Cal Hacks - The Biggest Collegiate Hackathon in the World

In the past, Cal Hacks has brought together 2,500 hackers from 143 schools and 10 countries to build everything from mind-reading golf carts to global news visualizations. We return this fall, standing on the shoulders of last year’s giant (where we set the world record for the largest hackathon ever), to reconvene the brightest collegiate hackers for 36 hours.

Come join us, hack, and help build the future!

View full rules


  • Teams may include up to five members.
  • All hacks must be built at Cal Hacks by registered participants.
  • Hackers must be current undergraduates in college.
  • High school students may participate remotely and submit for the Best High-school Hack.


A valid submission is a software or hardware hack produced at Cal Hacks, from start to finish.

This includes a ChallengePost submission to Cal Hacks and a demonstration during the Hack Expo on Sunday, November 13, 2016. Please include a video or photo of the working product.



Cal Hacks

Judging Criteria

  • Potential Positive Impact
    Is this a product that people will use in their daily lives? Will it make lives better?
  • User Interface and Experience
    How refined does the app look? Is it smooth? Are there animations and cool image assets?
  • Originality and Innovation
    Is this project unique and innovative? Is it a solution to a problem we have never seen before? A better way of doing something?
  • Technical Difficulty
    How difficult was it to implement this project? Are there lots of APIs and libraries and languages involved? Did you use a really cool algorithm?