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FRHSD Third Annual HackFRee Hackathon a Success

On Saturday, January 19th, students from across the Freehold Regional High School District tested their computer programming skills at the district’s third annual Hackathon held at Manalapan High School. The district’s event, HackFRee, is a 24-hour hackathon where teams of students work towards creating a project using programming or electronics. Hackathons are an interactive way to increase a student’s coding knowledge. This fantastic event came to fruition thanks to a partnership with Major League Hacking. Sponsors of the hackathon include OceanFirst Bank, iCIMS, stickermule, and USACS. 

For 24-hours, students followed a schedule which included workshops and hands-on demonstrations. This year there were also admissions counselors from New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rutgers University, and Stockton University on hand to speak with interested students. 

At the end of the event, an awards ceremony was held for “Hacks of Distinction” and the OceanFirst Banking Prize. 

The OceanFirst Banking Prize went to InstaBiz, an app that can scan a business card and uses OCR and natural language processing to scrape relevant information and create a contact on your phone. This was created by students Jason Wang, Tarun Prakash, Ryan Puharic, and Sage Fusco. 

This year’s “Hacks of Distinction” included: 

AutoBlock Scheduler created by students Tyler Seliber, Aditya Prasad, Eric Shaker, and Nathaniel Belinkis. This program will take as input the user’s FRHSD Block Schedule, then sort it in their calendar. Upon installation, the program asks the user for the school they attend and their scheduled classes. Then, the app will analyze the district provided calendar to sort the schedule for each particular letter day in the device’s calendar app. This allows quick access to knowing what letter day it is and what class to go to next, as it sends a push notification at the end of each block as to what class is next. It also takes into account partial days and delayed openings. 

Turning Your Frown Upside Down created by students Tarun Pilavulathil, Shaurya Tiwari, and Siddu Kolli. This program uses facial emotion recognition to recommend YouTube videos depending on the user’s mood.

Def Vision created by students Jonathan Riklan, Mateusz Wolak, Alex Harris, and Nick Procaccio. The program recognizes real-world objects and translates object definitions to the user’s primary language. The app can take pictures of an object and search the web and scrape information from various websites about this object. 

A muse in our heads: Brainwaves and direct stimulus created by students Chaitanya Kadimisetty and Jacob Jasser. These students utilized a brainwave sensor to carry out a multitude of tests to help determine how a human brain reacts to things. They exposed a test subject to various forms of visual and physical stimuli in order to determine and make sense of what stimuli triggers what part of the brain, similar to an EEG (Electroencephalography). 

Hear Your Heart created by students Drew Isaacson and Josh Finkelstein. The program allows a user to listen to music that parallels the beat of their heart. They used the FitBit API in order to fetch the heart rate values read in from the watch, and matched the BPM with similar BPMs from well-known songs. This creates an interesting workout experience that encourages people to keep their heart rate up. 

Hands-Free Ultrasonic Sensor for the Blind created by students David Smerina, Harry Allex, Taro Suzuki, and Bill Xu. The program helps the blind navigate through places and can also be used in dark environments. The device beeps when a person is near an object and can direct them away from the object, so they don't walk into it. 

Room Service created by students Max Breslauer-Friedman, Adam Goldstein, Cacey Ostic, and Dylan Johnson. The program is like "Google Maps" but for a building. The application allows the user to construct a digital building in 3D space that represents a real building. Then, users can identify a starting location, and an end location, almost anywhere in the building, and are provided with the shortest route from start to finish. 

ASL To You created by students Snehal Ajakkala, Connor Lum, Noah Lee, and Justin Lin. The program helps a user learn basic ASL through video tutorials.