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Hackathons are collaborative gatherings of people to learn and apply skills towards a particular problem in a defined amount of dedicated time. In the case of the Cloud HPC and SGCI Team Hackathons, the participants are commonly undergraduate/graduate students teamed with mentors in the academic and/or commercial field that collaboratively identify a problem/issue and then both learn and apply skills to develop products that address that problem/issue.

In short, the hackathons aim to harness the resources, skills, and knowledge found in the HPC community in an effort to provide applied exposure for the student participants.
These issues can range from programmatic, to societal, to scientific subject areas. The mentors range from professors to programmers, to systems administrators, or even professionals in the HPC industry. Participant skill levels range from little to no programming nor systems experience to graduate students that are considered experts in their field. This mixture of experience levels provides direct interactions that increase the abilities of beginners while diversifying the skills of experts.


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Common Questions:

Q: Do I need to know how to code to participate?
A: No! All projects need a variety of skills, coding is just one of the many.

Q: Do I have to stay up the entire hackathon?
A: No! You and your team decide on you goals and mini-goals. Outside of some defined checkpoints, your time is your own.

Q: Is it a contest?
A: Sometimes, but if it is we clearly define the judging criteria. We do often enjoy a little healthy competition from small tasks to the overall judging of the final product with sponsor-provided prizes.

Q: Will this interfere with me attending the conference or participating in a student program?
A: Though we can not speak for your schedule or associate responsibilities, we do work closely with conference organizers to not conflict with other events. Commonly this is why the hackathons take place during night hours.

Q: Do you provide travel support?
A: It depends on the event. If the event does have travel support funds, it will say so within the hackathon event registration information.