Hack@Brown 2015: Co-Director
At Brown, it's pretty easy to say that Hack@Brown (Brown's annual hackathon) is my life. With a team of students and my awesome co-director Atty, we like to think of Hack@Brown as our own little startup on campus. What makes Hack@Brown meaningful to us is that we truly want to embody the Brown Computer Science Department's culture of learning and collaboration. We want to remove the intimidation factor traditionally associated with hacking and ultimately, give students the confidence and resources to build their craziest ideas.
While Hack@Brown is an annual hackathon, Atty & I really wanted to expand Hack@Brown to be beyond an event; rather, we saw it as a year-round engine that pushes for learning and innovation at Brown. As co-director, I oversee 8 main teams, for a total of 35 people on the Hack@Brown team.
- Food & Logistics
- Student Outreach
Below, I'll give a brief peek of what we do on some of the teams.
At last year's hackathon, we discovered that a lot of students while completely capable, have never built a website or iOS application. We wanted to bridge that gap & have since held biweekly workshops with members of the Hack@Brown team serving as mentors. Our first workshop, HTML/CSS, had over 150 students show up which was an awesome turnout. Check out a glimpse of other workshops we've held since then.
One of our biggest tasks for the hackathon event is to form partnerships with companies and raise money to hold the event. As co-director, this means I'm personally contacting companies constantly or speaking with them to talk about their returns when they invest in Hack@Brown. In keeping with our professionalism, we make sure everything is tailored and consistent to our design. Below is a quick look at some of our sponsorship documents.
Website & Registration
Some screenshots. Feel to check out the official page at hackatbrown.org!
Status & Hacker Page
Our development team specifically created this dashboard that allows students who applied to Hack@Brown to easily check their status & edit their information if necessary.
Our development team works really hard to make sure everything during the hackathon (registration & check-in) is seamless. Below is a shot of our current dashboard as applications roll in for the hackathon. In addition, one of our main initiatives for Hack@Brown during the Spring semester is to release Brown University API's so students on campus can build for other students.
In keeping with our mission, one of Hack@Brown's biggest goals is to break down the stereotypes traditionally associated with hacking. If anything, I wanted Hack@Brown to be inclusive and welcoming for students from all skill levels & backgrounds. Most hackathons have less than 12% female attendees; however, I was determined for Hack@Brown to be different. I personally reached out to Women in Computer Science groups across the country. In addition, through LinkedIn & Facebook, I personally messaged over 250 female students, encouraging them to attend Hack@Brown. The results were amazing -- we received 523 applications from female students all over the country for Hack@Brown this year.
In addition, we make sure in all of our promotional materials, the emphasis of Hack@Brown is always building and cooperation. Below is a promotional video for Hack@Brown 2015 this year.