Yeshiva University partnered with Cross River, a local financial institution, to host an innovative Hackathon that saw 35 computer science students get creative and think outside the box to help improve healthcare technology.

A Hackathon is an event where computer science students are given a challenge and then must create computer code to solve that challenge within a 24-hour period.

Phil Goldfeder, Senior Vice President of Global Public Affairs at Cross River, who generously sponsored the event, and the former director of the Office of Government Relations at Yeshiva University, gave an opening keynote about the importance of creative solutions, citing Cross River’s work to help small businesses during COVID.

“Cross River was thrilled to play a role in this year’s YU Hackathon, working with the next generation of thinkers and innovators who are shaping our future,” said Phil Goldfeder, SVP Global Public Affairs at Cross River. “These students are creative, passionate and forward-thinking and the Cross River team learned a tremendous amount from them. We look forward to our continued collaboration with YU.”

The event started after Shabbat’s end Saturday, April 9 and lasted until the next day on Sunday April 10. During this time, dozens of computer science students worked diligently in the Heights Lounge on YU’s Wilf campus and came up with impressive solutions to real world health problems.

The next day, the three judges (Prof. Laizer Kornwasser, Sy Syms School of Business and COO of CareCentrix; Ronit Langer, public health consultant; and Orly Schejter, cybersecurity graduate student at Katz School of Science and Health) selected a team from the Yeshiva University High School for Boys—seniors Noam Ben Simon, Raphi Spoerri, Tani Glaser, and Eitan Brown and sophomore Pinchas Rosenfeld—as the first place winners. The team created “Don’t Worry in Vein,” an innovative machine that uses a camera to detect where a patient’s thickest vein is located and then inserts an IV in that vein. Solutions like this could revolutionize one of the basic procedures in hospitals world-wide.

Second place went to Zachary Hamburger, Temira Koenig, Jennifer Peled, and Nathaniel Silverman for HospiPal, which connects hospitals in need with those that have excess equipment, helping to get potentially life-saving equipment to patients who need it most.

“As a Computer Science major, I learn about data structure and algorithms in class,” said Benjy Katz, Yeshiva College ’24 and student organizer of the event. “The Hackathon is a great outlet for students to be creative and work as a team. It’s exciting to put those tools to use creating something from scratch.”

This is the seventh year that Yeshiva University has hosted the Hackathon. Yeshiva University offers students a rigorous computer science education that readies them for careers in the booming tech field. It is at events like this that they get to put their skills to the test, while having fun and getting creative. YU greatly appreciates the support of Cross River, a leading financial institution based in New Jersey, for helping to make this event a success.

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