Mass digital dissemination of disinformation is now regularly exploited by bad actors. Work individually or with a team to create a solution to digital disinformation.

Pitt Cyber, the School of Computing and Information, GSPIA’s Ford Institute for Human Security, Pitt Honors College, and Pitt Information Technology are hosting a new kind of hackathon—an intentionally transdisciplinary hackathon. MUST BE A PITT STUDENT TO PARTICIPATE.

At Pitt, we believe that no one discipline has a lock on effective solutions to big problems. This is why we host Hacking4Humanity

Each year, we pick seemingly intractable problems that call out for solutions from across disciplines and unleash students on them.  

Last year students tackled human trafficking. This year’s problem – Digital Disinformation 

Mass digital dissemination of disinformation is now regularly exploited by bad actors. The private and public sectors are struggling to prevent and recover from disinformation campaigns—and the threat is only growing. 

This year, we’re doing things a bit differently to accommodate the virtual environment. Students are invited to work individually or with a team to submit to one of three competition tracks, (1) policy proposal; (2) tech proposal; or (3) tech in action. You can also submit a hack/proposal that combines any of these tracks. Regardless of what you choose, your goal is to mitigate disinformation and its effects.

Mentors will be available to you throughout the hacking period. If you would like to be connected with a mentor at any point, please email cyber@pitt.edu and tell us what specific advice you are looking for (technical – ex: Python help, subject matter help, etc).   

Please make sure to register with your Pitt email address. 

Important Dates  

September 28, 2020 - Registration opens & hacking begins

October 7, 2020 - Midpoint check-in with organizers & last day to register

October 18, 2020 - Submit your hack and summary video 

November 2-6, 2020 – Judging takes place 

December 2020 - Winners announcement  

OCC credit is available for hackathon participation. 

View full rules

Prizes

$1,500 in prizes

First place prize for the winner of each track (3)

$500

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

Eligibility

University of Pittsburgh students (grad or undergrad). Must register with a Pitt email address.

Requirements

Submit to one of three competition tracks, (1) policy proposal; (2) tech proposal; or (3) tech in action. You can also submit a hack/proposal that combines any of these tracks. When submitting, be sure to note which track you want to be judged on.

Regardless of what you choose, your goal is to mitigate disinformation and its effects. 

 

Policy Proposal Track - Details and Format

Submit a two-page policy proposal memo, not including citations, using this guidance. Your goal is to provide an impactful but achievable course of action to your policymaker in addressing disinformation. You can choose your audience—it could be executive, legislative; local, state, federal, international, etc. 

 

In addition to your memo, submit a video under three minutes (you’ll get dinged if it’s over!) summarizing and arguing for your proposal. Treat it like an elevator pitch. You'll want to convince your viewer/the policymaker to pursue the course of action you're recommending.

 

Tech Proposal Track - Details and Format

Submit using the custom PowerPoint template detailing how your tech idea would work and what it would look like. Be sure to convert this PowerPoint to a PDF before uploading your submission. 

 

In addition to your summary, submit a video under three minutes (you’ll get dinged if it’s over!) summarizing and arguing for your proposal. Use this as an opportunity to sell your tech. The viewer should come away understanding your vision for the tech and why it matters. Treat it like an elevator pitch. 

 

Tech in Action - Details and Format

Build a working prototype of your idea (application, game, website, etc.) and use the PowerPoint template to describe how it works and show what it looks like. Be sure to convert this PowerPoint to a PDF before uploading your submission. You will also need to submit your code for review.

 

In addition to the PowerPoint and code, submit a video under three minutes (you’ll get dinged if it’s over!) demoing your project/arguing for your idea. Use this as an opportunity to sell your tech. The viewer should come away with an understanding of not only the tech itself but why it matters. Treat it like an elevator pitch.  

 

 

Judges

Beth Schwanke

Beth Schwanke
Executive Director, Pitt Cyber

Leona Mitchell

Leona Mitchell
Founding Director, Professional Institute, School of Computing and Information, University of Pittsburgh

Michael Colaresi

Michael Colaresi
Professor of Political Science, University of Pittsburgh; Research and Academic Director, Pitt Cyber

Julia Santucci

Julia Santucci
Senior Lecturer, Intelligence Studies, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh

Greg Miaskiewicz

Greg Miaskiewicz
Co-founder and CEO, Capbase

Jay Graham

Jay Graham
Enterprise Architect, Pitt Information Technology

Judging Criteria

  • Potential for Impact
    Used for all tracks.
  • Consideration of Ethical Implications
    Used for all tracks.
  • Technical Difficulty
    Used for Tech Proposal and Tech in Action tracks.
  • Originality and Creativity
    Used for all tracks.
  • Progress
    Used for Tech in Action track.
  • User Experience
    Used for Tech Proposal and Tech in Action tracks.
  • Feasibility
    Used for Policy Proposal track.
  • Product
    Used for Policy and Tech proposal tracks to determine quality of proposals/presentations.

theme

  • Social Good