Eilidh Southren

Robert Gordon University


The highlight of the RGU Computing Society’s year is the annual Hackathon: a 24 hour programming competition which brings together students from across Scotland for a weekend of developing, workshops, sponsor networking and fun. The Computing Society has been hard at work over the past 6 months, to pull together the resources to bring the event to life.

It took place for the fifth time this year on February 23rd in the atrium of the Sir Ian Wood Building, and was the largest-attended yet. Seventy students from 8 Universities and Colleges came together to learn, share and build something new.

The ethos of a Hackathon is to work together in teams to complete one of the challenges set by RGU and our sponsors. Participants had a choice of using AI to build something creative (Codify), using a Healthcare dataset in an interesting way (Brightree), building a Web Security Filtering system (Wood) or creating an Internet of Things-inspired monitoring system (RGU CSDM Department).

It was great to have sponsor representatives on hand from Codify, Brightree, Wood, FDM Group, BP and Leonardo to talk to participants about placement and graduate opportunities, as well as hand out some goodies to take home.

In amongst the 24 hours of developing, participants took breaks to learn from our ‘Using an API’ and GitHub workshops, interact with the sponsors on hand, and take part in our mini-games – the crowd favourite Slideshow Karaoke, where folks get to show off their on-the-spot presentation skills; our Web Dev challenge, where Web-savvy students tried to recreate the Youtube homepage in HTML and CSS within 15 minutes; and bringing us into the night, the 1am Lockpicking workshop.

On Sunday afternoon, after very little sleep, our teams presented their weekends’ work to our panel of judges, with prizes going to 1st/2nd/3rd teams, best First Year Hack, and more.

Overall winners of RGUHack V were Saran, Arturs and Rauf, a team of RGU and North East Scotland College students. They used Tensorflow to create an AI which composed a song – which we later used as the theme song to our time-lapse of the event. Check it out here!