Yale Hackathon 2017 – RMMC Update

(by G) The following are highlights from a report regarding the Yale hackathon in December 2017 where over 400 Snowboarding to Nirvana books were given to participants – funded by the Rama Marketing Materials Campaign (RMMC).

The Yale hackathon – YHack – is “an international hackathon hosted by and held at Yale, bringing together like-minded hackers and creatives from all over the world. YHack is a festival of innovation, an arena of tech warriors, and a stage to present your big idea.”

About 1,000 hackers with their laptops and pillows inhabited the gymnasium at Yale University non-stop from Friday night through Sunday morning. What a terrific, fun, and well-organized event. The giant hall was filled with continuous team hacking and punctuated by dancing, rap battles, and beach ball bopping as well as lots of international food and various caffeine-rich beverages.

There were about 20 sponsor tables, lining the center of the enormous gym, with the remainder filled to the edges with rows and rows of hacker tables. There were top-level companies present such as Facebook and Google (see yhack.org for complete list) – giving assignments for prizes and recruiting hackers. The hackers flowed in through the sponsor tables for more cool swag, to talk about the APIs for the hack and jobs. Our table was in the long, central sponsor aisle. We had 4 volunteers across some of 36 hours, Friday-Sunday.

1000 students from various schools in Canada and US, mostly northeast attended. Hackers came over to talk, ask questions about Rama’s book and about meditation in general. So many interesting conversations took place. We talked about refining the mind, relational versus hierarchical ways of seeing, how a clear and still mind can access deeper parts of the mind where problem-solving and creative thinking kick in. What a blast! 

Giving out Snowboarding to Nirvana was great as it was handy for referring people to the meditation techniques inside the book. We also gave out handouts with Rama quotes from his computer science talks and Rama Meditation Society (RMS) web links to download Rama’s talks. We held a meditation session for about 18 people at 6 am in the basketball gym bleachers. 

In all, it was a great success and we highly recommend sharing Rama’s teachings at future hackathons around the country.