PennApps 2015

PennApps 2015

Last weekend, I attended PennApps (Winter 2015). It is a student-run hackathon held at the University of Pennsylvania that happens twice a year. There were over 1000 hackers burning through 36 hours of sleepless nights, working in teams to solve real-world problems.

PennApps is the premiere student-run college hackathon and is held at the University of Pennsylvania. Over a thousand student programmers from all over the world converge on Philadelphia twice a year for a weekend of creating and learning. Hackathons are about coding together to solve real-world problems and PennApps has been home to some of the best projects ever seen at hackathons. Students work in teams of up to four people for thirty-six hours to create a web, mobile, wearable or hardware project, and show if off at the final expo, which is open to the public.
- PennApps

PennApps 2015 PennApps 2015 SEPTA Train from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to University City Stop

PennApps 2015 Penn Medicine

PennApps 2015 Penn Engineering Quad

Getting to the University of Pennsylvania was really easy. There’s a train line ($8/ticket) that runs from the airport and drops you off right in Penn’s campus area. From the train station, it’s just a couple of blocks walk to the venue. (I’d probably recommend the organizers to put signs in the future so that people like me whose phone died could find the place much easier.)

PennApps 2015 Registration

PennApps 2015 PennApps 2015 PennApps 2015 Irvine Hall

My friends and I were fascinated at the architecture of Irvine Hall. It looked like an old church retrofitted to become a theater of some sort.

PennApps 2015 PennApps 2015 PennApps 2015 Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony went well, although there were some things that could have been better.

PennApps 2015 At our hacking station with this little penguin

PennApps 2015 PennApps 2015 PennApps 2015 Penn Campus

Penn’s campus is absolutely astonishing. There’s a lot of old buildings that are well preserved. There are more places to go to (restaurants, bars, etc.) in here than the twin-cities of Urbana-Champaign.

PennApps 2015 Long lines for food

PennApps 2015 PennApps 2015 Laser cutting, and 3D printing stations

The people in the hardware section were extremely helpful. They even volunteered to tweak and stabilize our 3D models.

PennApps 2015 PennApps 2015 PennApps 2015 PennApps 2015 Working on our hardware hack

PennApps 2015 Finished product

PennApps 2015 PennApps 2015 PennApps 2015 PennApps 2015 PennApps 2015 Presentation at the expo

My team and I (Alex Choi, Vignesh Vishwanathan, and I) worked on a hardware hack. It was my first hardware project at a hackathon. Our project is called Now. It is a weather notification system that indicates the relative conditions based on temperature, wind chill and humidity data aggregation.

Here’s a video of our project (Made within the last 10 minutes before the deadline. So clutch.)

PennApps 2015 PennApps 2015 Downtown Philly Skyline

PennApps 2015

Overall, I think PennApps Winter 2015 was a success. I had so much fun tinkering with things and collaborating with extremely smart and talented people. I hope to do this again next season!