Organizer Spotlight: Luci Corteggiano

Our final organizer spotlight is about Luci! Luci is a fourth year at Northeastern studying compute00100dPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20180528121310741_COVERr science with minors in art and animation. Though Luci was not a participant in HackBeanpot in the past, she is now an organizer on our web team.

Luci initially learned about HackBeanpot through her roommate, an alumni of HackBeanpot’s core team.

“[My roommate] was really into HackBeanpot and it made her really excited, so when the opportunity came up to interview for that position, I said that looks cool, I want to do that. It was a fun group of people working on something that I feel very strongly about, that being bringing people into computer science and creating things.”

As an organizer, Luci values HackBeanpot’s focus on diversity, bringing people of different backgrounds together.

“I think the diversity we have is the most important part of HackBeanpot. Just the fact that we encourage different majors and different people from all areas of life to come collaborate on projects together is valuable. In organizing, I’ve learned to work across all the teams to get things done and how important collaboration is between these seemingly different groups of people are to get HackBeanpot together.”

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Past Attendee Spotlight: Shane Timmerman

profileMeet Shane Timmerman! He is a rising sophomore studying Computer Science and Biology at Northeastern University.

“I have friends who had done HackBeanpot in the past and enjoyed it, and friends who were volunteering there. I knew HackBeanpot was this giant hackathon that had this fantastic food and people seemed to have a lot of fun at, so I figured why not, it’d be cool!”

Since Shane arrived late on the second day, he decided he wanted to do a project by himself. Using Python and the Kivy framework, Shane created a desktop application that was similar to Spotify Genius on the mobile app. The application highlights album art and the song’s lyrics, to make for a more exciting experience when listening to Spotify on your desktop.


I had done a little bit of Python in high school and was just starting a co-op in python, but I’d never use the Kivy framework or the spotify API before, so I had to learn all of that. I ended up coming in a little bit late the second day, so I didn’t want to join a group and then not be there for most of it, so I did all of it – front end, back end, everything.”

Even though he was working by himself, Shane coded alongside his other friends who were at HackBeanpot. His favorite part of HackBeanpot was the people there – from the people he was working alongside with to the staff helping run HackBeanpot.

“There was definitely a lot of support and direction, both with the staff and mentors from actual companies. If you wanted to do something and didn’t know how to do it, there was definitely people you could talk to that would help you learn how. HackBeanpot had a lot of people just giving talks about things in computer science that people may want to learn, and I feel like that was really cool because it was so easy to learn and pick up new things.”

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Organizer Spotlight: Caitlin Wang


Our organizer spotlight this week is Caitlin Wang! Caitlin is a third year at Northeastern University studying Computer Science with a minor in Interaction Design. She was a participant in last year’s event and is now an organizer on the design team.

Caitlin’s team at our 2018 event created a website that generates Instagram captions for uploaded images based on the picture’s content. The project won two awards: PowerAdvocate’s Most Useful for the Everyday and Rough Draft Venture’s Most Entrepre

neurial Hack! On the experience of the hackathon, Caitlin says:

“The best part was everything that was happening along with just building the project. You could choose to hang out in the kitchen area and eat snacks or go to some of the events happening throughout the day. There was so much happening that you could take a break from coding and hang out with people.”

As far as organizing goes, Caitlin hopes to bring a spirit of inclusivity to the event. In her own words:

“In terms of elements to bring to HackBeanpot, I think a big one is inclusivity. To the team that would mean making sure our team is inclusive of everyone’s opinions and perspectives… to the event I think diversity is important for encouraging people who don’t necessarily see themselves at a hackathon to participate and try something new.”

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Past Attendee Spotlight: Olivia Petrillo

unnamedMeet Olivia Petrillo! She is a rising sophomore studying Computer Science and Biology at Northeastern University. Olivia was a first time hacker who attended HackBeanpot 2018.

“I definitely went in really intimidated and nervous because I didn’t have any friends going. I also didn’t really feel at the same level as people who had been coding for a long time. I went in really scared, but while being there it was actually a really fun and enjoyable learning experience!”

At Hackbeanpot, Olivia met a group of freshman girls who also go to Northeastern. Olivia was on the same team as Kelsey Esposito, a past attendee previously featured on our blog.  Together, their team made Zodihacks, a website that will guess your zodiac sign based on the text you write about how you felt about your day. Their project used an Indico API that takes text and associates it with a Myers-Briggs type, which they used to tell the person’s zodiac sign.


“We all had similar backgrounds from the classes we had taken first semester and second semester. We figured out what other skills and languages we knew and then we kind of just divided it from there and were all trying to learn and figure it out together as we went.”


“We’d used Python and Flask for the main part of the API, and I was working along with another girl to get the API setup and working the way we wanted to. I worked on a lot of that stuff because none of us had really known Python, so it took awhile to set up and get the Flask part working as well. I also learned a lot more Python and Flask which was interesting because I had never really worked with that before. I also learned a lot of team-building skills throughout working with a new group, working under pressure in a timed setting for a hackathon.”

Olivia’s favorite parts of HackBeanpot were the fun events that helped people relax and getting to meet everyone on her team.

“My favorite part was meeting a group of people in the same position as me and becoming friends and learning so much that way. It’s cheesy ,but it’s true.”

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Organizer Spotlight: Warren Partridge

Our organizer spotlight this week is about Warren Partridge! Warren is a rising junior studying computer science at Boston University. Warren 28277039_1442363812541450_3563106908549040052_nwas a participant in our 2017 and 2018 events and became an organizer this year.

As a hacker, Warren appreciated the unique setup of HackBeanpot as compared to the many other hackathons he had participated in (around 20!).

“HackBeanpot was a really interesting experience that I hadn’t had at hackathons before because there were no team limits. About 10-12 of us just decided to form a super huge BU team and take over an office space. Our project used Indico’s emotion analysis API; it analyzed emotion in tweets over time. People at HackBeanpot were very friendly and I really liked that. Everyone was just really supportive in general, they were really jazzed about what they were doing.”

Warren is a part of the design team on HackBeanpot’s core. He was interested in helping to organize the event based on HackBeanpot’s independence as a hackathon.

I thought it was really cool that HackBeanpot was basically running independent of any school. I’ve never been to a hackathon that is its own separate entity, and I thought that there was so much potential for growth that other hackathons don’t have. It was something I really want to be involved in.”

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Past Attendee Spotlight: Brandon Yip

IMG_6127.JPGMeet Brandon Yip! He just graduated from Northeastern University as a Nursing major. Coming to HackBeanpot he had never written any code, but he wanted to try out something new his senior year and push himself out of his comfort zone.

“A lot of my friends had done HackBeanpot last year. I was going into my senior year and I kind of wanted to just try something new- try to push myself to be uncomfortable in that sense. HackBeanpot was the perfect event to do that because I knew people there, but I had zero coding background. And that was kind of the reason why because I knew that if I had gone I would be uncomfortable going, but that would be a good thing.”

Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 9.56.49 PMAt HackBeanpot, Brandon and his team worked on a project called, which is a caption generator that uses Google Cloud Vision API to analyze a user’s uploaded photo and produce a caption relevant to that photo. During the uploading process,  it produces a gif that’s associated with the photo that’s being uploaded. Once the caption is produced, you can copy and paste that caption and upload it to Instagram or Twitter, or refresh to create a new caption.  Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 10.13.53 PM

“I lead a 20-30 min brainstorming session for us to come with this idea. There was a couple of us at the start, and I told them “let’s spend 5 minutes and come up with as many ideas as possible, no matter how silly they are. Just come up with as many ideas of things you’re really interested in.” From there, what we filtered out and narrowed down our ideas. We narrowed it down from 50 to 5 ideas, this instagram caption generator being one of them. Then as a team we just debated the viability of the project and what it would take for us to produce it. When making our project, one of the biggest things we were trying to determine was would we have fun making this? Is this something that we genuinely love? We wanted to create something that was unique and that people would enjoy, including us.”   

Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 10.14.24 PM

At HackBeanpot, Brandon got to learn Python and help his team come up with big-picture ideas. One of Brandon’s favorite parts of HackBeanpot was getting to spend the weekend with friends he knew from Northeastern.

“My favorite part of HBP was just being with my friends for 48 hours. I loved being being in a supportive environment where I could know absolutely nothing and still be able to come out and feel like: okay I learned something unique from this experience, I was able to help a team and provide feedback, and I was able to be with my friends for 48 hours. I can’t really complain.”


Organizer Spotlight: Rucha Khanolkar

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetThis week’s spotlight goes out to one of our organizers, Rucha Khanolkar! She is a rising third year at Northeastern studying Computer Science and Interaction Design. Rucha participated in our 2017 event and joined the core team in March 2018.

As a hacker, Rucha worked on a project called CourseOn that helps people schedule their classes for their entire college career.

I think the most intimidating part for me if I’m going to a hackathon is if I’m going without friends. The process for finding a group at HackBeanpot was really fun and welcoming, so I just talked with a couple people and joined the group that had the idea for this project. The mentors that came from different companies were really, really helpful. Even though we didn’t finish the project, I think I got a real introduction into building a website, and the mentors were the main reason we were able to do that.”

Rucha is an organizer on HackBeanpot’s sponsorship team. She values most the friendliness and positivity of the team.

“It’s most important for HackBeanpot’s team to be welcoming and open-minded. A lot of work goes into the event that I didn’t know about when I attended, and it’s good to have a small group of people to work on all this together. It’s really important to be able to reflect ideas off each other.”

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