The mission of the event is aligned with the Mission of the Office of the Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity:
“The Mission of the Office of the Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity is to facilitate, coordinate, advance, amplify, inform, and monitor the University and its many units as we develop our strength in - and evidence of - respect for diversity.
Texas A&M University’s constituents believe our traditions and vision focus on a unique higher education environment that fosters, in individuals and in groups, excellence, leadership, integrity, loyalty, selfless service, and respect. Each of these attributes must fully integrate respect for individual and group diversity such that we effectively utilize these differences in our pursuit of academic excellence and preeminence in the 21st century. As part of our mission to document Texas A&M University’s commitment to diversity, we will provide data that will enable members of the university community to monitor progress made in this regard.”
The goals of the event are to stimulate dialogue about diversity and inclusion topics on TAMU campus and beyond among students, faculty and staff in a creative, collaborative and interdisciplinary environment.
The first idea came about as a response to a brief in class in the architecture department which asked students to visualize TAMU historical data and showcased outdated visualization techniques as ‘good examples.’ A small group of architecture students, led by Bara Safarova, suggested to the Associate Dean for Outreach and Diversity, Dr. Giusti, to organize a hackathon to visualize data related to diversity that are held by TAMU and are publicly available. Dr. Giusti was incredibly supportive and encouraging. Bara put together a steering committee from across the college - mainly students, and invited James Caverlee from the Center for the Study of Digital Libraries to partner with the Diversity Council to deliver the event. James has had experience running hackathons and brought computer science students on board.
The Diversity Council together with the Center for the Study of Digital Libraries provided funding for prizes and other resources to deliver the first Diversity Open Data Hackathon in 2014.
The first event was a success, so in 2016, the partners organized a second iteration: Bryan/College Station Diversity BuildDay, rebranded to attract more architecture students.
The third event, planned for February 2017, was initiated by offer of funding from the College of Education and Human Development (Dr. Trez Jones) and by an offer of collaboration from the GIS Day Planning Committee of TAMU Libraries (Dr. Cecilia Smith at al.) The accessibility topic came about as it was the topic of a data collection competition during the 2016 GIS Day at TAMU. The GIS Day Planning Committee approached the Diversity Council to use the data pertaining to accessibility on TAMU campus.
The fourth event took place on February 2018. Members of the Diversity Council came up with the theme, Diversify Space & Place. The topic came about as the organizer discussed the new and existing spaces on campus, and how to creatively diversify spaces on the Texas A&M campus for everyone.
Students, faculty, and staff of Texas A&M University are all welcome, including those from our other branches (Corpus Christi, Prairie View, etc.)!
Nope! The event is free, and participants will receive food, beverages, snacks, and t-shirts!
Absolutely! You may register up until the day of the event, but earlier registration is strongly encouraged. Not only will you be able to begin brainstorming and building your team, but we’ll also have you in the headcount for food! Don’t want to miss that!
Bring your laptop, any specialized gadgets or tools you wish to use, and some comfy clothes! Everything else will be provided for you (including $25 worth of printing- see Rules for details). Lucky you!
You are more than welcome to go solo, but keep in mind you still only have that 24 hour time slot to have a complete project to present! Teams can be up to 8 people and are strongly encouraged, but it is not a requirement.
At the conclusion of the event and judging, the winning teams will be awarded a certificate. Then, within 5 days, the award money will be split evenly between the team members and issued in the form of a digital gift card.
For the most part, the event will be held in Langford Architecture Center, but check the schedule for details.
Video created by the Texas A&M College of Engineering