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Lehigh students hack to top of the pack at Lehigh Valley, Princeton competitions

It's been a successful semester of hacking for Lehigh for Greyson Parrelli '14 and Michael Toth '14.

No, not that kind of hacking.

Parrelli and Toth, both members of the Computer Science and Business (CSB) program, have teamed up to develop a host of unique and useful applications at a series of recent "hackathons" held in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding region.

Alongside partner and computer engineering major Ben Chen '13, the team's latest app won first place at the recent Princeton Hackathon. Toth, Parrelli and Chen developed Tamagetitdone, a Chrome web browser extention that aims to improve your productivity by slowly removing distractions from "time-sucking" websites.

“If you are on unproductive websites late at night, then it will ‘turn off the lights’ on the page, leaving you unable to browse," explained Parrelli. "It’s really cute and got a lot of laughs.”

Tamagetitdone took the top prize in the event's software division, and with it, a check for $1,250.

In April, Parrelli and Toth participated in the second annual LV HACK 2013. The event, held at Northampton Community College, was hosted by Lehigh Valley Tech, a group of technology enthusiasts who meet monthly to share ideas.

The duo earned an honorable mention with their project, Webstagram, a browser extention that allows users to place filters on web pages and send them to their friends, similar to the web application Instagram.

“Webstagram was born out of a recent feeling that Greyson and I had that there is too much content on the web," said Toth. "From there, the leap to applying Instagram-inspired filters to a webpage was natural."

Earlier this year, the team of Parrelli, Toth and Chen, along with computer science major Zachary Daniels '13, went to the PennApps Spring 2013 Hackathon. PennApps is America’s largest student-run hackathon, featuring 91 teams and 320 hackers over a 48-hour span, offering over $10,000 in prizes.

The team earned runner-up honors with SparkTab, an innovative application that allows you perform multiple functions in one location on your web browser, including searches, texting and social media activity.

More important, however, was the national attention gained in the tech community.

“SparkTab led to a write-up in TechCrunch and Yahoo! flying us out to Sunnyvale, California for in-person interviews," Parrelli explained.

As a result, three of the team members working on SparkTab will be interning at Yahoo! this summer.

“Honestly," Toth said, "I don't think I would have been able to get the offers and opportunities that I did if I hadn't gone to these hackathons.”

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