School of Engineering and Computer Science

GrizzHacks, an ‘invention marathon,’ returns to Oakland University

24-hour hackathon will take place Sept. 28-29 on OU’s main campus

icon of a calendarSeptember 17, 2019

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GrizzHacks, an ‘invention marathon,’ returns to Oakland University
GrizzHacks4 preview
GrizzHacks 4, a 24-hour hackathon, will return to the campus of Oakland University on Sept. 28-29. (Photos courtesy GrizzHacks)

From Sept. 28-29, Oakland University will host GrizzHacks 4, a 24-hour hackathon that provides an opportunity for students to create incredible hardware and software projects from the bottom up.

“A hackathon is best described as an ‘invention marathon,’” said Shriyash Jalukar, a co-director of GrizzHacks 4. “Anyone who has an interest in technology attends a hackathon to learn, build and share their creations over the course of a weekend in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.”

The free event, which takes place from noon on Saturday, Sept. 28 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29 in the Engineering Center on OU’s main campus, is open to all undergraduate students, graduate students, high school students, and those who have graduated within the last calendar year. No previous programming/engineering experience is required.

“You don’t have to be a programmer and you certainly don’t have to be majoring in computer science,” Jalukar said.

GrizzHacks4 preview

Over the course of a weekend, attendees will be able to collaborate with other students to build a software application or hardware project. There will be workshops to learn web development, iOS or Android mobile development, and more. Students will also be able to interact with engineers from sponsoring companies, network for a job or internship, or win prizes.

“Because of the low-pressure and collaborative environment, hackathons like GrizzHacks can inspire attendees to pursue computer science and other STEM fields,” Jalukar said. “Through the mentorship available over the whole weekend, attendees are able to work on ideas and projects they would otherwise never get a chance to tackle in classes.”

Students are not allowed to begin progress on their hack before GrizzHacks. However, the use of third-party APIs and libraries is allowed and encouraged. Attendees are also encouraged to be familiar with the tools they plan to use at the event, such as a specific programming language, as long as it is not part of their hack.

GrizzHacks4 preview

“By the end of the weekend, hackers come out feeling proud of what they built,” Jalukar said. “Some of our sponsoring companies are coming with different challenges, such as building the ‘Best Personal Finance App’ or an app with the ‘Best User Experience/Design.’ These challenges engage students and get ideas flowing.”

According to Jalukar, a panel of judges will assess each team’s hacks based on creativity, difficulty, design and potential. Ten hacks will be selected for a demonstration in front of the entire GrizzHacks audience for a final round of judging.

Teams can range from one to four people. While food will be supplied throughout the event, participants must bring their student ID and provide their own toiletries. Attendees may also choose to bring their own hardware, although some hardware will be available at the event.

“Through an open venue to create, a wealth of knowledge in one building, high-speed Wi-Fi, and, of course, catered meals, GrizzHacks does everything it can in order to attract students to dedicate a weekend to code,” Jalukar said. “Our inclusive environment and lack of strict requirements encourages attendees to create projects of all types by the end of the weekend.”

This year’s event is sponsored by Dynatrace, Little Caesars, Oakland University Credit Union, MongoDB, Red Ventures, Atomic Object, Comerica Bank, Quicken Loans, and Ford.

To learn more about GrizzHacks, email the event organizers at To sign up for the event, visit

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