Don't call it a hackathon
What a great tweet came across my way:
And because the author of this tweet remarked, it is interesting to see this retweeted hundreds of times while the talk itself is on quite different topic, I will post the transcript of said talk. (Also because the talk seems awesome)
Hi my name is Allison, from NC Libraries, here to talk about a project called code art, this is a project I took over managing last July and in second year.
It started as contest for students, for display on large scale video walls in the library, which Heidi mentioned earlier.
This is art created with autonomous system and can run, for example, on computer algorithms.
So the library opened in 2013, four video walls built into the public spaces of library were intended to be canvass for the library to show student and faculty work.
So the code art contest was created to advertise this, it was sponsored by digital systems, maker of [Name?], the competition with a substantial monetary of prize, hundreds of dollars for first and second place winners would be attracted to students, along with getting the exhibit to work in the library.
Another aim of the contest was to get awareness, coding, and encourage students to learn to code who wouldn’t of considered it a possibility.
Making art with code, this includes processing.
Last year in 2015 the contest structure required interest students write a written proposal, they competed for the final judging.
The projects were developed over a few months.
The outcome of last year’s contest was that we had two very impressive pieces produced for video walls, created with data, code and stand-alone art.
The winner was Forest, entry microcontroller to make trees that grow in a planet, so sun and moon revolve and serve as hands of a clock.
The WKP visualizer visualizes, birds flying over the sky line of Raleigh.
It was visualized in the building with the light flowing up and down.
Taking over the project in July I set some improvement goals for 2016 including more student participation, more diverse participation in terms of students participating in terms of their identities and also program of study.
More faculty involvement and mentorship of participants who might be interested in entering the contest.
One challenge, and potential opportunity there, the pool of students who already make code on campus is pretty small and hard to identify.
Very few courses on campus related to making art with code.
The coding there in computer science program about a thousand undergraduate and graduate students, not clear how many are interested in art.
How many are interested in coding, the design and using digital design tools, however.
Creative, eager to help with advertising and mentoring students.
Also creating new classes, involve creating coding in some fashion.
The deadline is next week for the contest.
Planned a series of events in maker space that allows students with no experience to get hands-on experience and make something, these creations would be eligible to submission to the contest.
Interestingly, while the workshop and hackathon, no experience necessary, they drew different audiences.
Perhaps people waited to enter because of the title hackathon, maybe a certain kind of competition, workshop seems more accessible.
Just last week, the studies from national University of Singapore, highly competitive settings woman made weighted, qualified woman may be discouraged from competing.
Due to structural courses in society, competitions may not be the best way to identify talent.
Most talented may not be competing.
It may be that more non-competitive programming is a key to building this on campus, we can support this year the modest gains, we have modest gains in number of woman, students of color and non-coders who participated in the program in contest more specifically, we have more work to do this.
This when includes shifting focus from being just a contest to more robust and inclusive program, more opportunity for underrepresented students.
I believe we can develop community for everyone that wants to learn to make art with code will feel empowered to do so.
Thank you. [APPLAUSE]