Auburn Engineering students host annual “hackathon” event

By Virginia Speirs

Published: Apr 6, 2021 2:02:00 PM

AuburnHacks first launched at Auburn University in 2019. AuburnHacks first launched at Auburn University in 2019.

Auburn University’s annual AuburnHacks event will be held the weekend of April 10-11, hosted virtually by a handful of software engineering students in partnership with Major League Hacking, an organization that operates a league for student hacking events. The event is open to all students, from any college or major.

Since 2019, AuburnHacks has been a yearly event where students from around the country have 24-hour access to online programming software that is otherwise unavailable or costly. The goal of the so-called “hackathon” is to allow students to have free rein and full creativity to build all kinds of technologies, such as apps, websites, games and even software with hardware elements, according to Alex Lewin, senior in software engineering and executive director of AuburnHacks.

“The whole idea is that we get a bunch of really smart engineers into a room, give them a ton of resources, including mentors and software, and allow them to spend a weekend building something cool,” Lewin said. “So, it’s this crazy, innovative environment with people being super productive, and at the end of the weekend, we see what they have built.” 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the hackathon will be completely virtual this year, and will be hosted through Discord, an online voice chat program used for gaming.

“Typically, we are restricted to participation by only college students, but this year, because it’s online, it’s open to everybody, which is a really nice silver lining,” Lewin said. “Within Auburn, you don’t even have to be a software engineering major to participate, anybody can come. This gives us the ability to include students from other engineering majors, but also students who are not even in engineering at all.”

There are many reasons to participate in the hackathon, including virtually unlimited software access, but one of the best is the chance at winning some pretty big prizes, according to Lewin.

“We have quite a few prizes that we offer for a variety of categories of projects,” Lewin explained. “When we have sponsors come in, they typically give grandiose prizes. In the past, people have won Echo Dots, Apple Watches, Xbox Ones and cash.” 

Although the experience this year will not be the same as in years past, the AuburnHacks team is doing everything they can to make it as normal as possible, Lewin said. 

“We are going to do as much as we can to keep the experience as normal as it possibly can,” Lewin said. “We’re still going to do workshops, we’re still going to have speakers, we’re still going to have ways for the participants to interact. There’s tons of smart people here, and the hackathon is a great way for Auburn to explore and cater to their talents.”

Registration for AuburnHacks can be completed at https://auburnhacks.org.

For more information, follow AuburnHacks on social media:

Media Contact: Chris Anthony, chris.anthony@auburn.edu, 334.844.3447

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