Hackers bring creativity and innovation to 36-hour event at YSU

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Hackers -- they're not what you think

HackYSU in Youngstown


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Inside of Stambaugh Stadium is a group of hackers — but not the kind you should be worried about.

It’s going to be all work and no sleep for HackYSU this weekend.

The group is made up of students and people from all over who have a love for developing new ideas in the world of technology.

They’ll be staying awake for 36 hours to complete a project from start to finish. The product they’re creating could be an app or a website, maybe even a video game.

“You hear the term ‘hack’ and you think hacking someone’s computer, that kind of thing,” said Mike Wolfe, a senior at Kent State. “Modern terms, it is more like innovating.”

Wolfe is new to HackYSU but not to hack-a-thons. At the hackathon in Akron, his project used artificial intelligence to help those struggling with depression.

“We tailored it to people…who were kind of depressed and needed someone to talk to. So instead of a human on the other side, it was a computer,” he said.

For those who are new to this, there are mentors and professionals ready to help.

“The whole point of HackYSU is to have a great time, learn something new, to come together, meet some new people, build connections with companies that they could possibly be employed with, just to name a few,” said Ralph Streb, president of Youngstown Penguin Hackers.

Projects will be presented Sunday morning and prizes will be awarded. But for now, the hackers are focused on keeping their eyes open.

People who participate are not required to stay awake for all 36 hours. They can take breaks to nap, socialize or play games.

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