Code For A Case: OLPC Hackathon
dhodge at usc.edu
Sat Mar 15 00:28:27 EDT 2008
My name is David Hodge. I'm the treasurer of University of Southern
California "Association of Computing Machinery" (ACM) and a member of "Free
Culture USC". These two groups are partnering on upcoming event that I
thought you might want to know about.
In about a month we are going to have a new "Code for a Cause" programming
event on the USC campus. The last "Code for a Cause event", called "SS12"
had students develop innovative, empowering software projects for disabled
persons. This upcoming event will focus on the theory and the technology
behind open-source software and your emerging OLPC platform. The fact that
your "XO" laptop is loaded with open-source software and is easy to develop
for makes it a great fit for our "Code For A Cause" event.
Like in the SS12 event, we will attract students ranging from freshmen
undergraduates all the way through Ph.D candidates and put them in mixed
teams of about five people. After an in-depth introduction to the OLPC
platform and a kickoff ceremony, student teams will be challenged over a
week-long period to develop open-source software for the OLPC platform.
Teams will be given guidelines for their projects, but be left enough
discretion to leverage their own creativity to produce unique solutions.
Software experts and OLPC hardware will be made available during
office-hours throughout the week of the event. At the end of the week,
students will submit their projects and receive prizes for their work at an
awards ceremony. The goal of this event is to raise awareness for
open-source software, to promote the OLPC platform, and to be educational
and fun for all participants.
We will have an orientation session on Wednesday April 9. The actual
competition will start with a kickoff event and full day of coding on April
12. The "Office Hours" where students can test their code on actual XO
laptops will take place for a few hours a day from the April 13 to April 19.
While our planning for this event is moving along well, we thought you might
be able to offer us some help. Specifically, we're looking for OLPC and
python experts to have at the competition and we thought that you might be
able to offer us some advice on where to find them. We'd like these experts
to provide help during the "office hours" sessions throughout the week.
Additionally, while we have already secured two loaner laptops for use
during the office hours, we are looking for another one or two laptops to
have on hand so that everyone can have access. So if possible we were hoping
you could send us a development laptop. Last, while we realize your
development laptops are scarce and may only be available on loan, having a
laptop as a "grand-prize" for the winning team would be an excellent way to
help them continue their work on your platform.
We are very much appreciative of all the work you have put into this
platform and would be grateful for any additional assistance you could
provide. I look forward to discussing this with you further. Feel free to
shoot me an email at dhodge at usc.edu or give me a call at (415) 717-0262.
We're currently working on our website for this event. If you're curious
about our last event, you can take a look on http://ss12.info to see what
"SS12" was like.
- David Hodge
P.S. Also feel free to contact...
David Richardson - President of USC ACM - dlrichar at usc.edu
Cameron Parkins - President of Free Culture USC - cameronparkins at gmail.com
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