Hackathon 2017 is here!


Written by Toni Tompkins.

SUA and KU Data Minding are hosting the KU Hackathon this weekend! Since, I myself am not the techiest person out there, I’ve decided to dig deeper into what programming is and what it is used for, in this blog post. If you are already a boss at binary, stick around because this post will also contain information about the up-and-coming Hackathon.

So what is computer programming? Programming is a very complex process that starts with the formulation of a computing problem to be addressed, and ends with the execution of a computer program or program languages. Depending on how successful the sequence is, it can be applied to millions of machines worldwide.

The ultimate goal of programming is to find a certain sequence that will allow the computer to carry out a specific task. This specific task can be many different things. For Markus Persson, or Notch as some of you might know him as, he wanted a program that could generate complete virtual worlds in which gamers have (almost) unlimited freedom. Using the Java program, he made Minecraft. For Bill Gates, this meant creating one of the most notable computer operating systems in the world: Microsoft. Ever heard of the Linux kernel? This operating system, programmed by software engineer Linus Torvalds, is responsible for the prime functionality of Android and Chrome software.

Apart from the various end products listed above, programming can be used in many other applications. Movie makers use programming to produce a wide array of special effects through CGI and photoshop. More and more people in the medical profession are learning how to program as well. Having a decent knowledge of how the innovative technology in a labs or offices works, allow doctors to perform their work more smoothly. Programming can apply to such a wide array of fields, and because of this, that it is becoming a popular career choice. As technology across the world continues to evolve, so will the demand of new programming languages. This opens up many opportunities for coders and programmers.

This year’s Hackathon competition will begin Friday, November 10th at 6 pm in the Roll20 Esports Lounge on the 1st floor of the Kansas Union. Saturday, November 11th will be a work day for teams, with lunch provided at 12 pm in the Esports Lounge. Finally, teams will present to a panel of judges at 12 pm.

Sign up HERE to compete in SUA’s Hackathon. Each member of the winning team will receive a $100 cash prize!

Good luck to all the coding connoisseurs competing in this year’s Hackathon! It’ll be a weekend full of fun. If you aren’t competing, consider doing so next year. You never know, maybe you’ll be the next Bill Gates!

Wearable Art Icons

Written by Taylor Tompkins.

For those of you entering the Wearable Art Fashion show this Friday, and for those of you wondering what wearable art is, this post goes out to some wearable art icons who can show you the way!

“Wearable art” refers to clothing and jewelry that is intended to be viewed as unique and expressive art pieces. While pieces can be made of anything, many artists choose one type of material as their media. Let’s take a look at some specific artists and the material they use to define their wearable art.

Beo Beyond

Beo Beyond is a German artist who specializes in paintings, costumes, and jewelry made of blacklight and other fluorescent materials. Sometimes, art must have a certain kind of lighting to look as the artist wants it to, but by choosing blacklights, Beo’s art creates its own lighting. The bright, neon colored lights, highlight special features of the model wearing them. Shadows cast by the lights also allow the artist to accentuate what he wants the viewer to see. Yup, blacklights were a really bright idea!

Marina DeBris

One great aspect of wearable art is that artists can use it to make a statement. Australian based artist Marina DeBris combines her love of art with her social activism. She creates her “Trashion” out of trash she finds on the beach. She uses her pieces to bring awareness to the public about ocean pollution, clean energy, and environmental public policy. Her work has set her, in the minds of many, alongside famous artists like Warhol, Lichtenstein, and Pollack. If your wearable art wins Best in Show, I’d say you’re “current”-ly on the road to fame.

Atsuko Tanaka

You may not have known this, but during the time span of 1930-1960, wearable art was a very popular concept. One of the most well-known examples from then is the Electric Dress, created by Japanese Gutai artist, Atsuko Tanaka in 1956. The piece consists of painted light bulbs, some electrified and some not, as well as a mesh of wires. Her piece resembles the circuitry of the human body, and according to other Gutai artists, symbolizes post-war Japan. Tanaka also stated that the Electric Dress was inspired by pharmaceutical signs lit up by neon lights, so you too can allow the wearable art fashion show to “light” the way for some of you inspiring artists.

Nick Cave

If we have learned anything from wearable art artists, it’s that you can combine many things into to one, whether that be art styles, objects, or talents. Continuing the theme, we have artist Nick Cave. This performance artist combines his fabric sculpting talents with dancing. He incorporates movement into showcasing his pieces. Due to the different textures he uses in the fabrics, his pieces create a noise as models dance. This brings his art to life, giving viewers a vibrant, and energized show that is somewhat like a masquerade. It’s a way to break free from the thinking “who made this” to rather “what is this piece saying.” “Hear” me out, this wearable art trend is really something!

To see even more eccentric, unique, and inspiring pieces, come to the Wearable Art Fashion Show hosted by SUA on Friday, November 10th in the Kansas Union Ballroom from 6-8 pm. Come see who will be deemed Best in Show, 2nd Place, and 3rd Place. We are giving away over $400 in prizes! Free admission to the show for students and general public!