Wise Fools: HackPrinceton

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Hello all! I’m Christy Le, an enthusiastic but slightly sarcastic goofball who will be your second-year blogger for Wise Fools. Follow me on my tumultuous journey as I awkwardly stumble through my Sophomore year and courageously battle the vicious beast best known as “the Sophomore Slump.”

Hey guys!

First, let me start of by sending my apologies for the unexpected hiatus of Wise Fools. This semester has been an absolute whirlwind of stress, work, and the struggles of trying to balance extra-curriculars with academics and a healthy social life.

This weekend, I was at a hackathon at Princeton University, cleverly named HackPrinceton. Now, if you guys know me, you know that I’m not a computer science person AT ALL. I mean, I took Intro to Computer Science for a week in high school before switching to a study hall during my Senior spring if that counts for anything? My extensive experience with computer science was furthered once I came to Brown because when I was an engineering concentrator (those were the saddest of days), I had to work with Matlab to work out a few complicated homework problems. But yeah, other than those incredibly short encounters with computer science, I’ve got nothing. It’s pretty safe to say that I’m pretty incompetent when it comes to coding anything.

So why did I go to a hackathon if I’m so useless when it comes to computer science? FOR ALL THE FREE STUFF. JUST KIDDING, but not really…. Well, that’s only half the reason. I mean, I did get an obscene amount of free t-shirts, company stickers, headphones, a water bottle, and even a portable phone charger! But I also went because a lot of my friends are CS majors (Honestly, I feel like one out of every four people you meet at Brown is doing CS). But my friend group does consist of a lot of CS concentrators whom are incredibly brilliant and talented at what they do, and I kinda wanted to see them in their natural habitat of a hackathon. As stated before, my knowledge of computer science is incredibly limited, and it is a pretty exciting field just because it is becoming much more relevant as technology advances. I figured it would be fun to see what hackathons are like and try to understand why anyone would enjoy a field of study where they have to spend hours looking at a computer screen and typing what seems to be nonsensical lines of code.

So how was it for a non-concentrator at a hackathon? I personally had a blast. Aside from all the free things that I got, I also learned so much about a field that I originally wrote off as incredibly boring. I saw my friends at work as they coded to compete in the various events, and I met a ton of new people from a bunch of different schools. There were actually a lot of really innovative/creative designs/programs that people came up with at the hackathon, and it was really inspiring to see people who are around my age doing such cool things. I also got to meet up with my friends from Princeton, eat in their luxurious dining halls, and got a delightful tour of their beautiful campus.

All in all, it was a productive weekend, and it was really nice to get out of Providence for a weekend. Although, this was the first weekend of nice weather in the Northeast and hopefully a brilliant preview of the spring weather that is to come.

One last note, this weekend is Spring Weekend, and I’m incredibly excited for Pusha T and Waka Flocka to come! There’s this one band called “Modest Mouse” that everyone’s excited for, but like whatever. (Jk, I love them too). I will most likely write next week’s post on my experience with Spring Weekend as a sophomore and keep you guys posted.

As always, thank you so much for reading!

If you have any comments, questions, concerns, or suggestions, feel free to email me at christy_le@brown.edu! Thanks so much for reading and have a splendid day!

Until next week,

Christy

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