UC’s first hackathon, hosted by the University of Cincinnati Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) student chapter and the College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS), will be held in the UC CEAS Learning Center from April 5 to April 6, 2014. The hackathon, appropriately named “Revolution UC,” begins at 3 pm on Saturday and will draw to a close with an award ceremony at 6 pm on Sunday.
What is a hackathon you ask? Jonah Back, head of UC’s ACM student chapter and co-organizer of Revolution UC, explains:
“A hack is applying your knowledge about computing in an effort to solve a problem that someone else may not even know they have. A hackathon is a continuous 24-hour period in which the brightest minds in the computer science field come together to give it all they’ve got to create the best hack possible.”
During a hackathon, students are continuously supplied with caffeine and food as they build unique websites, mobile apps, or hardware hacks over 24 hours. At the end of the programming period, participants present their resulting hacks to a panel of judges (often organizers and sponsors) who then select winners for various prizes. Winners of these computer science competitions are awarded anything from t-shirts and hardware credits to substantial cash amounts.
Hackathons have taken the country by storm lately, as an event niche that gives programmers the rare opportunity to meet to do collaborative computer programming. As a testament to their ever-growing popularity, two of the largest student hackathons, PennApps and MHacks, brought together over 1,000 hack-generating individuals from universities worldwide!
And students aren’t the only ones who are displaying a vast interest in these events—numerous well-known companies such as Google, Linked In, and Apple attend hackathons in search of future employees. Therefore, these events are increasingly being considered as a “Career Fair 2.0,” allowing students the chance to showcase their innovative handiwork to potential employers.