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Hack@CEWIT 2021: Innovating Through the Pandemic

Hack@CEWIT 2021, the 5th annual 43 hour hackathon, was held virtual on February 26-28, 2021 and was run by the Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology (CEWIT) at Stony Brook University, with Major League Hacking (MLH). This year’s theme was Innovating Through the Pandemic and it featured projects on education, working from home, healthcare, and pandemic innovations. Normally the building is filled with over 150 students traveling from all over the country. For the first time, the hackathon was held virtually and attracted students that might not have been able to attend if in person. The topics focused on machine learning, blockchain, IoT and other software based technologies. Sponsoring the hackathon was MLH, Softheon, Zebra Technologies, Qosina, echoAR, and The Codex.

"This year's 5th annual Hack@CEWIT had over 200 registered undergrad and graduate hackers from across the US. And though it was held virtually due to the pandemic, it did not diminish the quality of projects submitted by these bright and motivated students. It's opportunities like this hackathon that builds confidence in their creativity and grows their entrepreneurial spirit. This year's theme,  Innovating Through a Pandemic,  reminds us that though we have sudden and unknown challenges confront us, we can seize the opportunities those challenges create and harvest ideas never before imagined."
Satya Sharma, Executive Director, CEWIT

Instead of the traditional in-person workshops, most workshops were pre-recorded and gave students the ability to watch when convenient for them during the weekend. Workshops were run by WiCS (Women in Computer Science), Stony Brook Developer Student Club, Stony Brook Game Developers Club, Stony Brook University’s Graduate Program, Softheon, and echoAR. Virtual games were also held to keep students engaged and interacting with each other. These games were run by MLH, WiCS, and the Stony Brook Computing Society (SBCS). 

“My team and I came in at knowing almost nothing about building a chrome extension but we came out winning a prize for best education hack and having learned very much!” Farmingdale University Student

Sponsors and mentors were available throughout the whole weekend and were available to assist students with issues that may have occurred during project creation. Mentors were from Zebra Technologies, MLH, Stony Brook University alumni, IPVideo, echoAR, and CEWIT.

Over 5K in CEWIT prizes were up for grabs along with company sponsored prizes. There were 15 projects submitted and the judges were impressed with the caliber of projects created within the short period of time. “This year is a reminder of why innovation is key to our success and our survival as a region, as a state and as a society,” said Marc Alessi, a judge for the event, CEO of SynchroPET and executive director of Tesla Science Center. “This weekend’s hackathon at Stony Brook University’s CEWIT center is an example of bringing together emerging innovators from very diverse backgrounds for the purpose of celebrating and practicing innovation in its most raw form. This is essential to foster an environment of innovation.”

Congratulations to the Hack@CEWIT 2021 prize winners!

Best In Show Undergraduate: DarkWebSherlock

Best in Show Graduate: R-AGI

Best Dressed/Ease of Use: CoffeeChat

Most Creative: AirDraw

Best Pandemic Innovation: Vaccine-Finder

Best Online Education Hack: Distract Block

Best Home Office Hack: Pc Optimizer Pro

Best Health Care Innovation: R-AGI

Softheon’s Pick: Most Interesting Use of Data: R-AGI

Softheon’s Pick: Best Healthcare Security Hack: Vaxchain

MLH’s Pick: Best Domain Registered with InternZip

MLH’s Pick: Best Use of Google Cloud: Metasort

Click Here to view all of the projects submitted. 


Thank you to all of the sponsors, judges, mentors, staff, and hackers for participating in this event. We hope to see you all next year at Hack@CEWIT 2022, taking place February 18-20, 2022!