Students hope to spread coding interest, innovation at 36-hour HackPSU event

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — More than 300 students will set sleep aside for innovation Friday as part of the third annual Penn State hackathon, called HackPSU.

HackPSU 2014, hosted by the College of Information Sciences and Technology and student-run organization Innoblue, begins Friday (April 4) at 8 p.m. and ends Sunday (April 6) at noon in the IST building. The event kicks off the college’s 2014 IST Start-Up Week.

Hackers from Penn State and other students traveling from universities such as University of Michigan and Virginia Tech will have 36 hours to build something amazing, such as a mobile app. They may then choose to pitch their ideas to the HackPSU judges and compete for a $2,500 prize. Second and third place prizes also will be awarded.

Unlike other hackathons, HackPSU is considered a “learning hackathon,” featuring seminars given by organizations and experienced coders who will speak on various coding, design and entrepreneurial topics. Participating organizations include Treehouse, Videon Central, Fareportal, SendGrid, and Github.

“We hope to use this weekend to teach students more about technology, to encourage them to continue learning on their own, and to build upon the coding community here at Penn State,” said Innoblue vice president and Penn State sophomore Mitch Robinson.

Novice and expert hackers will be participating, and all students are encouraged to drop in at any point of the hackathon to observe and learn. A schedule of seminars and offerings will be available at check-in.

Tickets to participate are currently sold out. Email or for information about getting on the participant waiting list. Visit or follow the group on Twitter @hackpsu for more information about the event.

Last Updated April 01, 2014