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Hacking Injustice

May 24 Hackathon Challenges Students to Benefit Others with Social Justice App Contest

At the end of many Silicon Valley hackathons, winning programmers might produce a cool smart-phone app to find the best Thai restaurant, or use QR code for information on potential love connections.

At Santa Clara University’s BroncoHack, organizers hope at least one winner will change the world for the better.

“Best Social Justice App” is one of three categories of prizes that will be available to the winning team during BroncoHack, a 24-hour hackathon being held at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business, which is expected to be attended by 150 Bay Area high-school and college students.

While the precise parameters of the project won’t be revealed until the day of the event – in keeping with the spontaneous rules of hackathons --  sponsors hope to harness the unmistakable energy and community spirit of hackathons to help communities that are otherwise marginalized or discriminated against.

“We are really looking forward to seeing what these high school and college students come up with, not just in the way of cool tech or business apps, but also to use technology to help the community,” said Paul Intrevado, adjunct instructor in Santa Clara University’s Department of Operations Management and Information Systems, and the faculty adviser for the OMIS Student Network (OSN), the main organizer of the day’s events.

Hackathons are 24-hour, marathon computer coding sessions at which attendees must come up with an app or other product whose specifications are not revealed until the day of the event.  After the May 24 event (2 p.m. May 24 to 2 p.m. May 25)  BroncoHack will award three $1,000 prizes in each of the following categories:

*Best Social Justice App
*Best Tech App
*Best Business Technology Case

Other sponsors of prizes at BroncoHack include the San Jose Earthquakes, who will announce the winner of their Stadium App prize at the Quakes game the evening of Sunday May 25, and the OMIS Student Network of Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business. The Associated Student Government of Santa Clara University is also a sponsor of the event.

The school’s OMIS Student Network hopes to shed light on the inextricable link between business and information technology fields like computer science and computer engineering.

“Business and information technology are inseparable nowadays,” said Andy Tsay, chair of the OMIS department at SCU. “ With their understanding of both, our department's majors and minors are ready to step right into some of the best career paths, whether as entrepreneurs or as staffers at leading organizations in just about every industry."

“At SCU we expect our graduates to do good for society along the way, and this hackathon is right in line with that theme," Tsay added.

More information on the day’s events can be found at BroncoHack.com.

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