November 10-12, 2017 @ Wellesley College

Day of Information

At the fifth iteration of WHACK, the Wellesley College hackathon, over 300 students from colleges throughout the U.S. Northeast will come together for 36 hours to turn their ideas into reality.

At WHACK, you can have fun, be creative, build, break, learn, and ask questions in a space that celebrates diversity. You’ll enjoy a weekend of awesome tech, food, swag, workshops, and mini-events while learning from distinguished speakers, inspiring mentors, and peers. We consider WHACK a success if you make new connections and gain skills that will stay with you long after WHACK is over.

Whether you’re a seasoned developer or designer, or just starting out as a beginner, there’s something at WHACK for you.

Join us!


The deadline to apply is midnight on October 15, 2017. Check out our FAQs below to learn more.

Registration Closed


See how a hackathon is run behind-the-scenes! Help with check in, food, mini-events, and other logistics. Free t-shirt included. Apply by Nov 1, 2017.

Registration Closed


Mentors play a huge role at WHACK. We're looking for mentors who are knowledgeable about tech and enthusiastic about helping hackers to join us. If this sounds like you, please apply!

Registration Closed


Shan Lu

"WHACK gave me my first opportunity to build something real. In just 2 days I went beyond CS fundamentals and command line projects we typically do in classroom. I played around with APIs, databases and front end design, and got a sense of the tech industry from profound speakers and accessible mentors, all for the first time. There was constant energy flowing in the room!"

Brenna Manning

"WHACK was the first hackathon I ever attended, and I couldn't have asked for a better first experience. The mentors were supportive and encouraging. People were working on fun projects, and everyone I spoke to seemed so happy to be there. I met awesome people and had a great time learning and creating."

Trisha Atluri

"WHACK was an amazing opportunity to learn more about tech and experience first-hand the stages of a project be completed from start to finish. Being surrounded by other women who share the same passion about tech was incredibly inspiring, and I learned so much about how to work productively with others collectively towards a goal. Having extremely active, accessible, and supportive mentors also made my experience that much more rewarding."


  • What is a hackathon?

    It’s a grand gathering of people to make their ideas come to life. Think out of the box, try new technologies, ask questions, make mistakes, discover a new language, and have fun! We will be following Major League Hacking's Code of Conduct. Check out their video explaining what a hackathon is here.

  • What if I have no experience with coding or hackathons?

    Don’t sweat it! We’ve purposefully designed WHACK to offer an encouraging and supportive environment. At WHACK, you’ll quickly learn from our workshops and army of mentors, as well as your team members and other students.

  • When is the deadline to apply?

    The deadline to apply is the midnight of October 15, 2017, and decisions will be sent out in the following weeks.

  • Who can attend? Is this event only for women?

    We welcome any undergraduate college student 18+ to participate in WHACK. It’s important to keep in mind that we are looking to create a welcoming and empowering space for women and other underrepresented identities in tech. If you have any questions about this, please contact us!

  • Will travel costs be reimbursed?

    We will be organizing Lyft rides for students who attend schools in the greater Boston area. We will be also sending three buses to schools throughout the Northeast. (If your school is located near one of these schools, you’re welcome to join to join the bus rides!)

    Bus 1 (Pennsylvania): Bryn Mawr College, University of Pennsylania.
    Bus 2 (New York): NYU, Barnard College/Columbia University, Fordham Univeristy.
    Bus 3 (Massachusetts): UMass Amherst, Smith College, Mount Holyoke College.

    Unfortunately, at this time, we are unable to reimburse for flights. Once you’ve accepted your spot at WHACK, we’ll provide more details about transportation.

  • How will mentorship work?

    We believe that mentorship is essential to an effective learning experience. You will have access to wonderful mentors throughout the entire event who will help guide you and help you troubleshoot, including industry professionals, Wellesley College alums, faculty, and experienced hackers.

  • How will teams work?

    Each team may have between 2-4 people. You and your friend may apply as a team, but everyone must submit individual applications. Members of teams who apply together will all receive the same acceptance decision.

    We’ll also be facilitating team-formation activities before and during the event to help you find teams. Although you’re welcome to hack on your own, only teams are eligible to win prizes.

  • How will hackers be accepted?

    We accept hackers based on a holistic approach that takes into account your experience level, enthusiasm, qualities you would bring to the hackathon, geographical location (and if we're reasonably able to support your travel financially), and other aspects of your application in order to curate a diverse hacker pool. Members of teams who apply together will all receive the same acceptance decision.

  • What will I eat?

    Trust us, you won’t be hungry at WHACK! We’ll provide Friday night dinner, all meals on Saturday, and Sunday breakfast & lunch. We’ll also have a snack table, food surprises, and coffee throughout the hackathon. We work hard to accommodate all dietary restrictions and make healthy options available.

  • Where will I sleep?

    We will provide quiet sleeping areas at night, equipped with blankets and pillows. Bringing your own sleeping bag and eye mask is encouraged!

  • Will there be showers?

    Yes!! Showers will be available throughout the event, courtesy of the Wellesley Keohane Sports Center. However, hackers are required to bring their own towels.

  • What should I bring to the hackathon?

    Please bring your student ID (and government ID highly encouraged), laptop, and chargers. We also recommend that you bring some warm clothing, a blanket, towel, toiletries, and anything else you might need in order to spend the night.

  • What if I can only come for part of the weekend?

    If you have a special circumstance, please stipulate it on your application. WHACK is ultimately a resource for you to learn, connect with others, and meet mentors in industry, so you'll get more out of it if you can stay for the whole event.

  • Who do I contact with other questions?

    Shoot us a message at hello@wellesleyhacks.org or tweet at us@wellesleyhack and we’ll get right back to you!

5:00 - 7:00 PM

check in @ Alumnae Hall

6:00 - 7:00 PM

mingle and eat

7:00 PM - 8:15 PM
Opening Ceremony

keynotes from Joy Buolamwini & Dr. Robbin Chapman

8:30 PM
Hacking Begins

ready, set, hack!

8:30 - 9:30 PM
Team Formation Activities

bring ideas & find team members!

8:30 - 10:00 AM

mingle and eat

9:00 - 10:00 AM
Morning Lake Walk

get some fresh air!

10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Various Workshops

learn something new

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

mingle and eat

2:00 - 8:00 PM
Various Fireside Chats

learn from inspiring community leaders

2:30 - 4:30 PM
Bubble Soccer Tournament

5 vs 5, team with the last person standing wins!

6:00 - 7:00 PM

mingle and eat

8:30-10:00 AM

mingle and eat

10:00 AM
Hacking Ends

submit to Devpost!

11:00 - 11:45 AM
Project Expo Part 1

science fair style

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

mingle and eat

12:00 - 12:45 PM
Project Expo Part 2

science fair style

2:00 - 3:00 PM
Closing Ceremony

prizes & awards

3:00 PM
End of WHACK



Want to sponsor? Contact us at sponsors@wellesleyhacks.org to learn more.


We are a student-run event organized with the support of Major League Hacking and the Wellesley Computer Science Club.