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Stetson Computer Science Competition Receives $2,000 Grant

A group of students sit around a table and computers, talking.

Students enjoy the second annual sudo HackStetson hackathon in Spring 2018.

Stetson University’s Greater Central Florida Tech Faire + Hackathon has been awarded a $2,000 grant from the Orlando Technology Community Support Pilot Program, an initiative by the City of Orlando to give a jumpstart to efforts that boost entrepreneurs.

“We are very pleased and excited to receive this grant,” said Joshua Eckroth, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer science at Stetson University. “The recognition it provides to our efforts in the larger Orlando community is important and welcomed.”

The city awarded a total of $65,000 to 16 projects that support its tech entrepreneurial community.

Eckroth and Dan Plante, Ph.D., professor of computer science at Stetson, and a team of students host the Stetson University Greater Central Florida Tech Faire + Hackathon each year, which draws interest from hundreds of college and high school students. Earlier this year, the two winners of the Apple-created “Capture the Flag” security challenge at the event won interviews with Apple, among other prizes.

The four of them are looking down at a computer screen, at work.

From left, Stetson computer science major Erica Kok looks on as Stetson computer science professors Hala El Aarag, Daniel Plante and Joshua Eckroth judge the app-creating competition at the Greater Central Florida Tech Faire + Hackathon.

Apple’s presence at the 2018 hackathon “is a very big deal,” said Eckroth. “They’re a very important company in the tech industry, especially with respect to security. The fact that part of their security team came here shows they really want to bolster cybersecurity interests at our school.”

Other activities at the hackathon include a first-time hackers category, coding challenges, code golf (solving coding challenges with the fewest lines of code) and a data science jamboree (big data analysis challenges).

The next Stetson University Greater Central Florida Tech Faire + Hackathon will be in the Spring 2019 semester. Anyone interested in competing should write to hack@stetson.edu.

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