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HackTCNJ 2019 News Roundup

Congratulations to the participants of HackTCNJ 2019!   

This year’s event was hosted by TCNJ’s chapter of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), in partnership with Major League Hacking (MLH).  HackTCNJ’s 200-plus participants gathered from high schools and colleges in the tri-state area over the February 23-24 weekend.   Teams of participants hunkered down in the Education Building and worked on their projects over the 24-hour period.  In between long stretches of hacking, students stopped to enjoy meals and snacks from Campus Town restaurants, participated in a competitive cup-stacking game, networked with peers and employers from local businesses (like Local Wisdom and Tabula Rasa), and took some much-needed naps.

ACM President Sophie Goldberg (Class of 2020) was interviewed by Princeton Info before the hackathon.  She encouraged students who want to pursue a career in computer science to never stop developing and practicing their skills, especially since technology changes quickly in the industry.  Participating in hackathons, like HackTCNJ, is one such way for students to apply their skills, learn something new, and work on their dream projects in a collaborative environment.  

We hope to see you all again at HackTCNJ 2020!


HackTCNJ Instagram Account


CBS Philly News Article:


CBS Philly News Segments:


Gallery of Photos (Taken by ACM & Computer Science Department Faculty)


Internship Information Sessions: Spring 2019

Two internship information sessions will be held this semester for students who intend to take CSC 399 during their undergraduate career.   All CS majors are required to attend one informational session at any time during their studies prior to applying for an internship for credit.

Information sessions will highlight departmental policies and prerequisites for applying for internships.  In preparation for the session, students should review Dr. Papamichail’s informational web page and come to the session prepared with questions.

This semester, info sessions will be held on:

* Wednesday March 6, 5:00 – 5:45 PM in Forcina 424

* Wednesday March 27, 2:00 – 2:45 PM in STEM 112

Please contact Dr. Papamichail for more information.

Fall 2018 Colloquium Speakers

Please join the Computer Science Department at the fall 2018 colloquium events. Lunch will be provided. Hope to see you there!


Sean Devlin (TCNJ)
Deep Reinforcement Learning: The fundamentals of how AI wins games and beyond

12:30 – 1:30 PM
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Location: SCP 101

Abstract: It was once believed that if a computer could beat a chess champion, then AI would be achieved. This belief was later changed from chess to go and now that go has been tackled, much more complicated games like Dota 2 are in the cross hairs with general artificial intelligence still in the distance. This talk will provide the fundamentals of deep reinforcement learning, the primary field of AI being used to accomplish these feats. We will start with an intro to reinforcement learning, dig into Google Deep Mind’s seminal 2013 paper “Playing Atari with Deep Reinforcement Learning”, and conclude with the directional vector of this very hyped field of research.

Speaker Bio: Sean Devlin: First and foremost a modern family man. Currently an Entrepreneur in Residence at TCNJ. Previously a technical co-founder at Front Rush.

Sharif Mohammad Shahnewaz Ferdous (TCNJ)
Virtual Reality and Serious Games

12:30 – 1:30 PM
Friday, November 2, 2018
Location: SCP 101

Abstract: Virtual Reality (VR) is a computer-generated simulation that uses visual, auditory and other sensory feedback to provide a user with an immersive experience. While visual feedback is the most important component of a VR experience, other sensory feedback plays important roles too. A well composed VR system has many usages including serious games. While a VR system can be used for entertainment purposes, in serious games, we focus on education, health care, emergency management, city planning, engineering, scientific exploration, politics etc. VR is being used in rehabilitation of stroke patients, balance impairments, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), pain management, and so on. It is also being used for military training, surgical training, car modeling, etc. This talk will discuss the prospects and the presenter’s experience on of using VR in serious games. It will also provide some aspects of the presenter’s current work on assessing gender bias on self-reported cybersickness – a sickness induced by using VR systems for a long time.

Speaker Bio: Dr. Sharif Mohammad Shahnewaz Ferdous is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Science of The College of New Jersey. He earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Prior to that, he completed his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Bangladesh. His research interests include Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality, Augmented Reality, Serious Games, 3D User Interfaces, Interactive Computer Graphics, and Human-Computer Interaction. His Ph.D. dissertation was focused on Improving accessibility of Virtual and Augmented Reality for people with balance impairments.

Davide Schaumann (Rutgers University)
Buildings, People, and Human Behavior

12:30 – 1:30 PM
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Location: SCP 101

Abstract: The computational tools that architects use to design buildings provide a static representation of built environments, which does not consider the people who will inhabit the spaces, and their future activities. In this talk, we will explore our efforts to produce dynamic representations of buildings in use, prior to their construction and occupancy. Our goal is to help architects analyze human-building interactions during the design phase, when design issues can be discovered and addressed. In particular, we will discuss computational methods to model and simulate human behavior patterns in not-yet-built environments, their applications for designing complex buildings (like hospitals), and initial results from integrating them within established architectural design tools to conduct static and dynamic human behavior analyses and to optimize the building design with respect to human-related performance criteria. Additionally, we will discuss the potential application of human behavior simulation methods to explore how IT-enhanced environments may affect the behavior of building occupants at the building and city scale.

Speaker Bio: Davide Schaumann is a Postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Computer Science at Rutgers University. He received his PhD from the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, and he holds MSc and B.A. degrees in Architecture from the Politecnico di Milano, Italy. Davide’s research lies at the intersection of Architectural Design, Artificial Intelligence, and Human Behavior Science with a mission to apply digital technologies for analyzing the dynamic interactions between people, the spaces they inhabit, and the activities they engage in. Davide won several prices and was recently awarded the Murray Fellowship to support his Postdoctoral position.

Computer Science Colloquium, February 20

On Tuesday, February 20, the Computer Science Department will host its secondcolloquium of the Spring 2018 semester.  Dr. Bharathwaj Muthuswamy, visiting professor in the CS Department, give a talk entitled “CUDA and OpenCL: Programming GPUs“.  An abstract of his talk can be found below.

Please join CS faculty and students in Education 113 from 12:30 – 1:30 PM for this talk.


In this talk, Dr. Muthuswamy will go through a high level overview of parallel programming, specifically using (NVIDIA’s) Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA) and Khronos Group’s OpenCL (Open Computing Language), for programming Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). We will show examples of parallel programming in practice, starting from the classic “hello, world” to nonlinear dynamics simulations. We will start with CUDA but primarily focus on OpenCL, since the specification is hardware independent.

Dr. Bharathwaj “Bharath” Muthuswamy is currently a visiting professor of computer science at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). Prior (2015 – 2017) to TCNJ, he was a software engineer for Tarana Wireless, working on implementing real-time network layer code for non-line of sight wireless backhaul devices. Prior (2000 – 2015) to his Tarana Wireless position, Dr. Muthuswamy has worked in both academia (University of California, Berkeley; Milwaukee School of Engineering) and industry (Los Alamos National Laboratory, SUN Microsystems, National Semiconductor and National Instruments). His primary research interests are in nonlinear dynamical (chaotic) systems and embedded (FPGA systems). He is also very passionate about undergraduate, high school and middle school education. He holds a BS (2002), MS (2005) and PhD (2009) all in EECS from the University of California, Berkeley, advised by Dr. Leon O. Chua. His primary PhD contribution was in the design and implementation of a “Muthuswamy-Chua” circuit (system) – the simplest possible chaotic circuit involving only the fundamental circuit elements – an inductor, capacitor and memristor in series.

Computer Science Colloquium, February 2

On Friday, February 2 the Computer Science Department will host its first colloquium of the Spring 2018 semester.  Mr. Marc Wintjen from Bloomberg LP will give a talk entitled “Data Modeling and Visualization“.  An abstract of his talk can be found below.

Please join CS faculty and students in Education 115 from 12:30 – 1:30 PM for this talk.


The true business value from big data comes from understanding how to answer questions before they’re delivered. Once the data is accessible, what techniques are used to visualize data to help tell a story?  This talk will discuss the process used to gather requirements, the methods used to define how to structure data, and the best practices used to create a UI (User Interface) so business users can make data-driven decisions.

Marc Wintjen is a big data architect and data visualization evangelist in the Engineering Business Intelligence team at Bloomberg, LP in Princeton, NJ. He has over 18 years of IT experience in various roles, including project management, Business Intelligence consulting and delivery management in the financial services, pharma and banking industries.

November Events for CS Majors

Hold the dates for these November events!

Wednesday, November 1
ACM is hosting its first “Big O/Little O” mentoring event.  Attend this meeting to learn more about CS student peer mentorship and other opportunities for CS majors. 
(STEM Building 102, 1:00 – 2:00 PM)

Friday, November 3
Come join the CS student organizations for their annual fall social!   Free seasonal refreshments will be available.
(Science Complex Fountain area, 12:30 – 1:50 PM)

Tuesday, November 14
CS Colloquium Speaker: Stormy Peters, Senior Manager, Community Leads, Red Hat
(Science Complex P101, 12:30 – 1:30 PM) 

Tuesday, November 21
CS Colloquium Speaker: Nadya Peña (CS Class of 2015), Data Scientist & Software Engineer, Credit Suisse.
(Education Building 113, 12:30 – 1:30 PM)

Free Mobile App-Development Camp for Middle School Girls

This summer, the Computer Science Department will be hosting a mobile app development and technology entrepreneurship program for middle school girls.The program, funded by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), is free to participants and will be held during the weeks of June 19th – 23rd and June 26th – 30th on Forcina Hall’s fourth floor. Registration is required.

For registration information and more, please visit the TechGirls website and review the TechGirls Summer Program Flyer.

HackTCNJ 2017 Celebrates Student Innovation in Coding

On February 25 & 26th TCNJ’s chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) finished its 5th annual hackathon which featured around 200 talented student developers from several colleges, universities, and high schools from the tri-state area.

During this 24 hour event, student engineers, designers, and entrepreneurs came together to work on innovative software projects. HackTCNJ gives students of all levels the opportunity to learn additional skills outside the classroom, and to discover recruiting opportunities from great companies.

TCNJ’s ACM chapter hosted this hackathon with MLH, Linode, JHC Technology, McCarter & English, SRI International, Particle, Bloomberg, and Dodge Data. TCNJ’s ACM chapter is incredibly thankful to have such great sponsors to help make this event a great success.

HackTCNJ’s judges selected winners based on the following categories: Best Technical Achievement, Best User Experience, Funniest Hack, Best Social Good Hack, Best First Hackathon Project, Best use of IoT, and Best Hardware Hack.

Category Winners Project Prizes for each team member
Best Technical Achievement Ridhwaan Anayetullah, Darshan Kalola, Noor Syed, Daniel Zhou Exposed: An app designed to encourage friends and group members to arrive promptly at events with a novel twist. ( Echo Dot
Best User Experience Christopher Beyer Text Me in an Emergency: a simple chatbot program to assist a user when a friend is in need if you cant call 911 from where you are. ( Keyboard
Funniest Hack Henry Shen, Jabari Brown Stack Overflow Counter: Measures how many times you go to Stack overflow ( Chromecast + Netflix Gift Certificate
Best Social Good Hack Thomas Giulianelli, Sam Chang HereToStay: A handy resource for those who want/need information to help them resist oppression. ( Bluetooth Speakers + What if? (book)
Best First Hackathon Project Kristen Crasto, Ethan Crasto, Elisa Idrobo, Mun Kim Shoot for the Mun: A GUI for Twitter Sentiment Analysis: Sony MDR V6 Headphones
Best use of IoT Ryan Rosenberger, Sean Kelly, Jacob Douglass gitHug: Get some hugs with the Photon Particle Board! ( Particle Photon Kit
Best Hardware Hack Hunter Dubel, Richard Levenson, Dan Sarnelli, Jeremy Leon Harassment Monitor: Fighting harassment on string array at a time! ( Particle Photon Kit

Thanks again to the hackers and sponsors for a great weekend!

All submissions are available to view here:

Photos are available to view here: