Hackathon continues on Winona State campus


Morgan Reddekopp

Students work on a water topography project during the WSU Hackathon on Saturday, Feb. 24, in the College of Business Engagement Center in Somsen Hall.

Morgan Reddekopp, Editor-in-Chief

This past Saturday, the Winona State University Computer Science Club and Managament Information Systems Association co-hosted the second annual Winona State University Hackathon in the College of Business Engagment Center in Somsen Hall. This event took place from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. and was a great opportunity for students interested in computer science to come and practice their skills, as well as learn to work in teams. Towards the end of the night, all the projects were evaluated by a judge.

Brad Budnick, the vice president of the Managament Information Systems Association, says that there are many aspects that the judge is looking at when judging the projects.

“Afterwards, there will be a competition to judge whose project is the best, most innovative and most technicalogically advanced,” Budnick said. “There are probably 10 plus projects going on. One of them involves a projector and the topography of a mountain.”

Ryan Kohlmeyer, president of the Management Information Systems Association, said that the WSU Hackathon is a fun filled day for students to tinker around with electronics and computers.

“This is the second annual event,” Kohlmeyer said. “It is basically a day where computer science and management information systems [majors], or anybody who is interested in tinkering around with electronics and computers, can just get together and have a day of fun.”

Waheed Khan is one of the students who planned the WSU Hackathon. He shared that he had originally wanted for the Hackathon to take place in the fall.

“Planning took some time and getting ready for this year took some time, which is why it is happening in the spring now,” Khan said.

Khan also states that this event is aiming to teach students to work together.

“This event is more trying to teach students how to work collaboratively,” Khan said. “This event is not only for computer science students; it is for everyone. The goal is to bring ideas to life and work collaboratively to see what we can do together.”

As of last Tuesday, over 70 people had already signed up and the event was much more known than the previous year.

“Last year, there were probably about 15 of us. This year there are probably about 70 people coming through here,” Kohlmeyer said.

The large increase in students involved has also caused changes to the event itself.

“Last year the event took place in East Hall. Not to say that we were limited by space, but there weren’t really tables or power plugs,” Kohlmeyer said. “In the Engagement Center, we have power plugs, internet cables, we have everything more accessible [to us].”

All three students, Khan, Kohlmeyer and Budnick, wanted to state that they are extremely thankful for this year’s sponsors.

“It’s nice that we get to work together and collaborate and that we have so many sponsors,” Budnick said.

The sponsors helped with advertising, as well as providing food.