With the rapid advancement of technology, it is important to use its power in ways that benefit society. HackDavis challenges its participants to ideate, code, design, and create for social good to give us an opportunity to explore the intersection between technology and society.

On May 20-21, over 800 students, hackers, and creators will come together for 24 hours of hacking. For the 8th year in a row, we're bringing the most talented students in California to address the world’s most pressing issues. Participants are able to build projects that address many social good initiatives.



  • Maximum of four people per team.
  • Your project must be completed entirely in the designated hacking window. You cannot work on your project before hacking begins (which is officially 11:00 AM PT on Saturday, May 20th, 2023).
  • You must submit your project by 11:00 AM PT on Sunday, May 21st.
  • You cannot steal another team's code in any way, shape, or form.
  • You must abide by the HackDavis Rules & Policies.
  • The decisions that judges make are final.

Hackathon Sponsors


$21,000 in prizes

Best Hack for Social Good (2)

1st Place: Apple iPad for each member of the winning team.

2nd Place: Sony Wireless Headphones for each member of the winning team.

All entries are automatically considered for this prize category.

Karim Majdi Abou Najm Memorial Prize for Technical Complexity

Amazon Echos for each member of the winning team.

Projects must showcase breadth and application of technical knowledge.

In memory of Karim Majdi Abou Najm, a UC Davis Computer Science student and HackDavis winner.

Best Open Data Hack, sponsored by UC Davis DataLab (2)

1st Place: The winning team will have their visualization printed and displayed in the DataLab in Shields Library, be invited to a DataLab luncheon, and invited to participate in DataLab’s internship program.

2nd Place: Swag bags.

Projects must use at least one publicly accessible dataset that relates to UC Davis to address questions of interest to our campus community. For consideration for this award, the team must produce a GitHub repository with a readME, annotated code, and a reproducible static data visualization. The visualization should have an accompanying 1-page narrative describing the goals, methods, and interpretation of the project.

Best Hack for Local-Global Good, sponsored by UC Davis Global Affairs

Downtown Davis Gift Cards and Simply Modern Tumblers for each member of the winning team.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) address shared economic, social and environmental challenges. Innovative solutions are needed at the local level, informed by the experiences and perspectives of affected communities. For this category, teams should design an application that supports involvement with the SDGs and development of creative approaches to these challenges at the campus or local level – by students, community members and groups, or local government. Teams should specify how their project connects to the SDGs in their submission.

Best American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) Hack (2)

AWHC Prize Basket for each member of the winning team. The American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) is a nonprofit organization fighting to ensure the future of America's iconic wild horses and burros and the Western public lands where they roam. There are many horses in the wild to the point where locating all the wild horses proves to be a difficult task. AWHC plans to implement the Wild Horse Animal Identifier, or Wild Horse ANI, which utilizes machine learning to identify wild horses. However, machine learning needs a lot of visual data, specifically images of horses.

How can we create an app which accurately uploads photos of horses whilst also promoting community engagement?

Best Aggie Reuse Store Hack

Aggie Reuse Store Prize Basket for each member of the winning team. Choose one of the following prompts:

1. The Aggie Reuse Store received over 1,300 clothing items last quarter and diverted over 1,000 pounds of waste. These numbers have been growing every quarter, and they have become too large to be sustained by the spreadsheet they use to keep track of inventory. The current system of manually updating the spreadsheet to keep track of input and output is very tedious for volunteers and is prone to human error. To increase efficiency and sustainability, the Aggie Reuse Store would like to implement an inventory tracking system with a user-friendly, streamlined interface and an organized database for their data analytics team.

How can we upgrade the current system to meet the Aggie Reuse Store’s need for an inventory tracking system?

2. The Aggie Reuse Store currently has no way of monitoring the store’s foot traffic, so they don’t know how many students come in every week, what time students tend to come in, and what days of the week are most popular. Operating hours change from quarter to quarter, so they want to use customer traffic data to know when the most optimal time to open is and how to better staff their volunteers to support rush hour.

How can we collect, organize, and display the Aggie Reuse Store’s visitor data in a user-friendly manner to better serve students?

Best TreeDavis Hack

TreeDavis Prize Basket for each member of the winning team. Choose one of the following prompts:

1. Tree Davis has a program where they convert turf lawns into "Climate-Ready Landscapes." These are the installation of native, drought-tolerant plants and trees that are more beneficial to the environment than water-thirsty lawns. While it would be ideal to convert as much lawn as possible, some is still needed for active recreation, picnicking, etc.

How can Tree Davis identify unneeded turf space that can be converted to "Climate-Ready Landscapes" and gather other related information, like amount, owner, and current use of space?

2. Some people see trees as nuisances and prefer to cut them down, without recognizing their environmental benefits such as carbon sequestration, air quality improvement, and urban cooling. While there are tools that enumerate tree values, they are clunky and not easily accessible to individuals.

How could Tree Davis educate people about the benefits of planting more trees and installing drought-tolerant landscapes, with the goal of inspiring action in their own homes/spaces?

Best Beginner Hack

Smart TV / Gaming Monitor for each member of the winning team.

Every team member must be a beginner in order to qualify.

Best Healthcare Hack (3)

UC Davis School of Medicine Swag Bags for each member of the winning teams.

Our local, national, and global communities face innumerable barriers to healthcare. The barriers to providing equitable care are complex and multi-faceted, ranging from language and geographic challenges, inadequate technological resources (e.g., imaging, clinical technology), and difficulties with providing patient engagement and education. Design a project that addresses a specific barrier in medicine, whether it be here in Davis/Sacramento or beyond.

Best Interdisciplinary Hack, sponsored by the College of Letters & Science

Ice Cream Machine for each member of the winning team.

At least one member of the team needs to be a non-CS/CSE/otherwise CS-related major in order to qualify. More specifically, we are looking for teams that leverage multiple perspectives of different disciplines to create a more well-rounded project.

Best Design

Cafe Basket for each member of the winning team.

No code required for this category!

Best Hardware Hack, sponsored by the UC Davis Student Startup Center

Drone Set for each member of the winning team.

Projects must include a hardware component.

Most Creative Hack

Lego Sets for each member of the winning team.

Projects must be unique and original, and showcase creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.

Best Use of Microsoft Cloud for Your Community

LinkedIn Premium 12-Month subscription and Xbox Ultimate 3-Month Game Pass for each member of the winning team.
Bring your idea to life using the Microsoft Cloud - automatically build and deploy a full stack web app from a code repository, create and train a Machine Learning model, develop business applications with little to no code using Power Platform, and more! View our recommended popular solutions in the Education Hub at https://aka.ms/startedu.

⇩ ⇩ ⇩

Build your hackathon project with the Microsoft Cloud that tackles a social impact issue of your choice, and have a chance to win a LinkedIn Premium 12-Month subscription and an XBox Ultimate 3-Month Game Pass.

Best Use of MongoDB Atlas

M5GO IoT Starter Kit for each member of the winning team.
MongoDB Atlas takes the leading modern database and makes it accessible in the cloud! Get started with a $50 credit for students or sign up for the Atlas free forever tier (no credit card required). Along with a suite of services and functionalities, you'll have everything you need to manage all of your data! Build a hack using MongoDB Atlas for a chance to win a M5GO IoT Starter Kit for you and each member of your team.

Best Use of MATLAB

Wireless YoYo Speaker for each member of the winning team.
MATLAB and Simulink are computational tools used at over 100,000 businesses, government and university sites in over 190 countries. Use MATLAB and/or Simulink exclusively or integrate them into another tool for your next hack to win an exclusive MathWorks branded Wireless YoYo Speaker! You can also claim a free MATLAB software license to get started.

Best Domain Name from Domain.com

Domain.com Branded Prize for each member on the team
Register a .Tech domain name using Domain.com during the weekend for your chance to win a Domain.com branded prize for you and each member of your team! Each team may submit one entry per person on the team. The more creative the domain the better!

Most Creative Use of GitHub

GitHub Octocat Puzzle & Sticker bundle for each member of the winning team. GitHub is one of the best ways to collaborate, push code, get feedback, and show the world what you’ve built during a hackathon. To take it a step further, GitHub is now offering you access to industry tools, events & learning resources through something called GitHub Global Campus. Win this weekend’s Most Creative Use of GitHub prize category, first by signing up for GitHub Global Campus and second by using a GitHub repository to host your hackathon project’s code! Make sure your use of GitHub stands out with a detailed ReadMe page, meaningful pull requests and collaboration history, and even a GitHub pages deployment!

Best Use of Retool

Register with a student account and use Retool to create your next hack for Social Good. Each member of the winning team wins a Ducky One 3 SF Pure White 65% mechanical keyboard.

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


HackDavis Judge Panel

HackDavis Judge Panel

Judging Criteria

  • Social Good
  • Technical Complexity
  • Design
  • Creativity
  • Presentation

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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Hackathon sponsors

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