An enterprising group of students from Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering is forging ahead with a new initiative that may make Blacksburg a major destination for hackers nationwide.

In April, more than 450 programmers and technology developers gathered in Cassell Coliseum for VT Hacks, a three-day event that challenged participants to develop innovative ideas that integrated software programming and hardware development. The event was the largest "hackathon" in the southeastern United States.

Now, organizers want to build on the success of that event and will host two weeks of instructional hackathon workshops in November. The workshops will be held Nov. 3 through 7 and on Nov. 10 through 14 at several locations on the Virginia Tech campus. Another 36-hour hackathon is planned for the spring.

The workshops will introduce student participants to different applications of programming and hacking on topics ranging from iOS and Android development, to interfacing with the physical world using Arduino and Raspberry Pi.

Hackathons, a growing trend at colleges and universities nationwide, encourage students’ technical ingenuity and creativity through intensive collaboration and experimentation. At VT Hacks last April, participants worked 36 straight hours in teams of two to four people to develop new ideas, or “hacks.”

Visit the VT Hackers Facebook page for more information.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.