What is a hackathon and FAQs

2024 Schedule
2024 Hackathon projects
What is a hackathon? and other FAQs
Hackathon team roles
Code of conduct
Background reading

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a hackathon?

A hackathon is an event that takes place during a short period of time where participants work in teams to create things. Since our goal is to create research projects for college students, our teams create instructions, background information, data sets, lists of materials, and the assessments so that faculty can implement the projects with their students. 


Do we have to know how to code?

One project (Antibodies & AI) requires some knowledge of coding, the rest do not.  Most of the projects do not involve any coding.


Do we have to stay up all night? What will the schedule be like?

No, but past participants recommend that you CLEAR YOUR SCHEDULE.  This is a full-time four day commitment.  You will be working with a team and you have to be able to meet with them and participate.  Please not plan on taking or teaching a class at the same time.

See the schedule.


What is a CURE?

A CURE is a Course-based Undergraduate Research project.  These projects can vary in length.  Some projects might be completed in 1-2 weeks, some might require an entire quarter or semester, and some might continue through multiple semesters.    

I'm a faculty member - why should I do this? 

Faculty participants get the chance to learn new skills and collaborate with other faculty, scientists, and students on developing research projects and classroom materials. 

We will have talks related to antibody or immune engineering. You will have the chance to work with other faculty on developing research projects with different types of software and databases (for example: NextStrain.org, IEDB, NCBI, iCn3D, SAbDab, QUBES).    

I'm a student - why should I do this? 

Student participants will experience working as part of a multi-disciplinary team to plan and carry out a scientific project. These can be great experiences to include on a resume. Read about one student's experience in the January 2022 Hackathon.    

Do I need to assemble a team?

No.  We will assemble working groups of 4-9 individuals for each project. 

What will we create?

The teams will create (or locate and assemble) instructions, background information, data sets, lists of materials, and the assessments so that faculty can implement the projects with their students. After the Hackathon, teams may continue working together and depending on the project, and may have access to limited amounts of funding to cover the costs of lab supplies.  

One of our goals is to publish the research projects in QUBESHub and make the projects available to a wider audience.

Check out our first publication:  Porter, S., Hilgert, U., Lannan, E., Stieber, M. (2022). Evaluating the potential for immune escape: how likely is an antibody to protect against a specific SARS-CoV-2 variant?. Antibody Engineering, QUBES Educational Resources. doi:10.25334/82D0-AT65


Will we be able to use the research projects and materials we create in our courses?

Yes!  We want faculty participants to work on projects with their students.  We may also be able to provide you with a small amount of funding for lab supplies.     

Can we suggest projects?

Sure!  But, we may have to tackle your project next year.     

Who owns what we make?

Our computational work focuses on programs and databases that are publicly available and open-source wherever possible. These include iCn3D, IEDBNCBI databases, SabDab, TheraDab, iReceptor, and others.  Any software modifications developed through the hackathon will be open source and freely available.    

If you have questions or need additional information, please email sandra@digitalworldbiology.com