The CSSS presents

Mountain Madness

Feb 13-14, 2021 @ Simon Fraser University


What is Mountain Madness

This year's theme: (TO BE ANNOUCED)

Mountain Madness is the annual hackathon organized by the SFU Computing Science Student Society. Our hackathons are cozy, tight-knit events welcoming students of all skill levels and experience. The "Mountain" in the name pays homage to Burnaby Mountain, the original foundation of Simon Fraser University, and the scenic location for a full weekend's worth of fun. The "Madness" part refers to the DeLorean and Rube Goldberg prizes we give to the maddest [computer] scientists at the event!

Why Mountain Madness?

We focus less on a project's commercial applications, and more on learning and creativity. This is an opportunity to spend a weekend playing around with your favourite technologies to produce something fun and interesting.

This makes Mountain Madness the perfect event for everyone from fresh-faced hackers looking to learn to seasoned CS veterans trying to tinker.

Frequently Asked Questions

Wait, what actually is a hackathon?

A hackathon is an event where teams of people come together to work on a shared project inspired by an event-provided theme. Mountain Madness will have 24-hours of development time allotted, during which teams will start from scratch and try to make the coolest thing they can before the time is up.

Where is Mountain Madness?

The event is being held online, opening and closing presentations will be held over Zoom.

Why should I participate?

A hackathon is a great way to get experience with some new technologies and to work as a team to accomplish a goal. Hackathon projects are also a great addition to a resume!

I am in my first year/don't have much experience, should I still participate?

Yes! This hackathon is free and it is a great learning oppurtinity for people will less development experience.

Do I need to stay up during the entire event?

No! You are welcome to spend as much or as little of the 24 hours as you wish. Even though it is reading break, sleep is important so try to get some.

How do we declare teams?

We do not need to know your team until the event begins. When you give us your submission github/gitlab link you will declare your group.

How do we get food?

This year we are giving out Uber Eats and Skip the Dishes gift cards to random groups participating throughout the event.

Can I have Non-SFU people and Alumni join my team?

Yes! We will allow groups to be made up of non-SFU students however we want a majority of the team to be made up of SFU student. So a group of 5 can have up to 2 non-SFU participants.

Can I have Non-SFU people and Alumni join my team?

Yes! We will allow groups to be made up of non-SFU students however we want a majority of the team to be made up of SFU student. So a group of 5 can have up to 2 non-SFU participants.

Can I work on my previous projects?

No, the goal of the event is to see what awesome things you can make in a 24 hour period of time. So to start from an existing project is against the spirit of the event. Existing open-source libraries and frameworks are fine, of course. Ask an organizer if you are unsure if you can use some code.

What size should my team be?

Teams can have no more than 5 members; beyond that organizing yourselves becomes a nightmare. You can work alone if you really want to, but you'll have a worse experience. Don’t worry if you don't have a team before the event, we help all the single people form teams. From past experience groups of 3 often work quite well!

How much does it cost?

The event is free!


Make sure to check back here for changes!

Saturday, February 13

10:00AMOpening Presentaion (Zoom)
10:30AMHacking Begins, Assisted Team Creation

Sunday, February 14

10:30AMHacking Ends
10:45AMProject Demonstations begin (Zoom, Optional)

Prize Categories

First $300
Second $150
Third $100
The Rubey $100

The Rubey

Rube Goldberg machines are overcomplicated systems that perform simple functions. We love seeing impressively overengineered project that still manages to perform a useful task. You are not required to make the project overcomplicated, however we have seen some great projects in the past that were overcomplicated ways to solve simple problems.

What we hope to see from submissions which have impressive technological accomplishments applied to silly or trivial uses. Some examples and inspiration:

  • a magic eight-ball program that, given a query, simulates a large network and runs a distributed consensus algorithm to arrive at its answer
  • the echo command line tool, but each character is printed by a new Docker container
  • Shazoom—an android app that builds an Android virtual machine, installs Shazam on it, and then runs Shazam on the virtual machine

This is the perfect opportunity to try out your favourite solution that you don't have a problem for!