Student-Run Hackathons Use Uncommon Approaches to Educate and Inspire

A phone app to help the elderly remember family members’ faces. Software that transforms door knocks into a text alert for hearing-impaired users. Turn signals, but for people. A multiplayer game where crows wage war against...celery? All designed—and sometimes even built—at the University of Chicago in 24 hours or less.

Hackathons, daylong or overnight events in which teams work on a project in tech, data science or programming, have become a popular activity worldwide. But at UChicago, unique takes on the format organized by compileHer and Uncommon Hacks, student groups supported by the Department of Computer Science, help introduce middle-school girls to app design and tech careers or provoke more seasoned coders to use their talents in “uncommon” ways.

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Rob Mitchum
University of Chicago
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