DandyHacks Logo

A virtual Hackathon for all

October 23-25th, 2020


An image of a cute Fox on a hammock!


DandyHacks grows ever better, as we enter our 8th year as the University of Rochester’s hackathon, and our 1st as a virtual one! Being a fully student-led organization at a tier 1 research university, we try to embody our school’s values as we seek to encourage participants to question the world and learn more.

Growing with us!

A big part of learning and growing is acknowledging what you don’t know. At DandyHacks, we are fully committed to being an accessible and beginner-friendly hackathon. This means having workshops at an introductory and intermediate level for platforms such as Git, MongoDB, and Firebase. Coupled with networking events, and snacks (!) dotted throughout the 36 hours of our virtual hackathon, we hope that regardless of your experience and background in coding, you will learn something new, and have fun all the while.



Tech for Social Good (Sponsored by WiC-MiC)

With many social injustices in our modern-day society, we are called to play our part as members of a global community. But what can members of the tech community do? How can we use our tech skills and knowledge to tackle social problems? In this challenge, you will choose a social issue and develop a solution that can help to mitigate it. It might be an educational platform, an aid for workers on the ground- whatever you choose! As long as you are using tech for social good. Prize: Laptop stands for the winning team.

Video Game Track (Sponsored by the Video Game Dev Club)

As the name suggests, projects that focus on enhancing the experience of playing video games, or projects that are video games themselves, can opt into this track. Prize: Team gets $60 Steam Gift Card.

Best Hack to build a SMART- Tech Hub “Ecosystem” (Sponsored by M&T Bank)

Showcase your ideas to create new experiences and services leveraging smart technologies - which are connected to the Internet and AI-driven - to improve various aspects of the employee & guest experience on Seneca One Tech Hub campus. If you are interested in working for this track, you should attend M&T SMART Track Description event Friday night 9:30-10:30pm EDT. Link to meeting. For details about this track, click this link! Prize: $250 per team member

Hacking with echoAR (Sponsored by echoAR)

Build the best AR/VR application using the echoAR platform! echoAR is a cloud platform for augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) that provides tools and server-side infrastructure to help developers; companies quickly build and deploy 3D apps. To get access to this service, register using this link here. Prizes: $50 Amazon Gift per member, 1-month free Business Tier access Selected projects will be featured on our “Inspiration” Page

Healthcare Track (Sponsored by UR Department of Biology)

It goes without saying that the current world of medicine has been transformed immensely by the recent advancements in technology. There’s always room to expand and areas to improve upon. And with the current situation of the world, we’re obliged to ask what we can do to improve everyone’s lives through healthcare technology. Following are some guiding questions. 1. How can you provide services to address mental health issues for college students? 2. How can you improve contact tracing and COVID testing on college campuses? 3. How can you enhance access to healthcare in disadvantaged communities? Prize: One Powerbank per member.

Best Use of CockroachDB Track (Sponsored by MLH)

Use CockroachDB's open source and indestructible SQL database. PostgreSQL compatible and easy to use. Utilize CockroachDB in your hack for a chance to win a 3D printing pen for each team member. What's more, ALL projects submitted that use CockroachDB will receive a free t-shirt! Prize: CockroachDB Branded 3-Doodle 3D Printing Pen


Intro to LaTeX

An overview of LaTeX, a typesetting program that has a variety of uses, including math, computer science, and linguistics. We will be going over how to format documents and write math equations. If there is time, we will also go over some more advanced topics.

Intro to Web Scraping

Explore Web Scraping, the process of extracting data from websites. Learn HTML and a Python library to gather data.

NSBE - MATLAB for Beginners

Workshop for programming beginners with little to no experience in MATLAB. Students can download MATLAB for free here.

Intro to A* for Robotics

This workshop covers a theoretical framework for state-space search followed by a conceptual derivation of A*. We then explore how one could apply A* to various planning problems including mobile robot trajectory generation and robot manipulation.


What is a hackathon?

A hackathon is an event in which people meet to collaboratively build out their ideas using technology!

Who is eligible to join?

Since we are moving online this year, anyone who is above 18 can join from anywhere in the world

However, due to costs and logistics, gifts and snacks may only be rendered to those living in the US.

Do I have to pay to get in?

We will never ask you to pay a single dollar. DandyHacks is completely free. We will foot the bill for all the speakers, food, and swag.

How does a virtual hackathon work?

When we start the hackathon (10/23 9pm EDT), you may start your projects, and by the end of the hackathon (10/25 9am EDT) you must have submitted your project (with a short video running your project) onto our DevPost which will be provided. At 12pm, the judging should be over, and we will announce the winners. During the duration of the hackathon, we will also have a virtual platform, where we will have workshops, talks, and giveaways for hackers to enjoy. We'll be using Discord as means of communication throughout the event

Will we still be able to do physical projects?

Since we are accepting video submissions, you can do physical projects and submit a video of what the project does.

Can I sign up with a team? What if I don’t have one?

Absolutely! Keeping in line with our previous years, you’ll be able to submit a project with three additional teammates!

If you don’t have a team though, we’ll have a team building channel in our Discord!

Can I start hacking before the event?

All projects must be made during the time frame of the event. Planning and gathering resources before the event are ok.

I still have questions...

Reach out to us at greetings@dandyhacks.net, or drop us a line on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn!


M&TBank Sponsor
Rochester Data Science Consortium Sponsor
Ain Center Sponsor
Crafty Sponsor
Data Science Sponsor