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Monday, February 9, 2015

Women empower women at Rutgers' HackHers hackathon

Written by Pamela MacKenzie

There even is an international organization that oversees these gatherings, Major League Hacking, which tracks the scores earned by universities and colleges at all of its sanctioned events. In 2014, Rutgers University was ranked 16th in the nation for its students' participation and winning achievements.

Late in 2014, some of the female computer science majors in Rutgers' computer science department, who dubbed themselves HackHers, conceived of a hackathon with a special focus to meet the needs of women. They went to two advisers — Elaine Zundl, dean of the Douglass Project for Rutgers Women in Math, Science and Engineering, and Beth Bors, program coordinator for Pre-College Programs for Women in STEM, and outlined their plan for a new sort of hackathon.

Yes, it would have the popular competition between teams of programmers writing code throughout the night. But they wanted to attract women who are not in computer science and teach them to code. They also wanted to bring in experts who could take computer science students to new levels.

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