Education

YSU to Host 1st ‘Hackathon’ this Weekend

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — College and high school students from across the Cleveland/Pittsburgh Tech Belt will participate in Youngstown State University’s first-ever Hackathon, a weekend of computer-related learning, creativity and networking set for April 17-19  at Meshel Hall.

YSU’s Information Technology Student Association is organizing the weekend event, which is free to participants thanks to event sponsors who are covering the cost of prizes for the winning entries and meals. HackYSU is open to any student who has been enrolled in a college or university in the 2014-2015 school year, and to high school students 18 or older.

“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, associate professor of computer science and information systems. “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.

The event is sanctioned by Major League Hacking, said HackYSU director, Joe Duncko, a sophomore from Canfield. “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,” he said.

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.

Doors will open at 7 p.m. April 17, and the Hackathon will end at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 19. For more information, visit this website.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.