To attend the opening ceremony of this year’s Hack@Brown and then sit in the same Salomon auditorium approximately 30 hours later for the presentation of finalists, closing remarks, and rewarding of prizes is a strange experience, mainly because of how paradoxically similar and different the ceremonies are to one another.
Different in that everyone there seems a little more tired than before, measurably more experienced than before, and substantially closer to those around them than before. Similar in that Katy Perry is once again blaring from the speakers (more than likely the first time “California Girls” has ever echoed through that hall). Not the most CS-oriented artist in the world–Kraftwerk might be a little more appropriate–but catchy nonetheless. More importantly, similar in that the sense of tired satisfaction filling the audience is a weird kind of twin to the overflowing energy and enthusiasm of the opening ceremony.
Hack@Brown, a nearly day-and-a-half long whirlwind of creativity, coding, and camaraderie, was kicked off on Saturday, February 7th with remarks by Paul Zuchowski ’87, chief engineer at Oracle. While at Brown, Zuchowski, who also helped found successful startups HeartLab and Greenbytes, majored in CS and music.