Hack-a-thon: RevolutionUC

UC Hackathon

RevolutionUC is a student hackathon in which we invite students from across the midwest to partake in a weekend of code, community, and self-improvement. You don't have to attend the University of Cincinnati and you don't have to be a computer science major or engineering student. We're looking for people who share our passion to do awesome things with technology.

Projects are one of the key elements in any hackathon. At RevolutionUC, you have 36 hours to create something awesome from start to finish with your team. We’ve seen awesome mobile apps, web applications, and hardware hacks in the past and we’re excited to see what will be made this spring.

Learning is essential to a hackathon. Whether you’re a veteran hacker or a first-timer, we’re excited for you to learn something new! We’ll have exciting tech talks throughout the event and we encourage all our attendees to learn something new!
New to the hackathon scene? Awesome! We’re excited to have you. We’re more than willing to help you get you started with your first hack! With our team of mentors, assembled from our organizer team and software engineers from our sponsors, we’ll help get you started and get you past the bugs and bumps.

Van with snacks

Van loaded up with snacks for RevolutionUC

Hackathons are more than just a competition or showcase of technical skill. At RevolutionUC, we strive to create an all-inclusive community that acts as an outlet in which we can join our peers and share our passion for all the incredible things that can be done through programming. We’re excited to share this ethos with all of our attendees and come together to grow the hacker community here in Cincinnati.

ACM Programming Contest


The Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, in association with the IEEE and ACM student chapters, annually co-host the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) East Central, North American International Collegiate Programming Contest. Teams from Western Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Ontario, Canada compete for a chance to be one of few who advance to the World Finals.

UC is one of four sites who simultaneously hosting the contest. The other sites are Grand Valley State University, Michigan, the University of Windsor, Canada, and Youngstown State, Ohio. UC holds the record for consecutively co-hosting the event since 2000.

With three people to a team and nearly 120 teams, 360 students are in for a challenging day! The contest consists of a web of complex computer problems that teams must solve. The competition lasts five hours and participants must decipher eight intense problems. Question difficulty ranges from short to very time consuming, to keep the teams on their toes.

ACM Teams

To aid in the problem-solving process, teams must first create and then use a computer program which accepts inputs for the problem, and outputs a value which corresponds to the correct answer. When a team believes they’ve solved a problem, the computer tends sends its program to the judges for examination. The judges respond by indicating either an error or success. In the case of an error, the judges say only what type of error it is, no specific details are given. It is up to the team to successfully “debug” the program.

UC will face off against teams from Carnegie Mellon, Purdue, Ohio State, Cedarville, Taylor, University of Dayton, Xavier, Butler, Miami, Denison, Ohio Wesleyan, Ohio Northern, Wittenberg, and Wright State.

Teams are ranked using a complex scoring system, ranking teams in terms of who has the most completed problems. Ties are broken by factoring in the time taken to achieve success and applying penalties for errant submissions. Of the 120 teams, only the two top ranked teams go to the world finals. In past years the winners have hailed from Toronto, Waterloo, and Carnegie Mellon.