All-day hackathon turns digital ideas into reality

Local Hack Day logo
Friday, October 9, 2015 - 12:50pm
Nicolle Wahl

12 hours. 130 participants. The largest single day of student hacking anywhere in the world.

On Saturday, Oct. 10, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Deerfield Hall, UTM is participating in the global Major League Hacking Local Hack Day—a chance for students to build tools like websites, apps and even hardware in an intense, creative digital environment.

The teams will develop their creations, and ultimately show them off in front of the hacking community and judges from faculty and industry leaders like Bell and IBM. The Local Hack Day takes place worldwide, at schools in North and South America, Europe and Asia.

“They’re like artists sitting down in front of a canvas,” says Arnold Rosenbloom, a senior lecturer and faculty advisor in the Department of Mathematical and Computational Sciences (MCS) at UTM, who has helped to organize and promote the event. “The end goal is to build something interesting—it’s whatever the students are interested in. The hackathon can build a prototype…for example, they might build a website to raise money for mosquito nets in another part of the world.”

The event was co-organized by MCS lecturer Larry Zhang, along with the Mathematical & Computational Sciences Society, and is receiving assistance from the Institute for Management & Innovation.



The hackathon planned for 100 participants and ended up with extra registrants, with many being first-year students. Students will have access to technology like Raspberry Pi--a small but powerful computer that allows people to experiment with digital technology, a 3-D printer, and various mobile devices like phones and tablets. Participants can connect with other Local Hack Days and enthusiasts around the world through livestreams and chatrooms. The Local Hack Day kicks off the international fall hackathon season.

(Photos by Ray Khan, ICCIT Council President)