PCCC Team Wins Top Honor at HackPrinceton
A sustainability project created by a team of four PCCC students won the title Most Creative Use of Blockchain Technology at HackPrinceton 2023, a major hackathon event offered yearly at Princeton University. Competing against over a dozen other projects in the Sustainability Track of the event, the PCCC team also received a $100 subscription to Verbwire, a New Jersey-based technology company and event sponsor.
Four students, Tyler Van Buren, Nidhi Patel, Daniel Plog, and Swapnil Deb, developed Water Proof, a system for measuring water pollution and storing the results on a blockchain. “The team also created a mock website for searching neighborhoods and offering the ability to sign up for text messages if critical thresholds were met,” explained CIS Professor Jonathan Manczur who, along with Professor John Paul Rodriques, accompanied 17 PCCC students to participate in HackPrinceton from March 31 to April 2.
The PCCC winning team was inspired to develop Water Proof by the environmental disaster that occurred last February in Ohio, when a train carrying toxic chemicals derailed, spilling its contents into the soil, contaminating bodies of water, and creating what scientists predict will be an ecosystem nightmare for years to come.
Hackathons are unique hands-on educational experiences where student hackers gain the opportunity to innovate and create with technology, to attend workshops, learn from guest speakers, and enjoy meeting and learning from other student hackers. At HackPrinceton, students worked in teams on various projects, then presented their project to a group of other attendees and judges. The judges are a mix of Princeton faculty and corporate sponsors.
Another PCCC team – Bryant Polanco and Yehia Elzoridy – focused on using artificial intelligence to rate structural integrity during a potential earthquake. Two other PCCC students, Jeremy Wikow and Miguel Juarez, collaborated with a student from NYU on an educational app.
The trip to Hackathon was organized by PCCC’s Computer and Technology Club – to which Professor Manczur is faculty advisor, and it was sponsored by the STEM department.
“Professor Rodrigues and I are very proud of our students’ accomplishments,” said Professor Manczur. “Their determination and self-motivation led them to explore technology beyond what is taught at PCCC.”
Congratulations to all our PCCC hackers, and especially to the Water Proof team. We celebrate your environmental concern as we approach Earth Day 2023. Well done.