Mission Statement

DivHacks is Columbia University's first student-run diversity hackathon. We strive to create an empowering and inspirational space for marginalized communities and people whose identities exist beyond the standard definition. Despite systematic attempts to exclude and erase us, we affirm our existence. We are vital to the success of the tech and business industry.

Through this hackathon, we strive to create an experience that appreciates and uplifts our voices, while also bringing about the very technologies we seek to see.


Kathryn Hurley

Kathryn Hurley is the General Counsel at MakerBot Industries, one of the world’s leading desktop 3D printing companies. At MakerBot, Kathryn and her team tackle many complex intellectual property, compliance, and general legal issues in both the software and hardware space. For fun outside of work, Kathryn loves exploring new technologies and attends tech events, including hackathons, every chance she gets, and was even on a winning team at a Google Glass Hackathon where she eventually became a co-founder of a civic tech mobile app called Intellibins. Kathryn is also a distance runner and Board Chair of Legacy College Preparatory Charter School. Kathryn was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, is a graduate of Howard University and Georgetown Law. Kathryn is also a former Corps Member with Teach for America in Atlanta where she taught middle school Spanish and reading, and coached Girls basketball.

Alex Qin

Alex Qin is a Brooklyn based programmer, educator, and public speaker. She believes in universal access to computer science education and in the importance of building technology for good. She is the Director of Technology at Gakko, a global education design studio based in Tokyo and NYC. She is also the founder of the Code Cooperative, an organization that facilitates prisoner reentry by teaching formerly incarcerated individuals to code. She is on the Board of Directors of the Computer Science Teachers Association of NYC and on the Associate Board of Code/Interactive and Mouse. Prior to joining Gakko, she was the Web Engineering Team Lead at Skillshare and the Curriculum Director at Coalition for Queens. She holds a B.A. in Computer Science from New York University.

Social Impact

How can we make the greatest impact on society with what we know? What can we offer? Come hack on the theme of Social Impact or a subcategory- Activism, Health, Education, or Sustainability! We'll have overall 1st ($1000), 2nd ($750), 3rd (Xbox + Kinect, sponsored by Microsoft), as well as best beginner hack ($500), and best in each subcategory listed above ($250 per category). IBM also has its own challenge for the event for awards that include IBM Research Internships and TJ Bots! Check it out here!

Event schedule

NOTE: Some times subject to change
  • 8:30am-9:00am Check-in/Breakfast-(Diana Center 2nd Floor)
  • 9:00am-9:20am Kick Off: Welcome to Divhacks!-(Lehman Auditorium, 202 Altschul Hall)
  • 9:30am-9:50am Keynote: Kathryn Hurley
  • 10:00am-10:20am Keynote: Alex Qin
  • 10:30am-12:00pm Team formation/Hacking Begins-(Diana Center 2nd Floor)
  • 11:00am-3:00pm Beyond Barnard Resume Review Table
  • 11:00am-12:00pm Hacking Your Way to Perfection: An Intro Django (LL103)
  • 12:00pm Lunch is served
  • 1:00pm-3:00pm Breakout sessions and workshops
  • 1:00pm IBM Breakout (Room LL103)
  • 2:00pm-3:00pm Jekyll Static Blogs Hosted by Github (LL103)
  • 2:00pm-3:00pm HTML/CSS Workshop (LL104)
  • 2:00pm-3:00pm Athena Design: Spice up your website Table (html/CSS)
  • 3:00pm-4:00pm Intro to Blockchains (Room LL104)
  • 6:00pm Dinner is served
  • 7:30pm Hacking Ends
  • 7:30pm-9:00pm Presentations, judging, and prizes


Who is this open to?

It's open to everyone 18 years old and above! Please bring a valid id when checking in.

Will there be food?

Yes! Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner will be provided, along with snacks and water.

What should I bring?

Bring a valid form of ID, your laptop, and chargers.

Do I need a team?

If you have a team, awesome. Teams consist of a max of 4 people. If not, you can form a team during team formation or work individually on a project. Another option: you can also work through our education curriculum resources throughout the day and learn about a new topic of interest, anything from data science to front-end.

I have never coded before. Should I still attend?

Yes, absolutely! This hackathon is a great place to get exposure to the tech world and start your own project, even if you do not have prior experience. You can hear our awesome key note speaker, attend the informative breakout sessions, and connect with engineers, mentors and students at the hackathon.

Will there be travel reimbursements?

Unfortunately, we are not able to provide travel reimbursements this year.

How should I plan my visit? What about parking?

There are resources on parking from Barnard and from Columbia. Hope this helps!

Will there be prizes?

Yes, indeed! We have prizes up to $1000 as well as amazing prizes from our sponsors including TJ Bot Kits, Xbox & Kinect, and IBM Research Internships!


Yup! Diana is fully accessible!

Thank you to our sponsors!






  • Diana Center 2nd Floor
  • Lehman Auditorium, 202 Altschul Hall