NUI Galway to host 'hackathon' as part of national engineers' week


BUDDING JULIAN Assanges have been invited to a “hackathon” in NUI Galway as part of its celebration of national engineers’ week. The “hackathon” or “open data hack day” is one of the highlights of a programme opening today at Ireland’s first computer and communications museum on the NUIG campus.

A vintage computer gaming night on “dinosaur” computers and talks on space exploration and the influence of the 1960s television series Star Trekare among other elements of the six-day festival.

NUIG’s computer and communications museum houses Commodore and Apple models dating from the 1970s, and a digital model made in Galway which is the size of a six-foot fridge.

Brendan Smith of NUIG’s Digital Enterprise Research Institute, collected many of the exhibits over a number of years, and the museum traces the development of communications from hieroglyphics to the internet.

“We need to look at the past to inspire jobs in the future, and young people have to remember that Facebook was founded by a 19-year-old and Microsoft founder Bill Gates was only 21 when he started out,” Mr Smith said.

The institute has been working with primary and secondary school students in Galway on computer programming, which is not part of the curriculum but should be, Mr Smith said.

The engineers’ week programme will open with workshops on computer programming with schools, and visits to the museum.

Nearly 150 events will take place across the country for the week. See: