Space Needle hosts college hackathon

Two WSU students created event, 150 participants

Junior+computer+science+major+Kaveh+Khorram+discusses+his+past+endeavors%2C+like+being+an+intern+at+J.P.+Morgan+Chase+and+organizing+the+collegiate+hackathon.
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Space Needle hosts college hackathon

Junior computer science major Kaveh Khorram discusses his past endeavors, like being an intern at J.P. Morgan Chase and organizing the collegiate hackathon.

Junior computer science major Kaveh Khorram discusses his past endeavors, like being an intern at J.P. Morgan Chase and organizing the collegiate hackathon.

BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Junior computer science major Kaveh Khorram discusses his past endeavors, like being an intern at J.P. Morgan Chase and organizing the collegiate hackathon.

BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Junior computer science major Kaveh Khorram discusses his past endeavors, like being an intern at J.P. Morgan Chase and organizing the collegiate hackathon.

KURIA POUNDS, Evergreen reporter

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Two WSU students headed the first-ever collegiate hackathon hosted in Seattle, Washington’s Space Needle.

The hackathon took place last weekend. The event drew in more than 100 people at the beginning, said WSU junior Kaveh Khorram, a computer science major and event organizer.

The Hack Washington event featured students who are currently in college or have just graduated, he said.

Khorram said the focus of the hackathon was to provide nationwide bonding over the experience of coding and developing technological skills.

The selection process for this event started with more than 600 applicants and was narrowed down to 130-150 selected participants, Khorram said, since the organizers wanted the best of the best to be a part of this experience.

“Hackathons are great for not only computer science students,” he said, “but for all STEM students and students outside of STEM.”

Khorram was one of the main organizers of the hackathon. He visited Seattle in summer of 2018 to decide where to host the event.

The reason he chose the Space Needle was because he wanted to expand beyond a college campus. It had to be a place that would be memorable for everyone, Khorram said.

“We were in Seattle, looking for a few different spaces for Hack Washington,” he said. “We were visiting the Science Center and we just looked up and saw the Space Needle and thought, let’s see if we can reserve this space.”

Patrick McGreevy, a WSU student, also helped create the hackathon.

“The most important lesson I learned is that pursuing something meaningful is the most important thing for me to do,” he said.

Khorram encourages people who are interested in hackathons, coding and developing their technological skills to start with less-competitive events, where people do not win prizes.

Students can gain a lot of experience and practice in the field to prepare to potentially enter more competitive and intense hackathons in the future, he said.

“I’d say that keeping people at an event is hard, you can kind of think of it as running a 150-plus party,” Khorram said.

He said few people left during the event. Khorram said for next time he wants less people to leave the hackathon so people can still enjoy their experience.

“The future of Hack Washington is bright,” McGreevy said. “We’ve already had some tentative conversations about next year.”