Explore new frontiers

February 19-21, 2016

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Welcome to HackIllinois!

From its inception, HackIllinois has ventured out into the unknown on a mission to build an exceptional and creative hacking culture. This starts with fostering an environment of innovation and impact.

Our beliefs

At HackIllinois, we believe in three core values:

  • Encouraging students to explore their creativity
  • Empowering students to create meaningful additions to the field of technology
  • Building a community of peers and mentors

Our Event

In the span of 36 hours, our hackers are challenged to innovate, design and achieve.

To do so, we are focusing on building HackIllinois as an exciting, non-traditional experience for students. This year, we are introducing three initiatives of HackIllinois:


  • Software

  • Hardware

  • Open Source
  • Software@HackIllinois equips students with the tools, mentors and APIs they need to develop creative mobile and web applications.
  • Hardware@HackIllinois helps both beginner and experienced hackers create a new generation of hardware technology.
  • OpenSource@HackIllinois is a brand new hackathon format that brings together open source gurus (like Jay Freeman aka Saurik) and hackers to build on projects and give back to the developer community.

At any time during the event, hackers are permitted to switch between the three initiatives.

Note that, to maintain the ultimate goal of encouraging growth and development in the Open Source community, OpenSource@HackIllinois will not be supplemented by a monetary prize.

Information about the judging criteria and process can be found here.

Meet our team

We’re a team of driven individuals working towards the goal of inspiring and empowering creative minds to build anything they can imagine.

Our motto

Explore New Frontiers at HackIllinois

What should I bring?

You should bring a student ID, a change of clothing or two, personal items (toiletries), a laptop & charger, and any required hardware for your hack. Essentially, bring anything you would need for a normal weekend. Due to power concerns, please do not bring extra monitors or desktop computers.

How do I get there?

We will be providing buses from across the Midwest. Last year, we had buses from schools in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, Indiana, and Ohio. Some travel reimbursement will be provided to select hackers. This information will be released with decision results.

How can my school get a bus?

Send us an email at contact@hackillinois.org and get your peers to sign up! Buses will be provided to schools with a large number of participants, and hacking is more fun with friends!

Do I need a team?

Single person teams are allowed, but we encourage you to work in a group! Teams can have up to four people spanning any schools.

Will there be food?

All meals, snacks, and drinks will be provided for the entire weekend. If you have a dietary restriction, please make sure to mention it on the application. There will be a wide variety of food.

Who do I contact for help?

Mentors from leading technology companies will be on-hand to provide support and troubleshoot problems. We also encourage all hackers to help each other!

Where do I sleep?

Sleeping rooms will be furnished with air mattresses and pillows. We want you to be comfortable!

Will you have hardware?

We'll have high-level hardware like Oculus Rift, the Myo armband, and Microsoft Kinect for hardware hackers. We'll also have basic hardware components like resisitors, transistors, and ICs, as well as wood, building materials, and power tools for you to tinker with. To help gauge interest, please specify any hardware that you might use in your application.

What are the prizes?

We will be releasing detailed prize information closer to the event, but feel free to look at the prizes from last year here.

How's judging work?

HackIllinois judging will be split into three categories: Software, Hardware, and Open Source. For information, check out the Judging Info Sheet. Our VIP Judges include Pek Pongpaet from Impekable, Tasos Karahalios from IDEO and Chrissy Ziccarelli from Girls Who Code. There will be prizes provided directly by HackIllinois and by our sponsors.

More questions?

Please don't hesitate to reach out to us at contact@hackillinois.org!

Expedition Itinerary

Friday

February 19

  • 4:00pm
    Buses arrive/Check-in
    Siebel Atrium
  • 5:00pm
    Career Fair
    Siebel Center/ECEB
  • 7:00pm
    Opening Ceremony
    Illini Union
  • 8:30pm
    Dinner
    Siebel Center/ECEB
  • 9:15pm
    OS Team Forming
    ECEB
  • 9:15pm
    Hardware/Software Team Forming
    1404, Siebel Center
  • 10:00pm
    Hacking Begins
    Siebel Center/ECEB
  • 10:00pm
    Resources 101
    1404, Siebel Center
  • 10:30pm
    DevOps Workshop
    1404, Siebel Center
  • 11:30pm
    Arduino Workshop
    2013, ECEB

Saturday

February 20

  • 12:30am
    Midnight Snack
    Siebel Center/ECEB
  • 1:00am
    Web Dev & API Workshop
    2013, ECEB
  • 1:00am
    Raspberry Pi Workshop
    1404, Siebel Center
  • 8:00am
    Breakfast
    Siebel Center/ECEB
  • 10:00am
    Therapy Dogs
    Siebel Atrium
  • 10:00am
    Circuit Design Workshop
    2013, ECEB
  • 12:00pm
    Lunch
    Siebel Center/ECEB
  • 1:00pm
    Blue Waters Tours
    Blue Waters
  • 3:00pm
    Pek Pongpaet's Talk
    Grainger Auditorium, ECEB
  • 4:00pm
    Chrissy Ziccarelli's Talk
    Grainger Auditorium, ECEB
  • 5:30pm
    Tasos Karahalios' Talk
    Grainger Auditorium, ECEB
  • 7:00pm
    Dinner
    Siebel Center/ECEB
  • 7:30pm
    KPCB Panel
    1404, Siebel Center
  • 9:00pm
    NERF Wars
    Kenney Gym

Sunday

February 21

  • 12:00am
    Midnight Snack
    Siebel Center/ECEB
  • 3:00am
    Mini Meal
    Siebel Center/ECEB
  • 8:00am
    Breakfast
    Siebel Center/ECEB
  • 10:00am
    Hacking Ends
    Siebel Center/ECEB
  • 11:00am
    Lunch
    Siebel Center/ECEB
  • 12:00pm
    Project Expo and Closing Ceremony
    Illini Union
  • 5:00pm
    Buses Depart
    Siebel Center