Students had 24 hours to create innovative presentations of Texas A&M diversity-related data in an April 4-5 contest co-sponsored by the College of Architecture’s Diversity Council.
The event, the Diversity Open Data Hackathon, pitted student teams aiming to win $1000 in prizes with visualizations of publicly available datasets collected by Texas A&M’s Data and Research Services. A simple example of diversity-related data would be the number of female deans at Texas A&M throughout the years.
Participants were asked to present the data using whatever means they could conjure: animating graphs in a video file, using balloons of different sizes to illustrate different numbers, depicting the data in a music video, to name a few examples.
At the event's 5 p.m. opening ceremony James Caverlee, associate professor of computer science and engineering, outlined the contest.
Participants were able to come and go during the hackathon, which concluded with an awards ceremony.
Students were asked to use Data and Research Services' data in the contest, which includes breakdowns of student SAT scores by race and gender, graduation rates of students who are the first in their families to attend a university, and many more.
Mentors experienced in interpreting large datasets who have participated in past hackathons were available to student teams to help them brainstorm and think creatively.