GSU Students Hack the Competition at Atlanta Hackathons

Students from Georgia State University’s PantherHackers student organization took home significant investments and prizes, totaling over $100,000, as well as the excitement of knowing their computing knowledge has real applications for solving problems, when they recently participated in two local hackathons.

PantherHackers Take Home Investments and Prizes at HackATL


PantherHackers from the three teams that participated in HackATL.

Three teams from the PantherHackers student organization participated in the third year of what is the South’s largest hackathon. One team of students, who created a nutrition-related application, took home multiple prizes, including:

  • a third place win in the overall competition (which netted the team a $3,000 cash prize)
  • the Seraph Group prize (which includes an angel investment of up to $100,000 in their idea)
  • and inclusion in the Best Microsoft Hacks category (which included $50 in Microsoft gift certificates)

The multi-prize winning app, Nutri, makes tracking your daily nutritional intake as easy as taking a picture of the food you eat, and was created by Computer Science majors Macdonny Saintil, Graeme Lowe, Yeejkoob Thao, and Caleb Lewis.

Another team of students created Text2Do, which also placed in the Best Microsoft Hacks category, winning the team $50 in Microsoft gift certificates. The Text2Do application, created by Computer Science majors Kenneth Hyman and Ahmed Reshit, Actuary Science major Wayne Xu, and Computer Information Systems major Jordan Li, is a mobile service that lets users manage their calendar via text messages.

A third team of Hackers created Whisk, which helps users keep track of what is in their pantry and recommends delicious meals that can be prepared with the current ingredients. The development team included Computer Science majors Luis Ferrer Labarca, Riyan Imam, and Jared Archie, as well as Philosophy major Ayesha Kiak.

GSU Students Win at AT&T Mobile App Hackathon

Georgia State University students Caleb Lewis , Luis Ferrer-Labarca, Ahmed Reshit, Zachary Blomquist and Alexendar Bloomquist (not pictured) are discovering how rewarding it can be to apply the knowledge they learn at school to solving real-world problems.

Five Georgia State students showed that they can “hack it” with the best of them at this year’s AT&T Mobile App Hackathon.  The winning hack team, Zach Bloomquist, Alexander Claussen, Luis Ferrer Labarca, Caleb Lewis and Ahmed Rashid, impressed judges as they took home a first place finish in the Best Use of Harman APIs, one of six categories at the AT&T Mobile App Hackathon competition.

The team worked quickly across two days to develop an app, called the Room, that crowd sources the role of DJ to users who join a virtual space in order to vote on what song to play next at an in-person gathering. The team competed against mobile developers for prizes across different categories and took home a first place finish in the Best Use of Harman APIs category.

Winning ideas were judged on how well they were articulated, the originality of the idea and how creatively they were implemented. Representatives from Harmon Kardon, a home and car audio equipment manufacturer, were excited by the students’ work and recently met with the team to plan completion of the app this year.

More on PantherHackers

The PantherHackers student organization was formed to encourage entrepreneurship by helping students share knowledge and develop professional and technical skills that will help them stand out as they apply their university degree to solving real-world problems. The organization has had members enter and win previous hacking competitions, including AT&T’s Mobile App Hackathon, and is working with the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization to help sponsor a hackathon for GSU students, CEO Hacks – Hack the School – at Georgia State on October 24 and 25. The group, whose slogan is Where Innovation Meets Coding & Ideas Come To Life, welcomes GSU students from all majors to regular meetings.