September 27, 2023
September 27, 2023

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Annual HackYU Builds Student-Driven Tech Solutions to Modern Problems

YU Hackathon showcases the initiative and creativity of students in a field vital to the 21st-century economy.

(Courtesy of YU) Enthusiasm ran high and ideas flowed freely as more than 40 YU undergrads competed at this year’s eighth annual Hackathon held last month on the Wilf Campus. The much-anticipated event was organized by board members from the student-run HackYU.

Hackathons are time-limited, adrenaline-filled competitions where coders use their skills and imagination to build a software solution to a real-world problem in record time. Thinking outside the box is a given. Teamwork is a must. Endurance is essential.

Cross River provided monetary support to the event for the second year in a row, and Miriam L. Wallach, head of social responsibility at Cross River, was pleased that the company could reprise its role. “Creativity is one of our core values, and we see every day the critical role creative solutions play in expanding financial inclusion and education. This event is a testament to the difference these students can make in the world when inspired by innovation and supported in their work.”

On the last Sunday in April, creativity, collaboration and focus were all on display for eight exhilarating hours as those students, with majors ranging from mathematics and computer science to data analytics, formed seven teams to flex their coding prowess and ready themselves for action.

This year’s hackathoners challenged themselves to design an innovative app, platform, device or tool that helped individuals, communities or the finance industry make better financial decisions or access financial services more effectively.

At the end of a long and caffeine-fueled day, each of the teams presented their efforts before a panel of three judges, all YU alumni working in technology: Orly Schejter, ‘21SB ‘23K, cybersecurity and privacy associate at Grant Thornton; Aviva Shooman ‘20S, data engineer at Avanade; and Ben Zuckier ‘22YC, back-end developer with Enclave.

Claiming first place was the innovative SEC Filing Analyzer. The application automates the detection of anomalies in financial information obtained from companies’ SEC quarterly filings by analyzing data from the SEC EDGAR database, comparing newly filed financial statements with previous ones to identify any unusual fluctuations in significant financial metrics. Contributing to the victory were team members Eliyahu Levy, Oze Botach, Azriel Bachrach, Max Friedman, Jacob Rosinsky, Asher Kirshtein, Natalie Buchbinder and Yaakov Baker.

Second place went to Sam Shulman, Gila Linzer, Temira Koenig, Jennifer Peled and Arley Borenstein for FinConnect, which enhances financial inclusivity and expands access to resources for marginalized communities, including those with diverse abilities.

“I was thrilled to attend this year’s Hackathon,” said Jennifer Peled ‘24S, this year’s chief organizer and second-place winner, “and I was thrilled to be in such great company. Every team had such unique and innovative solutions, bridging our technological backgrounds with the finance industry. And at the end of the day, I know we were all proud of our accomplishments.”

Yeshiva University offers students a rigorous computer science education that readies them for careers in the booming tech field. It is at events like this that they get to put their skills to the test, while having fun and getting creative. YU greatly appreciates the support of Cross River, a leading financial institution based in New Jersey, for helping to make this event a success.

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