RocHack is a group of hackers, engineers, builders, and friendly people who attend the University of Rochester. We love to build things that make people's lives better.

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Workshop, Ep. 2

Python in Jupyter Notebooks!

Workshop 2 jupyter notebook

In our second workshop we covered an introduction to Jupyter Notebooks, an incredible tool used to write Python and display some great visuals within your actual code. Jupyter Notbooks are a very popular way of writing a sort of report with code and displaying information you extract from data. Notebooks are especially helpful to know about if you are doing any sort of data science or machine learning. You can actually see a cool example of a report LIGO wrote up on discovering gravity waves, that uses Jupyter Notebooks.

Jupyter Notebook setup tips

The easiest way to get Jupyter notebooks up and running, I think, is by installing a package for scientific Python libaries. My personal choice is Anaconda. It’s easy to install and has a lot of useful tools.

If you have...

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Workshop, Ep. 1

Version Control with Github!

Workshop 1 git commit -m "Add workshop 1"

Starting off for the year, we went over the basics of Github. First we went over how to add yourself to the RocHack website by sending a simple pull request. If you missed it, you can check out the slides here. After that, we went into how you can sync a project on your computer with Github to keep it on the cloud and keep track of every version. I’d love to do another, more advanced Git workshop in the furutre!

Git setup tips

If you are downloading git, you can here it here. You can also find the GitHub website here. Once you create a new repository on the GitHub website, you can sync it with a local project by opening a terminal/command line in your project...

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Hacker Night, Ep. 4

Making your own RubyGems!

Hacker Night 4 puts "Hello again RocHack"

This week, Jeremy gave a talk on the Ruby programming language, and the prominent software distribution system that Ruby uses (RubyGems). Some notes from the presentation:

  1. The guy in the above photo is Matz, creator of Ruby.
  2. He designed the language so that it would be enjoyable to program in.
  3. Specifically, it has a concise, flexible interface, along with a very positive community.
  4. RubyGems hosts Ruby libraries, called gems. Gems are optimized to be super-portable, make versioning code easy, and best of all they are totally free to use (both for downloading/installing code, or uploading gems that you made)!

Gem setup tips

On cycle servers, install into ~/bin, avoiding the need to use sudo. Note that once you do this,...

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Hacker Night, Ep. 3

Hacker Night 3 NSLog("Hello again RocHack");

Thank you guys for voting on our Facebook poll! iOS is our winner tonight! (by a close margin).

We’ll have a 10-15 minute demo of making a quick clone of the Uber interface, I think. Highlights include a Swift lang intro, Interface Builder, MapKit, and Xcode probably being uncooperative about a dozen times. Followed by a workshop, and then usual RocHack antics.

Update: Download the source code here!

Here’s a quick rundown of the talk:

  1. Download Xcode! Unfortunately this is only available on Mac. You can get it from the Mac App Store (it might take a year or two to download :P)
  2. We started by deciding on the layout of what we were trying to build. This is important!

  3. We have to add MapKit as a dependency to our project. Click on...

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Hacker Night, Ep. 2

Hacker Night 1 Hey everyone!! We’re having Hacker Night again tonight at 8PM in Hylan 301!! There will be food again and a brief, hands-on tech talk! All are warmly welcome.

Today we’ll be talking about (and pay close attention to the tempting capitalistic self-marketing job-pursuit motivators for each that I know you all value much more highly than intrinsic motivation for learning about and using great tools, JK):

  • Git! A version control system that’s a necessity for making software in the Real World, and also extremely useful for collaborating on projects while in Uni
  • GitHub! No, not grubhub! It’s a site that facilitates Git collaboration and also a highly regarded piece of your resume/portfolio
  • How to use them both together to launch your own site and expose yourself the digital world. This doesn’t have to be a personal website either, it can be anything for...
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Hacker Night, Ep. 1

Hacker Night 1

Hello again everyone!

We’re going to be kicking off Hacker Nights this semester with a session on how to build a website in 30 minutes. We’ll be teaching the basics of creating structure with HTML, applying styles with CSS, and briefly showing how you can use Javascript to make your webpages interactive. We’ll also have a quick demo of Bootstrap, a HTML/CSS/JS framework that allows developers to quickly prototype websites.

After the talk we’ll leave the rest of the night to hang out, get to know each other, and hack/learn together. Most importantly, we’ll also have snacks to keep everyone from getting hangry.

We’re really excited to get things started on a high note this semester, so we’d love for you (and your friends!) to show up and learn/hang out with us this Thursday (2/11/16) at 8pm in Hylan 301.

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Aaand we're back!

Hi everybody!

After a bit of hiatus from last semester due to hectic schedules (sorry about that) we’re incredibly happy to announce that we’re back in action this semester. We’re going to kick off the new season with an improved edition of Hacker Nights.

For those of you who are new to the scene, Hacker Nights are a weekly event hosted by RocHack dedicated to bridging what you’re doing in class with what’s actually going on in the outside tech industry. A few highlights of what we’re planning include:

  • An introduction to git, the ubiquitous version control system used in probably any CS job you’ll find
  • How to build your first website (starting out with HTML/CSS and Javascript)
  • Making web apps (TBD between Rails or React)
  • Talks from professors. In the past we’ve had Prof. Ding talk about the concepts of...
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RocHacks '14 results

RocHacks in full swing

We’re happy to report that RocHacks was a huge success! We had over 40 students attend our first ever 24 hour hackathon and we couldn’t have been happier with the results.

Congratulations to the three grand prize winners (there was a tie for first): Emily Eisenberg (Rochester ‘15) for her mini operating system and the team of Charles Lehner (Rochester ‘15) and Nate Book (Rochester ‘14) for their distributed IRC system, meshchat.

We also had some awesome runner ups building hacks like a video-based step sequencer, an LED staircase (which is still in process) and a Reddit notifier for chrome.

We’d like to thank everyone for coming out and being a part of our first hackathon. We hope you had as much fun hacking as we had organizing the event for you. We’d also like to thank our fantastic sponsors...

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Announcing the Spring 2014 RocHacks

Hey everyone,

We're proud to finally announce the Spring 2014 RocHack Hackathon! We looked at all of the suggestions and feedback we got from the Fall hackathon and used it to make sure this hackathon will be even better!

This time around we're going to be taking up the entire first floor of the new Rettner Building (no more crammed CSB 209). We've also arranged for this to be our first 24 hour hackathon, so you'll have 3x more time to make your hacks even better. Finally, we made sure that this hackathon would be open to all schools, so spread the word to friends at other universities!

There's plenty more awesome to be had, so check out the hackathonpage for more details.

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Welcome to the new RocHack

RocHack has a fresh new look!

Hopefully you like the new site design. If you have any feedback, feel free to open an issue on our github repository. We'll also be posting announcements for events, projects, etc. here, so feel free to subscribe via RSS if you'd like to stay up to date.

Hack on,
The RocHack team

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