On Campus

First Hackathon hosted by Mount Allison

Computer Science conference welcomed students, alumni back to campus
By: Laura Dillman Ripley

This term, Mount Allison hosted its first hackathon. Organized by students, faculty, and staff, the conference aimed to build a computer science community and inspire technological innovation by encouraging high school and university students across the Maritimes to learn, build, and pitch projects. The 2019 event focused on technology for environmental sustainability and featured workshops, industry booths, and social events.

Hackathon - Mount AllisonWorking with computer science faculty advisor Dr. Laurie Ricker (’87), a team of student organizers welcomed participants from across the region, both post-secondary and high school students, on campus for the inaugural event, working in groups over the course of either 12-hour or 16-hour streams.

“MtA Hacks was aimed at both beginner programmers and those with more experience,” says Graeme Zinck (’20), a computer science and commerce student who lead the organizing team. “Project ideas for the day were open-ended, but many focused on environmental sustainability topics, thanks to the assistance and input of Mount Allison environmental science students.”

The conference also welcomed several Mount Allison University alumni to campus as judges of the event, including: Chris MacKay (’91) (Tantramar Interactive); Olivier Bourgeois (’18) (Dell EMC); Finn Lidbetter (’17) (RideCo); and Will Fiset (’17) and Micah Stairs (’17), who both work for Google. Bourgeois, Lidbetter, Fiset, and Stairs all competed in programming competitions as students at Mount Allison, placing nationally and internationally.

MtA Hacks was supported by the Mount Allison University President’s Office, the Department of Student Affairs, the Department of Experiential Learning and Career Development, and the Campbell-Verduyn Fund.

Hear more about the Hackathon on CBC Moncton’s Information Morning: