Drew Emery, 22

Hacker, Organizer, Mentor
Drew Emery
Share this profile

During Drew’s freshman year in engineering, he absolutely despised coding in MATLAB. He didn’t do well in the class, he didn’t understand the point of what they were doing, and he swore off coding midway through the semester under the guise of “This information is simply not useful.” 

He didn't understand what could be usefully accomplished through coding. It was at this point that he posed the following question to his roommate, Alex (a computer science major): “how do I order a pizza with code?” Neither of them knew the answer. The question stuck with him and he would look over Alex’s shoulder and ask him about his homework the duration of their freshman year. Coding kept him questioning everything that was happening behind the scenes from ordering coffee online to Alexa telling him a joke. 

For his birthday, Alex got Drew a freshman textbook in Python. He immediately started working through the textbook. After becoming relatively comfortable with the syntax of Python, he still didn't understand how to do anything useful with code. 

In the fall of his sophomore year, he got an email about an event that was taking place for the first time on campus: CUhackit. He talked Alex into going with him since he was a computer science major and he figured, worst-case scenario, he could just piggyback off of Alex’s abilities if he became hopelessly lost. They made a side-scroller video game using pygame. While their project was simple, he saw all of the other amazing projects that came out of the weekend and fell in love. 

After seeing all of the incredible projects that were made under the same time constraint,  Drew was inspired to continue learning more after the event. Alex and Drew had so much fun at the event that the organizers asked them to join the organizing team and he has loved working with the hacker community ever since.

As an organizer, Drew’s main goal is to help others discover the same excitement for learning that he found through hackathons. He loves walking around the events and checking in on groups, offering support in any way he can. Whether that means providing suggestions or pointing them towards resources, he will do everything he can to make sure that attendees are having fun and getting something out of the event.

At VandyHacks in the Fall of 2018, Drew made his favorite project, Hip Empathy Friend. His friends from the organizing team and him made a Twitter bot that would try to empathize with other Twitter users. The program would ingest tweets and perform sentiment analysis on the text. They would then find a sentence that had a similar sentiment and respond to their tweet with it. It was a really fun project because they ended up making a couple of their own API in order to get the project to fetch information. VandyHacks has a special place in his heart because it was the first time he felt powerful enough in Python that he could contribute and was able to work with his team in order to make their scripts work together seamlessly.

Quick Facts

Pronouns: He/Him
Hometown: Aiken, South Carolina, USA
School: Clemson University
Graduation Date: 2020
First Hackathon: CUhackit (Spring 2018)
Favorite Coding Language: Python and Boto
Can't Live Without: Spotify
Drew demoing Hip Empathy Friend at VandyHacks V

Drew Emery, 22

Hacker, Organizer, Mentor
Drew Emery
Share this profile

During Drew’s freshman year in engineering, he absolutely despised coding in MATLAB. He didn’t do well in the class, he didn’t understand the point of what they were doing, and he swore off coding midway through the semester under the guise of “This information is simply not useful.” 

He didn't understand what could be usefully accomplished through coding. It was at this point that he posed the following question to his roommate, Alex (a computer science major): “how do I order a pizza with code?” Neither of them knew the answer. The question stuck with him and he would look over Alex’s shoulder and ask him about his homework the duration of their freshman year. Coding kept him questioning everything that was happening behind the scenes from ordering coffee online to Alexa telling him a joke. 

For his birthday, Alex got Drew a freshman textbook in Python. He immediately started working through the textbook. After becoming relatively comfortable with the syntax of Python, he still didn't understand how to do anything useful with code. 

In the fall of his sophomore year, he got an email about an event that was taking place for the first time on campus: CUhackit. He talked Alex into going with him since he was a computer science major and he figured, worst-case scenario, he could just piggyback off of Alex’s abilities if he became hopelessly lost. They made a side-scroller video game using pygame. While their project was simple, he saw all of the other amazing projects that came out of the weekend and fell in love. 

After seeing all of the incredible projects that were made under the same time constraint,  Drew was inspired to continue learning more after the event. Alex and Drew had so much fun at the event that the organizers asked them to join the organizing team and he has loved working with the hacker community ever since.

As an organizer, Drew’s main goal is to help others discover the same excitement for learning that he found through hackathons. He loves walking around the events and checking in on groups, offering support in any way he can. Whether that means providing suggestions or pointing them towards resources, he will do everything he can to make sure that attendees are having fun and getting something out of the event.

At VandyHacks in the Fall of 2018, Drew made his favorite project, Hip Empathy Friend. His friends from the organizing team and him made a Twitter bot that would try to empathize with other Twitter users. The program would ingest tweets and perform sentiment analysis on the text. They would then find a sentence that had a similar sentiment and respond to their tweet with it. It was a really fun project because they ended up making a couple of their own API in order to get the project to fetch information. VandyHacks has a special place in his heart because it was the first time he felt powerful enough in Python that he could contribute and was able to work with his team in order to make their scripts work together seamlessly.

Quick Facts

Pronouns: He/Him
Hometown: Aiken, South Carolina, USA
School: Clemson University
Graduation Date: 2020
First Hackathon: CUhackit (Spring 2018)
Favorite Coding Language: Python and Boto
Can't Live Without: Spotify
Share this profile
Drew demoing Hip Empathy Friend at VandyHacks V

More Hackers

Nigel Brown

Nigel Brown, 30

Justina Chua

Justina Chua, 17

Conner Pinson

Conner Pinson, 22

Olivia Li

Olivia Li, 20