What you need to know

When and Where

Friday, May 11, 2018 - 8:30am to 5:00pm in the Memorial Union Horizon Room

First come, first serve

Space is limited to 12 teams! Participation in the Hackathon will be first come, first served, and the hackathon planning committee may request that one or more teams combine if the potential for synergy or additional participation exists.


What is a hackathon?

At a hackathon, small teams build something new to solve a problem, and then share it with the community. It’s a contest in which the best ideas win.

The OSU Hackathon is a day-long event where team members work together. At the end of the event, each team takes 5 minutes to present their work to the other teams and to a panel of judges who evaluate their efforts against set criteria.

Although hacking has a reputation for being a criminal activity, that’s not what a hackathon is about at all. Instead, a hackathon gets to the original roots of hacking -- solving a problem through “playful cleverness” or overcoming challenges by exploring new limits and boundaries. In other words, having fun while coming up with novel solutions.

For more information about Hackathons in general, please see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hackathon.

Project categories

Judges will award winners in each of these categories:


Project must aim to simplify something by reducing steps or complexity.

Learner Experience

Project aims to enhance or strengthen the student/learner experience.


Team must have members from more than one unit/organization

Why are we doing this?

We think that participants in the event will enjoy the chance to meet new people, share their wild ideas and have an opportunity to impact the OSU community in a positive, innovative way. From OSU’s perspective, this is a chance to foster innovation and collaboration, create and strengthen cross-organizational relationships and have fun.


The hackathon enables you to work on projects that you wouldn't normally get to work on. Projects should be close to you, but could affect many people at OSU. Still struggling to find the perfect project for your team? Here are some additional ideas to get you started:

  • New data integration (Salesforce, CORE, Banner, Digital Measures, etc)
  • mobile theme for a desktop-only website
  • Proposal for updated campus process/workflow
  • Re-architect an aging system (on paper!)
  • Create a new website
  • build something using virtualization
  • build something (or hack together a new API) using developer.oregonstate.edu
  • Create training/documentation for something that sorely needs it


Save the date! Talk to your supervisor about the event and get their permission to participate. Start planning your efforts. Brainstorm ideas. Talk to others and form a team.




Work with people you don’t usually work with. Build something. Solve a problem. Share it with the room. It’s a lot of work, but also a lot of fun.


You must be employed at Oregon State University. Student employees are eligible, but we ask that every team has at least one full-time employee. You are responsible for securing permission to attend from your supervisor.


Cheer on and support your team members and the other teams. Everyone is here to do something awesome. While not everything created today may be something you’ll ever use, everyone is working to improve OSU. We all rock.


A hackathon is all about creative collaboration. Work with your team of 3-6 to bring your big idea to life.


Everyone will start working on their projects at the hackathon when we announce it’s time to begin. However, it’s a good idea to have an idea for your project and have already thought about how you want to carry it out. Your team can meet and discuss the project before the hackathon, but the actual work needs to wait until we give the go-ahead.


At the end of the day, each team will present what they’ve worked on to the panel of judges and the rest of the teams. These presentations are meant to be quick, so keep yours to five minutes or less. Presentations that go over may be cut off.


This is an all day event that could get pretty intense. Make sure you stay hydrated, take breaks as needed, remember to eat and generally take care of yourself.


Whether it’s something that will affect just a small group, or something that touches everyone who works and studies here, the projects in this hackathon are intended to improve some aspect of being at OSU. All submissions remain the intellectual property of the university.


Only use content and code you have the right to use. Avoid harmful code of any sort.


Dr. Chet Udell -- Dr. Udell is OSU assistant professor of Biological and Ecological Engineering and Director of the OPEnS Lab (www.open-sensing.org) at Oregon State University. He received his PhD from the University of Florida in Music Composition and Electrical Engineering. He is Inventor of U.S. and international patents on wireless sensor technology and data protocols and CEO of a technology startup company. His current interests include developing open-source Internet of Things technologies applied to optimizing environmental sensing and precision agriculture.

Dr. Jason Fick – Dr. Fick, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Music Technology at Oregon State University, is an active composer, audio engineer, and researcher. His music and intermedia works have been performed at international and national events. As an engineer, he has recorded classical, jazz, and popular music in live and studio contexts, audio for film, and dialogue for various commercial projects. His present research pursuits are in the pedagogy of music technology, computer music, and interactive systems.

Todd Shechter – Mr. Shechter serves as the Director of Information Technology in the College of Engineering at Oregon State University. In his role, Todd oversees all technology needs for the College, which accounts for one third of OSU's total student population. Working collaboratively with students, faculty, and staff across OSU, Todd is highly interested in empowering the Engineering IT team to work autonomously in their environment, develop deep technical expertise in their area of responsibility, and provide technology resources that support the College's academic & research missions. Todd is a proud Beaver alum and holds a BS in Information Systems. Outside of OSU, Todd volunteers locally as President of Corvallis Mountain Rescue Unit.