HackDartmouth II: Return of the Hackers

HackDartmouth I was a rousing success last March, and HackDartmouth II promises to be “bigger, badder, and rad-er,” say its organizers on their new website.

3D printing software during HackDartmouth I.

From the left, Emma Mouzon ’18, Chinedum Uche ’18, and Lucas Ewing, sponsor representative from Autodesk, demonstrate the use of 3D printing software during HackDartmouth I. (Photo by Sharon J. Cho ’17)

 

“We are really looking forward to bringing everyone together to explore and showcase what the Dartmouth tech community has to offer. And with the new school year starting, a hackathon is a great way to kick it off,” says Kevin Guh ’16, one of the founders of the Dartmouth hackathon team and an organizer of HackDartmouth II.

HackDartmouth II logo
(Design by Kathy Dong)

In a hackathon, student programmers, software developers, hardware engineers, graphic designers, and others technologically inclined collaborate intensively on projects. This is no gathering of malcontents who aspire to breach computer systems. Rather, these hackers are programmers and other engineers who delight in solving problems.

Scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 3 and 4, HackDartmouth II has attracted nearly 700 applicaants, about 600 of whom were from outside Dartmouth. “We have received applications all the way from India, Egypt, and Italy,” says Guh. “We hope to draw a diverse demographic from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.”

While registration for off-campus participants is now closed, Dartmouth student applications are still open. “We’d like ideally to have about 300 participants, made up of a mix of students from Dartmouth and elsewhere to encourage greater interaction between hacker communities at different schools,” says Guh.

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“In line with Dartmouth’s vision of having more experiential and closer hand-in-hand learning between professors and students, we feel that we would like a smaller, tighter hackathon that would enable a lot of beginning students to get more mentorship as they get into the hacking world,” he says.

At 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, hackers with sleeping bags and overnight bags will gather at Haldeman Center and Kemeny Hall for opening ceremonies and team organization. For the next 24 hours, individuals and teams will formulate and construct projects from “nuts and bolts” and computer code, developing actual programs, applications, and devices.

Guh says last spring’s HackDartmouth I was something of a learning experience for the organizers themselves, in which they relied heavily on planning advice and guidance from their counterparts at other schools. “Now, since we have our own experience, we are trying to make our hackathon fit more into a niche within the Dartmouth community, playing to Dartmouth strengths, such as our small, tight community, and involving alumni who work in the tech industry.”

In addition to marathon project-building activities, there will be a series of events open to the public, including workshops, tech talks, and demonstrations by sponsors, with the primary goal of providing students more exposure to careers in technology.

Sponsors and partners include Microsoft, Intralinks, Google, Facebook, Major League Hacking (MLH), Dartmouth’s Neukom Institute, Department of Computer Science, the DEN, DALI Lab, Thayer School of Engineering, and many others.

“Besides the hacking and building process, there will also be a series of workshops taking place during the event,” says Guh. “Some are expected to be highly technical, intended to aid participants in connecting with application programming interfaces. There will also be other presentations of a more general nature, intended to showcase the potential of various tech products and spark hackers’ imaginations.

“Our sponsors are contributing their experience, mentorship, and financial support toward making the event possible. We are working together to make this event one to remember,” says Guh.