Marathon Day of Hacking at Kean University Spawns Innovation


Union, N.J. - Over 100 college and high school students gathered in Kean University’s North Avenue Academic Building on April 1 and 2 for the third annual HackKean event, a student organized hackathon that produces novel solutions across a diverse array of hardware and software platforms. Prizes are awarded in a variety of categories at HackKean. Kean University student Victor Jacobson of Springfield and Middlesex County College student Ganapati Tirumalareddy were awarded first place, for developing an application of the LeapMotion platform designed to facilitate a multiplayer gaming experience. 

HackKean was organized by Kean computer science students Luigi Vincent of Union, Jonathan Rodriguez of Edison, and Rishbh Rana of Branchburg, with support from Kean professor Austin Huang, Ph.D., and Kean University’s Student Organization. The hackathon was co-sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), with support from Major League Hacking (MLH) and Viacom. 

HackKean serves as a way for undergraduate students at Kean and neighboring universities to meet sponsoring companies, network among themselves and build something they can be proud of,” said Vincent. “It is a 24-hour invention marathon, open to all majors, where teams of one to four people plan, design, and program an application that solves a problem, simplifies an existing process, or employs new technologies and ideas in unprecedented fashion.”

Over 20 unique software and hardware projects were developed at HackKean this year, including gaming deliverables and virtual reality applications. HackKean also featured a variety of workshops and lectures exploring game development, web applications and computer security.

Students from Kean University, Montclair State, Rutgers, Rowan, Princeton, NJIT, Rowan, NYU, Drexel, the University of Maryland, Seton Hall, Carnegie Mellon, Northeastern University and the University of Pennsylvania competed alongside students from local high schools, including Elizabeth High School, Cranford High School and Roselle Park High School, at the event.


Founded in 1855, Kean University has become one of the largest metropolitan institutions of higher education in the region, with a richly diverse student, faculty and staff population. Kean continues to play a key role in the training of teachers and is a hub of educational, technological and cultural enrichment serving nearly 15,000 students. The University’s five undergraduate colleges offer more than 50 undergraduate degrees over a full range of academic subjects. The Nathan Weiss Graduate College offers four doctoral degree programs and more than 60 options for graduate study leading to master’s degrees, professional diplomas or certifications. With campuses in Union and Toms River, New Jersey, and Wenzhou, China, Kean University furthers its mission by providing an affordable and accessible world-class education.  Visit

Photo caption: Over 100 college and high school students gathered in Kean University’s North Avenue Academic Building on April 1 and 2 for the third annual HackKean event.  


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Danielle Ford 


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