OSWEGO — SUNY Oswego is a partner in the first-ever AT&T Central New York Civic App Challenge, a “virtual hackathon” encouraging developers to solve local issues by building smartphone apps that serve Central New Yorkers.
Winners will receive cash prizes totaling $18,000 under the challenge, which is facilitated by Hack Upstate and will run until Nov. 11. Coders, designers and technologists can register for the challenge and get more information at attcny.hackupstate.com
In addition to Oswego, technology giant AT&T and Hack Upstate, other sponsors include Syracuse University, CenterState CEO and Girls in Tech.
“We are thrilled to be a partner in this competition tapping into the region’s brainpower, creativity and problem-solving skills,” SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley said. “We believe in encouraging people of all ages to embrace real-life learning opportunities, explore innovative solutions and contribute to the greater good of their communities.”
Since SUNY Oswego was the first public college in New York to offer a software engineering degree and a graduate degree in human-computer interaction, and has an established academic strength in computer science, organizers hope Oswego students take up the challenge to develop apps that can benefit the region.
SUNY Oswego computer science faculty member James Early said he has found interest among students — including discussion during a recent meeting of the college’s Computer Science Association as well as in classes — but anybody with a civic-minded app idea can consider entering.
The AT&T Central New York Civic App Challenge encourages innovative thinkers, designers, artists, developers and entrepreneurs to create intuitive and novel mobile apps that address and provide solutions for social and civic issues in the CNY region.
Apps submitted to the AT&T Central New York Civic App Challenge will be judged on their potential to impact CNY, quality of execution and creativity or novelty.
The SUNY Oswego Metro Center in downtown Syracuse will host the Nov. 19 judging by a panel that includes Stanley, local tech experts, community stakeholders and elected officials.
The total purse of $18,000 in cash awards is organized into two separate tracks: one track for developers already working on community service-themed apps and another for developers inspired to create a new civic application from scratch.
Both tracks consist of a $7,500 grand prize and $1,500 runner-up prize to be presented to the four winning teams at the Metro Center after the judging.
Teams submitting mobile apps must include at least one member who is either a current resident of the 12 counties that make up the region — Cayuga, Cortland, Herkimer, Lewis, Jefferson, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Seneca, St. Lawrence and Tompkins — or attends one of the region’s institutions of higher education.
To help encourage submissions, SUNY Oswego plans to sponsor a “hackathon,” where people gather to collaboratively create technical solutions, on campus with time and location yet to be determined.
Those interested in the competition can connect with others in the project and follow updates via the #attcny tag on Twitter.