What is HackRice?

HackRice is a hackathon held bi-annually at Rice University. It brings together over four hundred of the brightest minds to develop & showcase their creative and entrepreneurial talents.

Participants join into teams of up to 4 to work on a project — typically software, and sometimes hardware — in an environment designed for collaboration.

Teams showcase projects after 36 hours of hacking. This is an excellent opportunity for students to build a network of creators, receive internship & job offers from world-class sponsors, and learn modern tools & systems.


Friday, 9/14

  • Early Registration4:30 PMRegistration begins for Rice students.
  • Main Registration5–6:30 PMCome to the Grand Hall to check into the event.
  • Sponsor Setup5–7:00 PMSponsors will arrive, register & set up their tables.
  • Opening Ceremonies7 PMThe event will formally begin with a bit about rules & guidelines, and a word from sponsors.
  • Dinner & Form Teams7:30 PMEnjoy food from Thai Cottage and meet other hackers to form teams (if you haven't already).
  • Hacking Begins!8 PMStart building your project!.
  • First-Timers Track Workshop8:30 PMCome to Miner Lounge to walk through the first workshop for the First-Timers track.
  • DELFI9-10 PMDELFI is the newest cloud-based software platform from Schlumberger which will stretch the boundaries of the oil & gas industry.
  • Intelligent Oilfields9-10 PMSchlumberger’s next-gen advisory system that enables intelligent production operations by transforming the way we work. Held at Farnsworth Pavilion.
  • Extrahop Workshop10-11 PMWeb App Development, led by Matt Schurr. Held at Farnsworth Pavilion.
  • Late Night...11 PMTiff's Treats cookies...
  • JP Morgan Workshop11-12 AMDetails coming soon... Held at Farnsworth Pavilion.

Saturday, 9/15

  • Breakfast9 AMBagels from Einstein Bros!
  • Oil Rig VR Demo10 AMSchlumberger will host a workshop using Virtual Reality headsets. Held at Farnsworth Pavilion.
  • Lunch12 PMPotbelly Sandwiches for lunch.
  • Capital One Workshop1-2 PMBuild a Straw Poll using the Angular CLI and Firebase! Held at Farnsworth Pavilion.
  • MLH Cupstacking Mini-Event4 PMTake a break in Farnsworth Pavilion from hacking with our Cup Stacking Mini-Event!
  • Dinner6 PMTacos-a-Go-Go for our happy hackers!

Sunday, 9/16

  • Judges Arrive8:30 AMJudges will have arrived, prepared to evaluate hackers & projects.
  • Hacking Ends!8:30 AMSubmissions close on DevPost.
  • Judging Begins9:30 AMJudging commences at the tables in the Grand Hall.
  • Brunch11 AMKolaches from Kolache Factory...
  • Closing Ceremony1 PMWinners will be announced and prizes awarded
  • Finale!2 PMHope you had a wonderful event, and we look forward to HackRice 9 :)


Judging Criteria

Technical Difficulty

Solutions should address technically challenging problems while falling anywhere between being beautifully simple to implementing complex, cutting-edge technologies.


Solutions should be original and either (1) define a new method for solving an unaddressed problem, or (2) present a new approach to a proven solution for a known problem. Solutions should demonstrate that intentional and appropriate design decisions have been made.

Design & Polish

We are looking for aesthetically and functionally pleasing projects with an intuitive and polished user experience.

Practicality & Usefulness

Projects will be evaluated based on their utility and applicability to a set of problems experienced by people in the real world. Emphasis is placed on ensuring solutions can be extrapolated meaningfully outside of the demonstrated use case.

Tracks & Challenges


The winner of this project will demonstrate the best use of technology for a financially driven problem.


The winner of this challenge will best use Microsoft Azure in a way that empowers individuals or groups to achieve more. Find free trials and credits here.


Facebook will award a prize to the team that makes the best game using the Facebook Instant Games SDK. The game is expected to run on Messenger. Judges will be looking for engagement, quality, and completeness in the hack. The winning team will be invited to participate in Facebook's Global Hackathon in Menlo Park, CA. For details, see Instant Games Documentation. Only the Game Engines listed on this page are compatible with Instant Games.


We would like to see innovative projects and solutions that tackle societal problems. This could be anything from connecting unemployed jobseekers to jobs to linking hurricane victims to disaster relief resources.

LILIE Center Challengechallenge

The winner of this challenge will best answer the following question: how might we end homelessness in Houston, Texas?

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