College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

ISU ‘hackathon’ takes over Howe Hall

It’s 4 a.m. and the last thing Erik Fetter wants to do is sleep. Fetter, sophomore in computer engineering, spent 36 hours the past weekend hacking with more than 100 other students in Howe Hall for a competition called HackISU, which is part of an international competition that draws in aspiring programmers and professionals alike to create unique programs from ordinary devices.

The event, aptly referred to by participants as the “Hackathon,” gathered coders, programmers and designers from the area who worked toward demonstrating original websites, computer applications or hardware innovations.

“A lot of people come for different reasons,” said Thomas Moll, sophomore in computer engineering. “It’s really a community event because we are so inclusive in drawing in students from all levels of experience and all backgrounds, not just engineering majors.”

Participants were given electronics and software with which to work. Xbox consoles, Kinects, Myo motion sensors and coding programs allowed students to make creative, original products like new computer video games. Anthony House, junior in software engineering, teamed up with fellow students across the Midwest for ‘Project Contingency’ that he said is “aiming to launch a hacked, repurposed video game for computer play.”

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