Wisconsin Hackathon 2010

Our second Camp Hackathon was at the University of Wisconsin. Amidst all the wonderful cheese and midwest manners, we found a bunch of great hackers. This time, it was a 12 hour hackathon so every single one of the Facebook engineers stayed up the whole time! No cheating and swapping out for a little shut-eye. Even the videographer from the student paper stayed the whole time, filming away for a wonderful front-page article they did on our little Hackathon.

Facebook Balls

Best Product Idea - REX

This won the “If you want to drop out of school – not that we recommend that at all – this could work” category. It recommends music based on what your social network is listening to.

Best Product Idea

Best Use of the Keyboard - NewsFeed Navigation

A greasemonkey script that elegantly lets you skim around your News Feed, like, comment, and then keep browsing, all without a mouse.

Best Use of the Keyboard

Best Totally Crazy Hack - Face Battle

A Java app, that takes a photo of your face, converts it to map tiles (desert, grassland, water, etc) and then plays a tank battle across your face.

We didn’t get a screenshot, so here is an action shot of his hacking setup.

Best Totally Crazy Hack

Best Non-Crazy Solo Hack - Track your IMDb 250

This web application allows you to manage and watch all the top 250 movies on the IMDb 250 list. This list represents the best movies made in the last 100 years and is a great start for movie enthusiasts and movie buffs like me. This app crawls through IMDb, fetches the list and other metadata, and allows the user to automatically add movies to their Netflix disc queue. This feature was implemented using Netflix RESTful API.

Best Non-Crazy Solo Hack

Most Practical - Classmate Finder

A Facebook app that allows users to connect with their classmates in Facebook. The app requires the user to upload their class schedule and will then present the user with a list of facebook users for each of their classes.

Most Practical

Technically Hardest Problem - Video Face Tracking

Instead of tagging people in pictures, why can’t you tag them in segments of images? This hack does facial detection in various segments and then prompts you tag your friends in every part of the movie. It was a little rough around the edges (as all hacks should be), but has promise.

Technically Hardest Problem

Best Mashup - Hola Mundo

It’s a map-based application that mashes Google Maps API, Google’s Translate API, Flickr API, and Yahoo News’ API to create a friendly postcard.

Best Mashup

First Prize - Magic Grade Ball

UW-Madison publishes the summary statistics of grades for every class. This hack parses in that data, and if you put in your previous grades, it can predict your future grade. I can’t wait to see if it works for these students :)

First Prize

Grand Prize - SoundStroke

A program that lets you draw on a canvas and have sound produced as you draw. The sounds you get are based on the shape of the strokes you drew, and the different colors are mixed into a “sound loop”. A drum machine cross with MSPaint.

Grand Prize


Thank you to all of our amazing engineers Tony Kamenick, Venkat Venkataramani, Arun Vijayvergiya, and awesome recruiter Marcia Velencia.

Keep Hacking!
Paul Tarjan

Posted on 28 September 2010 by Paul Tarjan

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