MangoHacks: Building code for fun can lead to students landing jobs

From improving your rehab to rehabbing your nightlife – these are just some of the problems that about 550 students tried to solve at the recent MangoHacks hosted at FIU’s School of Computing & Information Sciences‘ PG6 Tech Station.

Participants in FIU’s largest student-organized and Major League Hacking (MLH)-sanctioned event spent 36 hours building and demonstrating software and hardware projects that solve a range of problems.

Some problems were important, and some were just for fun. Everyone – about a third of attendees from other Florida and out-of-state universities – contributed, shared, learned and left with serious sleep deprivation. There’s no time for sleep when attending round-the-clock workshops, team-building games, and other fun activities to blow off steam.

It was in this sleep-deprived chaos that the first place winners, a group of freshmen from Florida Institute of Technology, came up with their winning submission – Drug Dealer, a facial recognition authentication system for dispensing medication to patients at their home. The project so impressed the judges that they called it a “kill shot,” demonstrating the resourcefulness of building a working proof-of-concept with hardware sensors, imagery, real-time data analysis and backend development.

The second place winners from FIU were equally resourceful. Leveraging personal experiences in PTSD, the team devised a natural language processing tool to analyze your Facebook messages for signs of PTSD triggers.

“I am very proud and thankful of everyone associated with MangoHacks who made this an enjoyable experience for students attending from around the state and nation,” said Angelo Saraceno a computer science student and MangoHacks co-director. “I am also very excited about providing an on-ramp for first-time students so that they can be introduced to the tech industry.”

 

 

Learn more about the Experience Organizing MangoHacks 18′

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