SCCC Hackers Win Top Prize at SBU’s Annual Hackathon

Haley Olson and Joseph Hanrahan, two computer science students from Suffolk County Community College, recently won honors and a cash prize at the Center of Excellence in Wireless and Computing Technology (CEWIT) at the Sixth Annual Stony University Hackathon Brook.

“I congratulate our students for excelling at this year’s Hackathon,” said Suffolk County Community College President Dr. Edward Bonahue. “Our students demonstrate year after year that they have the skills and training necessary to succeed in demanding technological environments, and their achievements underscore the value of education at Suffolk County Community College.”

Olson and Hanrahan created a game for the coding contest that used computer languages ​​they had learned on the fly.

“One of the challenges we encountered was not knowing JavaScript at all. It was a completely new language for us. HTML and CSS were also relatively new to us. Additionally, we had to learn how to scrape the web in order to get our NFT data for our project,” the duo wrote in their project description for their game, that “it informs the public about NFTs and shows the labels shocking prices. ”

An NFT – non-fungible token – is a special type of crypto asset in which each token is unique – as opposed to “fungible” assets like Bitcoin and dollar bills, which are all worth the exact same amount. Because each NFT is unique, they can be used to authenticate ownership of digital assets such as artwork, records, and virtual real estate.

Olson and Hanrahan’s Guess the Most Expensive NFT game involves a player choosing from three random NFTs to guess which is the most expensive. After completing the game, the player can view the information about each NFT through the links that appear below each image.

Olson, of Port Jefferson Station, who will graduate in May with an Associates in Computer Science, said the hardest part was learning the new languages. “We programmed using Java Script, HTML and CSS and learned how to create a website,,” Olson said. Olson previously earned a BA in Actuarial Science from SUNY Binghamton in 2020 and completed an internship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center last summer creating data visualizations for the CFO of the radiology department.

Professor Bin Li praised the university’s program and students.

“Haley started a STEM student research club in the spring semester of 2022 and serves as club president,” Li said, and explained that Haley and Joseph competed with 4-year-old students and won the award for outstanding innovation in their project. »

“Our students have participated in Hackathon events hosted by Stony Brook University and won awards for three consecutive years,” Li said, “and several students are interned at top institutions including 3DQI Lat at MGH, Harvard Medical School, Brookhaven National Lab.”