HackRPI to Hold Fifth Annual Hackathon on March 16-17

March 14, 2019

HackRPI to Hold Fifth Annual Hackathon on March 16-17

Event is an opportunity for students to spark ideas, practice skills, and network

TROY, N.Y. — HackRPI’s fifth annual 24-hour hackathon is expected to draw about 400 students for a marathon session devoted to three themes: environmental awareness and sustainability, data privacy, and accessibility in education.

The hackathon is scheduled for March 16-17, at the Darrin Communications Center on the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute campus.

The event is an opportunity for students working in teams to generate projects, practice coding skills and collaboration, and also to make connections with corporate sponsors like Bloomberg and TripAdvisor, said HackRPI organizers Wenlin Gong and Ian Steenstra, both juniors at Rensselaer. HackRPI provides resumes of registered participants to their corporate sponsors, and many companies will actively recruit during the event.

“Companies like the attendees of hackathon events, because they’re clearly passionate about their work. They’re willing to give up their weekend and work 24 hours straight to be a part of this,” Gong said.

HackRPI organizes a packed schedule of workshops that teach new tools and techniques, like working with Git, exploring the Google Cloud Platform, and a Google webinar on the open-source TensorFlow software library.

While the program officially spans the weekend, hackathons have a long tradition of bringing together teams and sparking ideas that ultimately generate start-up companies. Steenstra said HackRPI actively supports entrepreneurship. Bob Bedard, CEO of deFacto Global, will be the keynote speaker, and the program includes multiple guest speakers on topics related to entrepreneurship.

“We’re an entrepreneurial school, and we make that a priority,” said Steenstra, “We have a pitch competition, and we teach participants how to sell their ideas.”

During the event, HackRPI also provides free access to paid services like Google Cloud and other application programming interfaces, which participants use on projects that focus on software development. 

“The spirit of hackathon is that it’s free,” Gong said. “There’s no cost to attend. We provide food. No previous experience is required. You come and learn from peers, make friends, contribute to your project, and finish in 24 hours.”

Details and registration are available at the HackRPI website: https://hackrpi.com/


For general inquiries: newsmedia@rpi.edu

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, over 30 research centers, more than 140 academic programs including 25 new programs, and a dynamic community made up of over 6,800 students and 104,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include upwards of 155 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration. To learn more, please visit www.rpi.edu.