Authored by: ran cheng

In 2022, as a third-year PhD student, I came across Project:Hack 14, an online event hosted by Projecting Success on Eventbrite. Being intermediate in Python at that time, I was looking for hackathon opportunities to enhance my coding skills beyond my PhD studies. I chose the challenge of 'topic modelling' to enhance the bid team workflow and was fortunate to win first place, receiving an Amazon voucher worth £3,000, which I used to purchase a standing desk, a 4K monitor, and a new iPad Pro with full bundles.

The Proposal I made for Project:Hack 14

My Project:Hack Journey

After winning my first-ever hackathon, I attended the in-person Project Hack 15 and 17, teaming up with friends from Imperial, UCL, other universities, and project professionals we had never met before. We secured second place at Project Hack 15. Although we didn't win at Project Hack 17, we still learned a lot and enjoyed the hack challenges, learning new tech stacks by addressing the challenges and presenting the solutions.

Taking part in Project:Hack 17

pHD studies and beyond

After these hackathons, I gained significant experience in planning, building, and delivering data-driven projects. Most importantly, I gained confidence in tackling any hackathon challenge. By the end of 2022, I came across advertisements for Smartathon, a hackathon hosted by the Saudi Arabian government. Teaming up with three friends from Oxford and Cambridge, I successfully led them to win second place and a cash prize of £20,000 among 20,000 participants for delivering a complete end-to-end computer vision system for detecting potholes on national roads in Riyadh

After gaining experience from Project:Hack, I led another team to win at another big hackathon.

After finishing my PhD study in 2023, the hackathon experience from 2022 led me to join Projecting Success as a machine learning developer, where I continue to build AI solutions for digital transformation for our clients.

upcoming hackathons

Inspired by Ran's Story? Join us for our upcoming hackathon events:

Virtual Hack in Two Weeks Time: Dive into the world of virtual collaboration and innovation.

In-Person Hack at Sheffield University in June: Experience the energy and excitement of hacking in person.