Rowan University's first hackathon is focused on the physical web - Philly


Mar. 10, 2016 8:47 am

Rowan University’s first hackathon is focused on the physical web

The undergrad co-organizers wanted to challenge participants to fuse hardware and software. Here's how to get involved in Sunday's event.

Rowan University.

(Photo via Facebook)

Rowan University’s first hackathon is challenging students to build projects around the physical web, or how the internet and technology come together to interface with the world around us and help improve people’s lives — IRL, that is.

Think: Sensor Journalism (collecting and using data with sensors to tell a story), quantified self and smart buildings.

Those are the focuses of the inaugural ProfHacks 2016, held this weekend from March 12-13 (and named for Rowan’s mascot, “The Prof”). Organized by Rowan undergrads Nick FelkerChristopher Frederickson and Max Bareiss, the trio attended PennApps last year and wanted to start something similar at Rowan.

“We wanted to bring that [hackathon] culture to Rowan and … deliver what we thought would be the best experience for hackers,” Felker said. “We wanted to get more Rowan students involved and get them excited about the things we’re excited about.”

Why’d they choose to focus on the physical web?

“The best hackathons we were going to were ones that were focused on building software and hardware, and making them work together,” Felker said. “We thought that emphasizes the hacker spirit a little more because it’s about building this complete project all in the course of a weekend.”

Sponsors include cloud storage company Backblaze, locally headquartered mobile backend company CloudMine, the Philadelphia section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the NJ Tech Council.

Judges are still needed for Sunday afternoon and mentors are welcome, too. Anyone interested can contact Felker at or

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