According to an August 30 press release, Penn Libraries will host the PennApps Competition on September 6, 2013 at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Philadelphia’s Mayor Michael Nutter will begin the event with an opening address at 8 p.m. Friday night.
Afterwards, teams will began their brainstorming, according to the report, and they have until 11 a.m. on Sunday, September 8 to finish and polish their creations, which is when the projects will be judged and prizes awarded.
How does Hackathon work?
Run by students, PennApps is the largest hackathon worldwide since its founding in 2009. Since its inception, PennApps has received more than 1,600 applicants over the last four years, according to its website. Of those applicants, PennApps chose only about 1,000 to compete, and 350 of those competitors attend University of Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia campus. The other 650 chosen were international competitors, according to PennApps FAQs.
In all, this year’s competition consists of about 200 students who are divided into teams, according to the press report. According to the PennApps Hackathon rules, for a team to qualify to win an award, participating Hackathoners have to have their projects completed and submitted by 11 a.m. on Sunday, September 1.
PennApps hosts one hackathon each semester and this year, PennApps is donating its Special Collections Center space to help develop participation inspiration. Additionally, according to the Fort Mills Times, Penn Library is contributing data from its Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts, which consists of, “a vast cache of information which tracks the historical movement of medieval manuscripts among collectors and libraries.”
Additionally, Penn Libraries is offering is vast Penn provenance Project database, which is a collection of rare books. The competitors will use this data to try and create an application.
Weekend coding schedule
According to the PennApps Hackathon schedule, this year’s hackathon competition begins with registration on Friday, September 6, at 4 p.m., and ends at 6 p.m. with the competition kickoff. From 6 to 8 p.m. teams will form and get ready for the competition to begin, after which Mayor Nutter will speak at the 8 p.m. dinner that runs until midnight.
Until and after serving "caffeine muffins” at midnight Saturday, teams will be well on their way to figuring out their hackathon projects until 7 a.m. Saturday morning when breakfast is served. Competitor teams will continue with their projects all day Saturday, stopping for lunch at noon, then a massage at 1 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m., and a few breaks in between dinner and “insomnia cookies” at midnight Sunday.
Competitors will work on their projects all night until 7 a.m., when breakfast is served Sunday. Competitors will need to finish their projects by 11 a.m. Sunday, which is when they must submit their projects for judging.
Judging and awards
The PennApps Hackathon Rules state that After submitting the completed project, demos are completed in two rounds. In the first round, teams are divided into three groups consisting of the five best teams within each room, and each team has two minutes to present their projects.
For the second round, 20 teams are chosen determined by the highest overall scores to present their projects for two minutes and then participate in a question and answer session for two minutes.
Team will begin their brainstorming after the address, and will work in the Engineering Quad and Van Pelt Library areas, according to UPenn News. They have until Sunday morning to work, after which they will then demo their creations in the Palestra on Sunday.
The award ceremony will honor winners’ creations on Sunday afternoon at the Irvine Audirotium from 2 to 5 p.m., where no less than $25,000 in prizes will be awarded, and possibly more, while the best creation winning a grand prize of 10,000.
To register as an observer, or if you are a Penn student and wish to hack, visit the PennApps registration page to receive a ticket, which are free of charge. Unfortunately, while PennApp hackathons are generally open for anyone to register, non-student registration is closed at this point. For general information about the competition, visit PennApps here.
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