The NeuroTEC Hardware Library and Support for 7th Annual NeuroTechnology Hackathon
Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering
Funding this proposal will provide University of Washington graduate and undergraduate students with technology and equipment for collaborative projects hosted by the Center for Neurotechnology (CNT, formerly the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering or CSNE) and the newly-founded NeuroTechnology, Engineering, and Computation (NeuroTEC) student organization. Since 2014, the student leadership council of the CNT has led an annual 3-day Hackathon in Seattle, in which teams of students race to develop novel devices that address a neuromedical issue. In six years, over 100 graduate and undergraduate students have participated in this annual Hackathon, representing neuroscience, computer science, bioengineering, mechanical engineering, physics, philosophy, ethics, and other disciplines. As responsibility for the Hackathon and other student-led events passes from the CNT student leadership council to the NeuroTEC RSO, new sources of financial support must be found. While the CNT will continue to make its existing hardware resources available to the RSO, new equipment is needed annually to update and support the Hackathon event. In addition, the NeuroTEC RSO is founding a NeuroTEC Hardware Library that will make all gear purchased for the Hackathon available year-round to the UW student body. This will encourage ongoing neural engineering ventures and collaborations that the NeuroTEC RSO will additionally support linking budding undergraduate neurotechnologists with graduate student mentors. The hardware purchased with this STF grant will thus support the continuation of the annual, neurotechnology Hackathon, as well as the founding of the NeuroTEC Hardware Library, and the encouragement of UW student collaborations in neural engineering, technology, and computation.