On Saturday, November 3, 2012, around forty TU students from various departments, including computer science, English, art, gathered in the Mayo Village Student Activities Center for ACM's first annual Hackathon, a video game coding sprint. Organized in groups of 2-4, the students had only 25 hours (starting at 2:00 PM) to imagine, conceptualize, implement, debug, and polish their product. Sunday afternoon brought visits from local industry, as well as two computer science professors, Dr. Roger Mailler and Dr. John Hale, to judge and evaluate their work.
Around ten computer science students had spent a month planning the event. A brainchild of two officers of the Association of Computing Machinery, the event required coordination in many areas. The $1400 in operating costs were completely funded by the donations of private industries. Tight negotiations with local restaurants allowed the hungry competitors to fuel up in the middle of the night. Beautiful signs went up all over campus a week before the event, to ensure lots of participation. Lastly, a few officers were tasked with selecting the theme, and keeping it secret until the day of the event. The secret nature of the theme ensured that no team had done any significant work on their game before the competition, so that all teams were on equal footing.
Overall, eight teams managed to complete their games by the deadline. Many of these teams expressed interest in competing in a similar competition to be held in the spring, a long-term game creation contest, to be hosted at the University.
The Association for Computing Machinery is a forum to facilitate communications among computer science professionals, and in the case of the student chapter, to provide students interested in computers an idea of the future that awaits them.