School of Engineering and Computer Science

Student innovators to take part in OU’s annual hackathon

GrizzHacks 5 will be held virtually September 18-20

icon of a calendarSeptember 9, 2020

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Student innovators to take part in OU’s annual hackathon

This year, Oakland University is taking its student-run hackathon virtual. The 36-hour GrizzHacks competition, in which students develop a variety of technology-based projects, will take place September 18-20.    

“Hacks can be anything related to software or hardware development,” said Allison Broski, a senior computer science major and GrizzHacks 5 lead director. “In the past, we've had attendees build video games, create Android and iOS apps, hack a car and develop an ultrasonic harp.”

While the event is typically held in the Engineering Center on OU’s campus, the coronavirus pandemic prompted organizers to make this year’s event completely virtual. 

“We don't need to concern ourselves with food or worry about managing the event space this year, but we do have to think about shipping swag to hackers, getting hackers connected with our sponsors, and make sure we keep the energy up during the entire event,” Broski said.

The competition is open to students in high school, college or vocational training programs, as well as students who’ve graduated within the past 12 months. No previous programming or engineering experience is required. 

GrizzHacks teams are comprised of one to four students. A panel of industry and academic experts will select the top three projects, with additional winners selected by event sponsors or organizers. Projects are evaluated based on creativity, difficulty, design and potential.

This year’s sponsors include Oakland University Credit Union, Dynatrace, Quicken Loans, Ally, Little Caesars, Comerica, FCA and Amazon. In addition to working on hardware and software projects, participants will also have the opportunity to interact with sponsors, attend virtual tech talks and engage in a trivia competition.

“Not only do you have the opportunity to win awesome prizes or get cool swag,” said Broski, “but you’re able to interact with companies that are often looking to hire individuals who attend events like a hackathon. You’re also able to learn about teamwork, pick up new software or hardware skills, and meet a lot of new people, many of whom may be your classmates.” 

To learn more about GrizzHacks or to register for the event, visit Questions and comments may be directed to [email protected].

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