Students Hack Their Way to Making a Difference

Friday, April 27, 2018 - 9:00am

Students groups at The University of Texas at Austin hosted the first annual Hack for Good competition on Saturday, April 21 in the Engineering Education and Research Center on campus. Hack for Good is a 12-hour cross-disciplinary competition that was open to all UT students, no matter their major.

The competition was organized and hosted by the UT Student Engineering Council, Coders Across Disciplines, and the UT Student Government with support from the Cockrell School of Engineering, Apple, Inc, Accenture PLC, EDG Resources, and GM.

“The Academic Affairs committee within the Student Engineering Council identified a demand for an engineering-focused hackathon. By partnering with Coders Across Disciplines and Student Government, we pooled together resources to make the event a success,” said Rahul Gupta, second-year student majoring in Electrical Engineering, Economics, and Government, and member of the Student Engineering Council.

Hack for Good was created with the goal of getting students from multiple disciplines together to use computer science to make a difference in the nonprofit space. The groups wanted to bring together students who were looking to solve the world's problems or beginners who want to learn.

“Our target audience was students who would not typically participate in a hackathon. We strived to make the event inviting for students who have never coded before,” said Gupta.

Students from electrical engineering, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, business, computer science and other programs came together to compete. In addition, companies like Apple led workshops, and members gave talks on subjects like "Introductory Python," "Version Control with Git," and "Databases with SQL."

Gupta added that “Once we graduate, we will have to work with people of all backgrounds, and I believe cross-disciplinary events like Hack for Good offer an opportunity to experience that community. We learn from each others' experiences and knowledge. ”

First, second, and third place prizes were awarded by a culmination of the judges' scores.


1st Place: Love-a-Bull App
Jonathan Cope, Manuel Avalos, Ran Trakhtengerts, Zhaofeng Liang, Megan Lamonica

2nd Place: SEAL Scheduling Portal
Allie Runas, Charlie Henry, Mahir Karim, Kathleen Doviken

3rd Place: ATXvol
Vidita Dixit, Bhaargavi Ashok, Yash Bora

Coders Across Disciplines is a multi-disciplinary organization which seeks to teach and promote programming to all students on campus.

Student Engineering Council is an organization representing the Cockrell School of Engineering student body on campus and in the community. 

UT Student Government aims to “earnestly represent the interests of students, to preserve and protect the traditions and legends of the University, and to support students and student organizations in their academic and community endeavors.”

Back Row (l-r)
Victor Fu, Carl Karouta, Kishan Ramachandran, Rahul Gupta, Morgan Chen
Front Row –(l-r)
Isaac Akintitan, Cynthia Lin, Maya Josiam, Lelia Ally, Archik Raje