College and high school students from across the Cleveland/Pittsburgh Tech Belt are invited to Youngstown State University’s first-ever Hackathon, a weekend of computer-related learning, creativity and networking set for April 17-19 at Meshel Hall.
HackYSU is free, thanks to event sponsors who are covering the cost of prizes for the winning entries and meals for all participants. YSU’s Information Technology Student Association is organizing the weekend.
“Students will have 36 hours to make a hack – anything from an app to software, hardware, a business plan, or something in between,” said Abdu Arslanyilmaz, an associate professor of computer science and information systems and coordinator of YSU’s Information Technology program. “We’ll be awarding prizes, feeding the students, and hosting a bunch of mini-events to keep everyone in the hacking spirit.”
Hackathons have been conducted around the country and internationally, often as a way to bring computer programmers together for intense programming on a particular project for a specific time period. HackYSU will include programming, but programming experience is not required and other types of creativity will be encouraged.
HackYSU director Joe Duncko said the event is sanctioned by Major League Hacking, the world’s largest supplier of mentorship and support for collegiate hackathons. “That means that the same company that worked with MIT, Georgia Tech and UC Berkeley Hackathons is working with us at YSU, and they’ve been extremely helpful,” said Duncko, a sophomore computer information systems major/entrepreneurship minor from Canfield.
Major League Hacking will have a representative at HackYSU and will provide hardware for student teams’ use; mentors representing the sponsoring businesses will also be available to work with students on their hacks. Hacks created at the event will be displayed, science fair style, in a showcase at the end of the weekend.
HackYSU is open to any student who has been enrolled in a college or university in the 2014-15 school year, and to currently enrolled high school students 18 or older. Doors will open at 7 p.m. Friday, April 17, and the Hackathon will end at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 19. Visit http://hackysu.com for more details and to register.