Contribute to Research

If you are an event organizer, we need your help! We’re now collecting anonymous attendee data from past hackathons or any other STEM-related events. The submission process is easy, and we’re happy to credit you or your event on our report.

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Research Update

We're working with prospective organizers to commit their STEM events to contributing useful anonymous attendee data. If you're planning on running a STEM event, we'd love to chat with you to make your event a part of our research project!

Who do we need data from?

If you are an organizer of an event that…

  • promoted any STEM-related field including but not restricted to: hackathons, coding competitions, cybersecurity or capture-the-flag challenges, puzzle hunt…
  • happened within the past 5 years (online or in-person, anywhere in the world)
  • had at least 50 high school or college students in attendance
  • did not require a significant amount of payment to register (≤ $20 USD on average)
  • If your event is all-womxn, non-binary, or contains only a limited range of demographic audience in other ways, please indicate that on your submission so we can put you into a special pool.

We would love to collaborate with your initiative to complete our research!

What information are we collecting?

We’re collecting Non-Personally Identifiable Information (Non-PII) from your event’s attendance sheet. Specifically, we’re looking for metrics like:

  • Gender
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Age (Grade)
  • Skill Level (Beginner/Advanced…)
  • Show/No Show (for attrition rate calculations)
  • Socioeconomic Status (if you provided any travel reimbursement or hardware rental, for example)

To help ease our data-collection process, we’re simply asking you to submit your entire attendee registration sheet with the PII columns removed. We will take care of any calculations and statistical analysis.

If your event is missing any of the above information, no worries! Still submit what you can, and we’ll take care of the rest.

We only collect your event’s name and contact information for verification purposes. None of our released information will be able to be traced back to your event.

Here’s a sample data submission from Hack Chicago with PII columns redacted. Note that you do not need to keep the columns redacted like this sample — feel free to delete them completely.

What is PII?

Personally identifiable information (PII) is any data that can be used to identify a specific individual. Social Security numbers, mailing or email address, and phone numbers have most commonly been considered PII, but technology has expanded the scope of PII considerably. It can include an IP address, login IDs, social media posts, or digital images. Geolocation, biometric, and behavioral data can also be classified as PII. (CSO Online)

In our case, since a lot of event attendees are minors, it is especially important for us to make sure that your attendee data remains anonymous and secure. If your attendance sheet contains information that can be traced back to a specific individual, please remove that column before submitting your data. If you need help from our team, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Regardless, here’s our commitment to you: even if you submit any sensitive information to us during the data collection process, we will never use them, and we will discard any information that we are not using immediately.

Why do we need these data?

Never had there been a large enough sample database to allow researchers and future event organizers to realize what the state of the nation is when it comes to innovative events like hackathons. There are organizations that have collected specific sets of information — MLH, who specializes in collegiate events, and CodeDay, who specializes in intimate, beginner-centric event — yet it’s hard to understand what we’re dealing with daily when it comes to generalizing demographic data. The information that these organizations released are often unique to their own platform, yet it can be very different when you look only slightly beyond that.

Execute Big is committed to making sure that our data covers all sorts of events. We want to make it diverse and inclusive in any way — whether it is the geographic location, socioeconomic status, or the demographic of the students that the event accepts.

We will use your event’s data to find out the gender balance in attendance of CS events in relation to location, age groups, event sizes, and more, so we can find out better ways to engage underrepresented minorities in the world of technology.

Start Submission »

Who do I contact for this project?

This project is led by co-founders of Execute Big: Megan Cui, a rising sophomore at Harvard, and Mingjie Jiang, an incoming freshman at UC Berkeley. Execute Big is a public charity with the EIN 85-2160468.

If you have questions or suggestions about the research project, please feel free to email [email protected] to get in touch with us.