!
On The House (Free Food!)
On The House dives into email data and mines event invitations and uPenn mailing lists for events that serve free food. College students are hungry and On The House aims to give a fast and easy way to track those event invitations outside of email.
On The House also used AlchemyAPI, a natural language processing API, to process the email bodies.
Mailcraft won the Context.IO prize for best hack! They made an auto-generated Minecraft level from email data! Each dungeon hallway was an email thread, and rooms in that hallway were emails. Team Mailcraft will enjoy $200 bucks in Amazon gift certificates for their creative efforts. They even released the source code!! (which is brave, considering that hackathon code is written quickly, with functionality in mind, rather than ease-of-use and sharing!)
Overall, it was an excellent weekend for learning and coding. We were thrilled to be a part of it!