America East Hackathon | Hack AE

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Date(s) - 11/04/2017 - 11/05/2017
All Day

University of Massachusetts Lowell, O'Leary Library/McGauvran Student Union



Now in its second year, Hack AE is a 24-hour civic hackathon organized by the America East Academic Consortium, the academic initiative of the America East Conference. The event is designed to bring America East students together to build software and hardware projects that address the real-world challenges facing our neighborhoods, cities, states, and country, with a specific emphasis on issues pertaining to cybersecurity, education, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness.

Photos from last year’s Hack AE event are available for viewing here.


What is a hackathon?

A hackathon is a creative coding event that brings developers and designers together to engage in collaborative computer programming.

Who can register to attend Hack AE?

Students currently enrolled at an America East university may register to attend Hack AE. If you are a current student at one of the following universities, you are more than welcome to register.

  • University at Albany
  • Binghamton University
  • University of Hartford
  • University of Maine
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • University of New Hampshire
  • Stony Brook University
  • University of Vermont

Why should I attend Hack AE?

Hack AE provides you with an opportunity to learn about new and emerging technologies from industry experts, discover internship and career opportunities with sponsoring companies, hone your skills in the company of seasoned mentors, and meet fellow hackers from across the America East Conference. At Hack AE, you will have access to some of the best hardware and APIs on the market, as well as the opportunity to earn some terrific prizes.

What if I have never attended a hackathon?

Don’t worry; students from all academic backgrounds, regardless of hacking experience, are welcome. We will have mentors on site to introduce you to the spectacular world of hacking!

When and where is Hack AE?

This year, Hack AE will take place on Saturday, November 4 – Sunday, November 5, 2017 in the O’Leary Library/McGauvran Student Union on the South Campus of the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Located in the heart of Lowell, the University of Massachusetts Lowell campus is conveniently situated just 25 miles northwest of Boston.

How do I get to Hack AE?

You may travel to the University of Massachusetts Lowell by car, train, or bus. Please note that, if feasible, we hope to financially support bus transportation to and from America East universities with high numbers of registered hackers, so encourage your friends to join you for what will be an amazing weekend.

In the event that a bus is not traveling to and from your America East university, please know that we will be offering a travel reimbursement to assist students who will be traveling to University of Massachusetts Lowell on their own or with friends.

Please stay tuned for more information regarding travel to and from the event.

If I drive to the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where may I park?

Hack AE attendees may park in the Wilder Faculty/Staff Parking Lot, which is open to the public on weekends. The lot is located on Wilder Street between Broadway Street and Lund Street on the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s South Campus. For reference purposes, the O’Leary Library/McGauvran Student Union is directly across the street from the lot.

How much does it cost to attend Hack AE?

Absolutely nothing. Hack AE is free to all registered attendees. We will provide you with WiFi, a workspace, meals, caffeine, and plenty of swag!

Is there a limit on the number of students that may attend Hack AE?

We are committed to ensuring that Hack AE is large enough in size to allow for broad participation from across the America East but small enough to ensure that participating students benefit from valuable networking with fellow hackers and industry professionals. At present, we expect to welcome approximately 200 hackers.

When will Hack AE registration open?

Hack AE registration opened on Tuesday, September 26.

When will Hack AE registration close?

Hack AE registration closed on Tuesday, October 31 at 5:00 p.m. EST.

Is there a theme for Hack AE?

Yes! Hack AE is a civic hackathon designed to provide students with a unique opportunity to build software and hardware projects that address real-world challenges. This year, hackers will be tasked with working to develop a technological solution to an issue pertaining to one or more of the following areas: cybersecurity, education, environmental sustainability, and/or health and wellness.

Hackers may build anything (e.g., web applications, desktop applications, mobile applications, hardware), provided the project strives to solve a problem related to one or more of the above topics/sub-topics.

May I build on a past project?

No. Hack AE is an opportunity to build something completely new within a 24-hour period. As such, you cannot work on past projects. However, you are permitted to use your own APIs or third-party APIs, provided their use is for a new project.

Are there any other restrictions in terms of what I may build?

Projects may not contain anything that is or may be construed as: (1) threatening, harassing, degrading, or hateful; (2) defamatory; (3) fraudulent; or (4) obscene, indecent, or otherwise objectionable. Further, projects may not contain any material that may encourage conduct constituting a criminal offense.

Do I need to form or join a team to participate in Hack AE?

Not necessarily. While teamwork is certainly encouraged, you do not need to form or join a team before the event, or at all. If you choose to work with others, we will provide plenty of time before hacking officially begins for you to form or join a team. Please note that teams may not exceed four individuals.

May I form or join a team with students from another America East university?

Yes! You are welcome to form or join a team with students from any America East university.

Are teams required to submit a project for judging?

No. Submitting a project for judging is entirely optional.

If my team submits a project for judging, what criteria will be used to assess the project?

The criteria below will be used as a framework for assessing submitted projects.

  1. Originality: Is the solution unique and innovative? Does the project do something entirely novel or take a fresh approach to an old problem?
  2. Technical Difficulty: Is the project technically advanced? Was a difficult technical problem solved in completing the project?
  3. Polish: Is the project useable in its current state? Is the user experience smooth? Is the project aesthetically pleasing?
  4. Usefulness & Impact: Is the project something that people are likely to use? Does the project fulfill a real need? Is the project likely to have a positive impact in our local community, region, nation or world?

Will there be prizes?

Of course! All members of award-winning teams will receive a prize. Award information will be posted soon!

What should I bring to Hack AE? 

Please bring a laptop, laptop charger, and your student ID. If you wish to borrow hardware during the hackathon, please bring a government-issued ID. Additionally, we recommend that you bring a toothbrush, sleeping bag or blanket, and change of clothes.

Will there be a designated sleeping space for students?

Absolutely. We recognize that students may wish to get some sleep during this all-night event. As such, there will be a designated sleeping room for students interested in taking a short or long nap!

Is there a code of conduct?

Yes! All Hack AE attendees must abide by the Major League Hacking Code of Conduct.

How can I receive real-time updates on all things Hack AE?

Great question! We strongly encourage you to connect with us on Twitter for the latest news, updates and photos!

What should I do if I have a question that hasn’t been addressed?

Drop us a line! We would love to hear from you at (subject line “Hack AE”).


Saturday, November 4

11:00 a.m. Student & Sponsor Event Check-In Opens
12:00 p.m. Lunch
12:30 p.m. Opening Ceremony
1:30 p.m. Hacking Begins!
3:30 p.m. BAE Systems Technology Talk
6:00 p.m. Dinner
10:00 p.m. Major League Hacking Activity
11:00 p.m. Late Night Snack

Sunday, November 5

3:00 a.m. Early Morning Snack
8:00 a.m. Breakfast
1:30 p.m. Hacking Ends!
1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. Judges’ Preparation Meeting
2:00 p.m. Judging Process
3:30 p.m. Judges’ Deliberation Meeting
4:00 p.m.* Awards & Closing Ceremony
*Estimated time only.

The event is expected to conclude no later than 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 5. Please plan accordingly.


Registration opened on Tuesday, September 26 and closed on Tuesday, October 31 at 5:00 p.m. EST.


If you are interested in serving as a mentor at Hack AE, please take a few minutes to complete the Hack AE 2017 Mentor Registration Form.


If you are interested in serving as a judge at Hack AE, please take a few minutes to complete the Hack AE 2017 Judge Registration Form.


If you want access to top technical talent, a chance to solicit immediate feedback on new products, and the opportunity to enhance your company’s brand recognition, we encourage you to consider sponsoring Hack AE. There are a number of levels at which sponsors can support the event. To learn more, please contact us at (subject line “Hack AE Sponsorship”).

We extend our sincere thanks to our current sponsors, without whom Hack AE would not be possible. Their generous support of Hack AE is an investment in our students and for that we are extremely appreciative!


The Hack AE family is enormously grateful for the help and support of its stellar 2017-18 partners, the University of Massachusetts Lowell DifferenceMaker Program and Major League Hacking.

Major League Hacking 2017 Hackathon Season