Carnegie Mellon University
September 20, 2011

News Brief: CMU Team Wins First Yahoo! Hack All-Stars Competition

Contact: Byron Spice/ 412-268-9068/

Yahoo Hack TeamA team of Carnegie Mellon University undergraduates created a prototype file-sharing tool in just 24 hours at the Yahoo! Open Hack All-Stars event Sept. 13-14 in New York City, winning the inaugural Hack All-Stars competition and $10,000.

Members of the D1W team, which won the 2009 HackU at Carnegie Mellon, are Amos Yuen and Chong Xie, both computer science majors;  Arjuna Hayes, an electrical and computer engineering major, and Ethan Gladding, an art major. All are juniors.

The four CMU students were among 40 winning hackers from 15 previous Yahoo! Open Hack Day and University Hack Day competitions across North and South America, Europe and Asia to attend the invitation-only event. The hack finalists were given 24 hours to produce and present a prototype that addressed a challenge faced by the digital media industry.

D1W’s file-sharing prototype, Ruum, enables users to collaborate in an interactive space, where they can share content, chat with others and leave comments.

"Hack Days are the perfect venue to create cool and innovative apps," Yuen said. "The opportunity to focus on a singular problem and bring a solution to life is what hacking is all about."

Ruum was selected as the winner by a prestigious panel of judges, including: Mike Smith, Chief Digital Officer for Forbes; Shana Fisher from Highline Capital; Raymie Stata, Yahoo!'s Chief Technology Officer; Kevin Doerr, Yahoo!'s Vice President of Innovation; and Steve Douty, Yahoo!'s Vice President of Applications and mobile product development. In addition to winning $10,000, the team may also qualify for a year of incubation at Yahoo!, including office space and technical support to help bring Ruum to market.

"Yahoo!'s dedication to creative third-party developers around the world like D1W who build applications using Yahoo!'s powerful technologies, reflects our belief that by embracing today's thriving ecosystem of developers and publishers, together we can bring more personal meaning to the web for millions of people all over the world," Doerr said.

Pictured above (l-r) are Chong Xie, Amos Yuen, Ethan Gladding and Arjuna Hayes.