Innovation rises from collaboration

On August 19-20, Peddie’s Computer Science Club hosted the fourth annual PeddieHacks international competition. Open to high school and college students of varying experience levels, PeddieHacks is an exhilarating 48-hour, student-run, virtual exercise in teamwork as students develop new software projects. This year’s themes: Gaming and Environmental.

The event is the brainchild and legacy of Elizabeth Hu ’21, who began the tradition four years ago at the start of the Covid pandemic. Each year, she returns to judge it.

Planning PeddieHacks begins in earnest during winter term, when the team tackles fundraising, marketing, website updates and logistics. During summer vacation, the executive team and subteams meet to coordinate the event and iron out final details.

Peddie alumni Stanton Wong ’07, Leon Bergen ’05 and Ryan Riegg ’99 offered their time and talent to the event, serving as workshop speakers and explaining “how data and technology are used in the environmental sector, the hot topics of Large Language Models (LLM), ChatGPT-4, gaming and the law,” said faculty advisor Joy Wolfe.

When a few judges canceled prior to this year’s event, the club contacted and secured college students and PeddieHacks alumni Advaith Hari ’22 and Arjun Agrawal ’22, as well as security architect Peter Wolfe, to join the judges’ panel.

“It was a great learning experience,” said PeddieHacker Yang (Philip) Han ’25. “There were many challenges we had to overcome and learn from, especially because this was our first collaborative project in a while.”

To keep each other up-to-date and facilitate efficient troubleshooting, the PeddieHacks team leveraged platforms such as Instagram, Devpost, texting, their website and Discord.

“Using the Discord server PeddieHacks 2023, the team had 24-hour coverage with executive/leadership team member Ryan Rong ’24, who headed the night shift from Asia, and the USA-based Peddie team online during the dayshift,” said Wolfe.

“It was really fun working with my friends throughout the weekend,” said Alvin Kim ’26. “There were many laughs when we were working on our game, and all of us are grateful for the experience.”

Wolfe is immensely proud of the club’s efforts and initiative.

“The team secured $183K in prizes and sponsors and hosted 288 participants from around the world,” she said. “They worked hard, had fun and learned how to manage a large event. This is a spectacular win at all levels.”

Executive/Leadership Team:
Angad Singh ’24, Ryan Rong ’24, Savir Singh ’24

Logistics & Finance/Marketing Team:
Pradyun Bachu ’24 (logistics lead)
Aanya Tolat ’25 (Finance/Marketing Lead)
Ming Wang ’24 (Finance and Marketing Lead)
Kefei Wu ’24, Anthony Felipe Morales ’24, Tiger Li ’24, Kyle Song ’24, Thomas Wen ’24, Suhani Goyal ’26, Carolina Lopez-Watt ’25, Eliza Lamar ’25, Ananya Hari ’25, Alexander Kong ’24, Sean Li ’25, Aakarsh Mamawala ’25, Amanda Harmon ’25

Website Team:
Tomaz Chevres ’24 (webmaster), Edward Eum ’24, Nathan Kim ’25 (artist)