Search Hacks at Yahoo! Hack U

We are wrapping up the Spring 2009 season of Yahoo! Hack U – Yahoo!’s university hack day competitions. This season, students produced a group of hacks built on Yahoo! Search APIs, including:

FireSale (by Patrick R. Jordan of University of Michigan): This cleverly named hack uses FireEagle and Local Search via YQL. It provides a location-based ad auction mechanism that augments local advertisers’ ads with Yahoo! Local Search data.

Tangent (by Kunal Bhatia of IIT Delhi): Tangent is a javascript bookmarklet that allows you to fly off of tangential concepts and retrieve more information that you’re curious about. It first generates context using the Yahoo! Content Analysis Service, then displays information about any of the contexts generated using Twitter, Flickr, or Wikipedia data via Yahoo! Search.

y!Vmail (by Arnab Nandi, Daniel Peek, and Pradeep Padala of UMich): This hack allows people to access their Yahoo! mail through a 1-800 number, using any touch tone phone. y!Vmail figures out which emails are important, and reads them first. The system also uses Yahoo! Search’s term extraction to summarize long emails. This hack won second place at UMich Hack U.

Pick and Roll (by Michael Xu and Alex Guan of Georgia Tech): The aptly-named Pick and Roll hack visualizes NBA teams as they travel, keeps track of all of their results, displays news sorted by date, and highlight videos from This hack won first place at Georgia Tech Hack U.

Skynet Search (by Jason Chen, James Lee, and Kon Pik of the University of Washington): A fast search aggregator that allows a user to search the web quickly across many kinds of media by loading only the content that the user wants to see.

We’ll be on the road again in fall. Check the Hack U website this summer for the 2009-2010 Hack U schedule.

Evan Goer
Yahoo! Search

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