Recapping MLH Local Hack Day: the 12 hour hackathon

By Kaitlyn Houlihan

On December 2, 2017, over 275 communities from every continent (except Antarctica) simultaneously hosted 12-hour-long hackathons in the 4th annual MLH Local Hack Day, the LARGEST Local Hack Day in the world. Pace University’s Pleasantville campus was just one of those communities, hosting its first ever hackathon in the Stephen J. Friedman Multipurpose Room in Willcox Hall from 9:00am-9:00pm.

Photo via Maxim Vuolle, Pace Photography Club

The idea to participate in Local Hack Day was presented by Seidenberg’s own seasoned hackers Drew Ku (BS Information Systems ’20) and Angel Rodriguez (BS Computer Science ’20), and facilitated by the fantastic Assistant Dean for Academic Innovation Andreea Cotoranu. After a great deal of thought, this terrific trio decided upon setting the theme of the hackathon to social innovation. According to the Canadian Centre for Social Innovation, “social innovation refers to the creation, development, adoption, and integration of new concepts and practices that put people and the planet first. Social innovations resolve existing social, cultural, economic, and environmental challenges.” That being said, it is almost impossible to imagine a more perfect theme for a hackathon! Because of the topic’s broad nature, participants were easily able to find brilliant solutions that better the planet, daily life, communities, and efficiency of everyday tasks.

Photo by Alec Zawadzki

On the day of the event, a total of 11 teams and 41 high school, undergraduate, and graduate students came out as early as 8:30am for this hacking extravaganza. A wide range of skill levels was present, and although beginner-level coder Justin from Mamaroneck High School found the process of developing his own program difficult at first, he felt better with guidance from faculty and student experts. In addition to faculty and student mentors providing assistance throughout the day, workshops were held to accommodate all skill levels. These workshops were led by Ben Longobardi (MEAN Stack), Drew Ku (Python and APIs), Pace alumnus and adjunct professor Dhruv Gandhi (product development and design thinking), and Angel Rodriguez (HTML/CSS).

Photo by Maxim Vuolle, Pace Photography Club

As computer science professor and faculty mentor Dr. Rick Kline noted, “everyone is eating and hacking, which is what we hoped for,” and it couldn’t have been better stated! Hackers and volunteers had plenty of food and coffee to fuel them through the day, from bagels to pizza from Sal’s to spinach and artichoke dip from Applebee’s (a Seidenberg favorite). However, the most important products of the day were most definitely the 11 incredible ideas that were developed by participants and tackled social issues from mitigating climate change to increasing socialization within communities, among others. Drew felt that “the event [best showcased] student independence because of the broadness of the theme of Social Innovation.”

Photo by Timothy Martinez, Pace Photography Club

At 7:00pm, all hackers submitted their projects via DevPost and began pitching and demoing their ideas to an esteemed panel of judges comprised of Chief Executive Nerd of Kool Nerd Club Orane Barrett, Founder and Lead Developer of Swapity Brian Brunos, as well as Seidenberg’s own Andreea Cotoranu and students Blake Hofland, Ben Longobardi, Drew Ku and Angel Rodriguez. Participants had three minutes to pitch and demo their projects. It was so amazing to witness the variety of ingenious solutions that were presented!

Choosing the winners wasn’t an easy task for the judges, especially after seeing all the effort everyone put into ideating and executing their projects throughout the day. However as all competitions go, it had to be done. Awards were given based on various categories, and the winners are as follows:

  • Best web application – Team F (Mamaroneck High School)
  • Best mobile hack – fORAGER (Pace University)
  • Best impact hack – lendme (Pace University)
  • Best designed hack – TutorFinder (Pace University)
  • Best documented hack – Vivlio (Pace University)
  • Hackiest hacker – Spotlite (Pace University)
  • Seidenberg Spirit Award – Pierre-Julien Morange (Team F, Mamaroneck High School)
  • Kool Nerd Award (sponsored by Kool Nerd Club) – Charles (TrunkPool, Pace University)

And, of course, a TON of awesome prizes were given out! Among these prizes were some Amazon Echo Dots, Raspberry Pi computers, board games, two of the coveted Seidenberg sweatshirts, and a Kool Nerd Club hoodie.

Photo by Abby Bonds, Pace Photography Club

Being Pace University’s first ever hackathon on social innovation, this event was undoubtedly a roaring success. Not only was it a blast for everyone who attended (participants, mentors, and staff alike), but it was a tremendous learning experience for all! All day long, participants ideated, collaborated, created, and demoed projects that resulted in marvelous solutions to problems we all face. In doing this, students were able to think outside the box and combine their immense knowledge of technology with their awareness of the world around them and, ultimately, grow intellectually and as global citizens. Which, when you think about it, is exactly the purpose of resolving social issues!

This would not have been possible without the student participants, staff, and volunteers who made this day so memorable. The entire Seidenberg community would like to extend a special thank you to our sponsors: Virginia LeTourneau ‘85, the Seidenberg School of CSIS, Kool Nerd Club, and Swapity. Also, thanks to our student mentors, workshop leaders, judges, and especially to the Pace Photography Club for capturing the event.

Computer Science Education Week – Dec 4th to Dec 10th

We’re so excited about Computer Science Education Week next week that we’re starting early! Check out these awesome events leading up to next week’s celebrations.

Pleasantville Campus Events

Seidenberg Tech Collective – Wed, November 29th

Guest Speaker: Brian Brunos, developer and entrepreneur at Swapity

Goldstein Academic Center, Room G300.

Our special guest speaker, Brian Brunos, will be speaking about his experience of successfully developing and launching a cryptocurrency exchange that does not require user accounts and pays 100% dividends through cryptocoin, Swapcoin.

Harley the Cybersecurity Dog – Thurs, November 30th

A K9 presentation of Harley the Cyber Dog, who can detect devices that may contain illegal content. This is a great event for the entire #PaceU community! No cybersecurity knowledge required, only a love of puppies.

Social Innovation Hackathon – Saturday, December 2nd

The Social Innovation Challenge is a 12-hour long hackathon open to ALL majors and skill levels. The theme is social innovation, however you may bring your own problem as well! For more information, please visit:













Robotics Demonstration – Monday, December 4th

Seidenberg professor of Computer Science, Dr. Rick Kline, will give a demonstration on our new robot overlords.

12:10-1:10 in Goldstein G300.

Seidenberg Special Interest Tour – Westchester Campus – Wednesday, Dec 6

Pace University Welcome Center – Marks Hall

This campus tour is available for prospective undergraduate students interested in Computer Science and Information Systems majors. In addition to a general campus tour, visitors will have the opportunity to meet an academic representative, tour the facilities used by the program, and whenever possible, will be guided around campus by a current student majoring in the academic discipline.

Seidenberg Tech Collective – Wednesday Dec 6th

Goldstein Academic Center Room G300

Returning and interested members welcome! The Seidenberg Tech Collective is an organization that is committed to enriching the lives of students and promotes interest in technology. Join us for the last STC meeting of the Fall 2017 Semester!

New York City Campus events

Pace Computing Society – Wed, Dec 6th

Seidenberg Lounge, 163 William St 2nd Floor – 12:10-1:10

Peer Mentoring and Mentee Event

Join PCS and guests – Seidenberg advisors Stephanie Elson and Matt Brown – to talk about our Peer Mentoring Program. Open to all current and interested members.

PCS is a club that aims to promote the interest in modern computing and design by hosting interactive workshops as well as inviting industry speakers to show what the real world experience is like. Any student with an interest in design and technology is invited to join us during our meetings. During this week’s meeting, peer mentor/mentee event with Stephanie and Matt

Cybersecurity Club Metasploit Workshop – Friday, Dec 8th

12:00pm-3:00pm Seidenberg Classroom Room 237

163 William Street, 2nd Floor New York, NY

The Cybersecurity Club in NYC is hosting a series of workshops and guest speaker events throughout the Fall of 2017. All events are open to any Pace student, but must sign up for the club during the event. Students who are current members have first priority for the workshop. Metasploit Workshop Metasploit is a framework that is used to deliver exploits and payloads to victim computers. This workshop will teach students how to ethically and effectively use Metasploit for conduction penetration tests.

More info and more events to come so stay tuned!

Stay updated on Seidenberg events with our Calendar.


Upcoming Memorial Services for Jean Coppola at Pace University

Sent on behalf of Dr. Jonathan Hill, the Dean of the Seidenberg School at Pace University.

Dear friends, colleagues, and members of the Pace community,

The loss of Jean Coppola on October 29th was a huge hit to our community. We received many messages of support, as well as memories of times with Jean ranging from recently to several decades ago. It has been truly special to experience the sharing of warmth and memories over the past few weeks.

Jean was an integral part of our community – and will remain so for many years to come.  Her influence on students, colleagues, and the work she was most passionate about continues to blossom, and it is evident that she had a meaningful impact on many people.

To commemorate and celebrate the life of one of our most esteemed faculty members, we will be holding memorial events on both our New York and Pleasantville campuses. We welcome students, faculty, staff, alumni, and all of our friends in the Pace community who wish to attend and celebrate the many extraordinary achievements of Jean Coppola.

We would also like to share photos of Jean during the services and ask that if you have any you would like to share to please send them to Allie Gallagher at

Please see below for further information and forward it widely to those who will want to participate.


Thursday, December 7

Butcher Suite

Kessel Student Center

New York City

Tuesday, December 12

Seidenberg Lounge

163 William Street, 2nd Floor




Celebrating the life and passions of Dr. Jean Coppola

We are deeply saddened to share that our much loved Pace community member, professor of information technology, and friend, Jean Coppola, passed away on Sunday October 29th, 2017.

As an integral part of our community, Jean leaves an incredible legacy behind: the creation and management of the WestchesterSMART Mobile App Development Bowl, which ran for three consecutive years with increasing attendance and success; her outstanding work in her life’s passion of gerontechnology, as a founding member of the Pace University Gerontechnology Program, through the mobile app contest, and through the classes she taught; the passion she instilled in her students; her incredible baking skills; her prowess on the softball field; her choir leadership; as a board member for her alma mater St Francis Prep, and so much more.

One year ago, Jean was recognized by the Westchester County Association for the second time as she received a Women in Tech Award. A month after that, she was honored at Pace for an astounding 30 years of service to the University, our students, and our greater community.

Jean has been a powerhouse in the field of technology, appearing in Westchester Magazine just this summer to discuss the critical issue of cybersecurity, an issue that is “not going to go away.”

Jean in her element wearing her famous red suit.

She has been known around Pace for being one of the sharpest dressed faculty members on campus. As recognizable for her suits as for her intelligence and creativity, Jean always made an impression whether in front of a class of students or interviewing for any one of the international publications that featured her.

And, thanks to Jean’s passion and determination to share her love of technology in the classroom, her teaching, leadership, and memory will live on in the thousands of students and colleagues she met over the years.

Here are some of the unique ways Jean instilled user experience design and empathy in her students:

Jean, you will be greatly missed by all of us at Seidenberg.


Seidenberg Tech Collective presents the Fall 17 Seidenberg Community Forum in PLV on November 1

On Wednesday, November 1, 2017, our student-run club Seidenberg Tech Collective is hosting the Fall 17 Seidenberg Community Forum.

The forum is an excellent opportunity for students to have their voices heard. Staff and faculty will be there to answer your questions, listen to your comments and feedback, and assist with any concerns you may have. It’s also an opportunity for us to keep you in the loop with what’s shakin’ at Seidenberg! There’s a lot of stuff coming up in our School’s future and we want to keep our students and community informed.

Plus, as always, pizza.


If you’ve never been to a Seidenberg Tech Collective (STC) meeting before, now is a great chance to stop by and meet fellow students and the benefits of joining a student club at Seidenberg.

See you next Wednesday!

Seidenberg hits up Grace Hopper Celebration again!

by Kaitlyn Bestenheider

This month, a group of 14 Seidenberg students and staff travelled over 1,000 miles to join 18,000 other attendees at the 2017 Grace Hopper Women in Computing Celebration (GHC) in Orlando, Florida.

With daily opportunities to attend an extensive career fair, interview with top companies, and attend panels on just about any subject you could ask for, the conference was a unique experience for each attendee.

Ava Posner, Olga Bogomolova, Niamh Fitzsimon, Kim Brazaitis, and Svetlana Kotlyarenko travelling in style.


A few of the students were able to join the Anita B. Worker Bees and volunteer for GHC. Seidenberg students and leaders of the women in tech club WIT@Pace Kaitlyn Bestenheider (MS in Information Systems), and Elizabeth Molloy (BS in Information Systems) were a part of the team that kept the official historical records of the event for the GHC.

“It was a great experience to know that our perspective would be a lens for future generations of Women in Technology to experience the 2017 conference,” says Kaitlyn. “I was so grateful to GHC for also linking to my blog on all of their social media profiles.”

The keynote speech that really sparked a fire was Melinda Gates. “I really enjoyed Melinda Gate’s Keynote,” said student Linda Zeng, “She stated that it’s time to recognize everybody discovers their interest in tech at different times in their lives, and listening to that has made me so proud to be at Seidenberg, where non-traditional students can thrive and strive for a tech career with all the resources provided to us at the school.”

Her call to action was to ask every person in the room to inspire or encourage just ten women to join or stay in the technology field. If just 2/3 of all attendees made this their goal, over 120,000 girls and women would be affected. That’s more than all of the computer science graduates expected for this coming May.

A truly humbling and enlightening experience, the 2017 Grace Hopper Celebration left its mark on all who attended. Rohana Sosa (BS in Computer Science) summed up the experience perfectly:

“I am forever grateful for Seidenberg providing me with the opportunity to be a Grace Hopper Scholar. The entire experience was amazing,” says Rohana. “It was really fun going to the Icebar to make friends with other GHC ladies from different universities and exchange business cards with executives from companies such as Facebook. I will always remember the laughs, dancing, and fun times I spent with my Seidenberg friends at the career fair, Disney World, and the GHC Friday celebration.”

We already can’t wait for GHC next year. Thanks to Seidenberg student Kaitlyn for this excellent post!