Troy set to host first ‘hackathon’

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Rakshak Adhikari

Staff Writer

The Troy University Computer Science Club is organizing TroyHack, a hackathon collaboration with the department of Computer Science on March 1-3. The event will take place in the Trojan Center Ballrooms where the meals and accommodations for the participants have been arranged for the duration of the event. According to Alberto Arteta, an assistant professor of computer science and the faculty adviser to the Computer Science Club, a hackathon is a competitive event where students work in teams on a programming project. Students come to the event with their proposals which are quickly reviewed. After that, the students build teams and work on their project for two days. Finally, a winner is chosen by a committee consisting of sponsors and faculty from the university. Arteta said that the event has been publicized at a number of universities in Alabama, and a turnout of more than 200 participants is expected. “The idea for the hackathon was initiated by the students who previously attended the event and the Computer Science Department went along with it,” said Jiling Zhong, the chair of the Department of Computer Science. According to Zhong, the process of confirming sponsors is almost over and the final layout for the program is currently being planned. “Our students have done surprisingly well in previous hackathons in the last three years,” Zhong said. “We have had students who have been offered internships in different firms and one of our students was selected for a training in England.” According to Travis Maupin, a senior computer science major from Phenix City who attended the hackathons at Georgia State and at Florida State, the events provided an opportunity to put what he had learned into practice while also demonstrating his ability to potential employers. “They are an all-around benefit to go to,” Maupin said. “The prizes range from anything like an Amazon Echo, a Nintendo Switch or a job, and I have seen all three offered between the two (hackathons) I attended.” Students interested in participating in the hackathon can register for free at www.troyhack.com.

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