January 21, 2015

‘Hack SI’ focuses on innovation, creativity

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Hack SI “hackathon” returns to Southern Illinois University Carbondale the weekend of Jan. 30 to Feb. 1. 

HackSI is an event for high school and college students or anyone else with an interest in computers and programming. No professional experience is required. All you need is some creativity, an innovative spirit and the desire to create webpages, robots, telephone or tablet applications or similar projects and show them off. The challenge is, essentially, to see what you can create in 48 hours.  

Special presentations of interest to participants will also be featured. Technology industry experts will share their expertise and professionals in the field will be on hand to assist. 

The event begins at 6 p.m. on Jan. 30 and wraps up at 6 p.m. on Feb. 1. It takes place at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center at 1740 Innovation Drive in Carbondale. 

“We are eager and excited to once again host the HackSI event at the SIU Research Park.  It is a great way to bring together like-minded innovators and turn them loose to solve real-world challenges,” Kyle L. Harfst, executive director of the SIU Research Park, said. 

Hackathons, or hackfests, traditionally bring together computer programmers and people involved in software development, including graphic designers, project managers, interface designers and others, to work on software and hardware projects for educational, social, or developmental purposes. SIU’s event is open to one and all, regardless of experience. 

Up to 150 people may enter the hackathon and participants will work individually or as teams, depending upon interests and expertise. There is no cost to enter but participants must pre-register by Jan. 28. Prizes up for grabs include a variety of computer supplies and related items as well as an iPad. Organizers will also provide meals, snacks and T-shirts. 

At the conclusion of the event, each individual or team will present an “elevator pitch,” a 90-second presentation to showcase and sell what they have created. 

Find additional information and registration details online www.hacksi.me/ or by contacting organizers William Blankenship at williamjblankenship@gmail.com, Darryl Jones at darryl@hacksi.me or Jacob Morton at mkoopajr@gmail.com

Sponsors of HACKSI include the Association of Computing Machinery at SIU, Liaison Technologies, Harness TechED, greplytix, namecheap, github.com, @davglass, @unmonk, Little Caesar’s and SIU.