Hack University Events Inspire Student Innovation in India

Sep 13, 2013

big_1378764386We wrapped a successful campus hack season in India with three back-to-back Hack University events at India’s top tech colleges this past month, including IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi and IIT Kanpur. Yahoo Hack University events are extremely popular at these tech campuses, and this season the energy and excitement were off the charts -- over 730 students participated and demoed 115 hack prototypes across all three Hack Universities! With 590 registrations, 293 hackers and 51 Demos, Hack University Kanpur broke all records and became the largest university hack event ever hosted by Yahoo, globally. Our talented Yahoos, including leaders, product managers and engineers from our Bangalore office, volunteered their time to guide the students through the entire Hack University cycle – from understanding complex web problems to envisioning a prototype and developing an actual hack. The awesome mentoring by Yahoos prompted students to make problem-solving breakthroughs with science. Most of the hack prototypes developed by these students leveraged solutions for various Yahoo properties like Answers, News and Travel in areas such as entity extraction, sentiment analysis, personalization, review mining, content quality, text summarization and natural language processing. The grand prize winner at IIT Delhi was Polarizer—a sentiment analyzer for news sites and debating forums that classifies comments as pros or cons and ranks them based on relevance. Another prototype, Yahoo Voices Bias Classifier from IIT Kanpur, scores search results from Yahoo Voices according to their information bias and sentiment. The results give the user a complete picture of the topic searched. IIT Bombay’s Time Glider is a media app that allows users to enter search terms and receive an interactive timeline of related news articles. Sports fans are going to love the Highlights Autogen from IIT Kanpur, which collates the exciting moments of a match by processing the audio signal based on the excitement levels of the audience and commentators. As part of Yahoo’s Academic Relations (AR) program, Hack U serves to attract top talent while fostering creativity. “We are breeding a culture of innovation internally and externally. Hack U helps us identify and build relationships with top universities – outcomes of which have been developing cutting-edge technology and competency development,” says Muthusamy Chelliah, head of academic relations at Yahoo Labs in India. These Hack Univeristy events have helped us innovate with impressive students across India! It was a blast, and we look forward to meeting more talented developers at the next Hack U.

Hack U Delhi 2013