Wright State students organizing daylong hackathon for computer programmers

computer science and computer engineering students with laptops

From left: Mike Alfaro, Kyle Ahearn, Darin McCarren, Alison Guyton and Josh Harris are among the computer science and computer engineering students who will participate in the Make-It-Wright hackathon on April 11 and 12.

Make-It-Wright, a 24-hour hackathon for computer programmers to develop software and hardware projects, is coming to Wright State University. The inaugural event will be held Saturday and Sunday, April 11 and 12.

A hackathon enables computer programmers and others involved in software development, such as graphic and interface designers, to collaborate intensively on software projects. “Hack” is used in the sense of playful, exploratory programming.

“Students should attend Make-It-Wright because it is a great opportunity to dive in and learn a ton in a 24-hour period. You get to collaborate with people from other universities, make friends, find out how to work in a fast-paced, team environment,” said Alison Guyton, one of the event planners and a computer science major in Wright State’s College of Engineering and Computer Science.

The idea of a hackathon at Wright State was brought up by a few students who regularly attend hackathons.

“Our goal is to get many mentors and experienced professionals from companies to help student teams define workflow, generate ideas and problem solve at the event,” said Guyton.

Students majoring in computer science, computer engineering or business are encouraged to participate.

Make-It-Wright is free to any student at least 18 years of age and registered with any school. It is not opened to the public. A maximum of 200 individuals may participate.

Students will have 24 hours to start and finish a product or project well enough to present to judges. Project ideas are up to participants although challenge ideas have been created for teams who need ideas.

Make-It-Wright is working with numerous local and national companies. Students will have the opportunity to work with sponsors or a company’s private application programming interface.

“Sometimes companies who sponsor the event like to bring ideas for students to work on, and if the companies like the result they may offer prizes or may purchase the product. Also if they see potential they may hire the student or at least interview them. Several startup companies have formed from hackathons,” said Justin Scothorn, a computer science major and event planner.

Scothorn is looking forward to seeing the collaboration of students from all over the region and seeing their ideas become usable products.

There will be workshops and lectures from guest speakers. A Wright State professor may discuss “what it means to be a gamer” from the perspective of engineering.

Students will get the opportunity to experience being part of a team for 24 hours with a quick deadline. Food and drinks will be provided. There will be free giveaways and prizes for the top three winners.

“Our team is working hard to make this a great event, but ultimately the success is going to come down to our students participating and spreading the word,” said Scothorn.

For more information or to register visit makeitwright.org.

Make-It-Wright is looking for sponsors. For sponsoring or questions, contact Alison Guyton at guyton.10@wright.edu.

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