We had heard of a hackathon but never in the context of historical research. We wanted to participate so we could enrich our understanding of subject matter we found interesting, and the event was a good opportunity to explore Duke’s research resources. It was enjoyable because our group’s collaboration could really drive the direction of our research, which led us to a more comprehensive understanding of our topic. We would participate again, especially now that we have a greater understanding of Duke’s infrastructure to support inquiry and research.

Jake Parker

I heard of the Hackathon through Nila and Heather, who are both in my Focus class. They asked if I wanted to join them, and I felt it would be a great bonding experience as well as a good diversion from the daily hustle and bustle of academics. I found it to be a lot of fun because we learned a lot of new things about yellow fever (a topic I had a little exposure to, but not a tremendous amount) and how it applies to our modern society, and also because it was such a good bonding experience for all of us! The people who ran the event were very friendly, and we were very glad they had free food. I will definitely participate next year if me and my friends are up for it!

Cheenu Tiwari

I participated in this competition to polish my research skills, and hopefully to prepare myself for a senior thesis paper. I really enjoyed this experience and was surprised, once again, by how supportive Duke grad students, faculty members, and librarians are. This is my first time sitting down in the Rubinstein reading room and go through rare collections. It’s so exciting because you never know what hidden gem you might find that is significantly helpful and meaningful to your project. I will definitely join next year (if i’m not entirely suffocated by my senior thesis).

Kay Zhang