Dartmouth Hosts High-Powered Student Hackathon


Up to 300 student hackers from colleges nationwide, together with a number of high school students, are expected to attend Dartmouth’s inaugural “hackathon.”

Dartmouth’s inaugural hackathon is being held on Saturday, April 11. (Photo Courtesy of API Evangelist)

“The mission of HackDartmouth is to foster Dartmouth’s technology and entrepreneurship communities,” says student organizer Colby Ye ’16. “It is completely student-led and backed by the College.”

The term hacker, in this context, refers to technically adept and enthusiastic programmers and other engineers who delight in solving problems. These are the people who brought you the Internet and personal computing, not the criminals who disrupt computer systems and networks.

Beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 11, hackers—with their sleeping bags in tow—will gather in Cook Auditorium at Murdough Center at the Tuck School of Business for the event’s opening ceremonies. Over the next 24 hours, individuals and teams working at Thayer School of Engineering will build projects, developing actual programs, applications, and devices.

(Photo Courtesy of HackDartmouth)

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 with more exposure to careers in technology.

Ye and his fellow organizers reached out to the sponsors on their own, enlisting support of Dartmouth’s Office of the President, the DEN Innovation Center and New Venture Incubator, the Digital Arts Leadership and Innovation Lab, Thayer, and the Department of Computer Science.

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“We have added a few recently from the industry side, companies such as Google, Facebook, Palantir, Microsoft, and a number of smaller companies,” says Ye. “They are supporting us financially, providing hardware and software resources, as well as sending engineers and mentors. HackDartmouth is a big step forward for technology and entrepreneurship at Dartmouth.”

The Dartmouth student organizers see the hackathon as an opportunity for students to further their interests, to try things out, to explore, and to apply the skills they have been learning.

“We want to target students who may not have thought that they were interested in technology and entrepreneurship, to give them some exposure to these fields by seeing all the cool stuff that the sponsors are bringing to this event, the initiatives happening on campus at Dartmouth, and the amazing innovative projects that their peers are building,” says Ye.


Joseph Blumberg