In order to connect, network, and learn with other Language Flagship students throughout the United States, the Russian Flagship Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison sent four attendees to the Flagship Hackathon in Washington DC on October 19 and 20.

The Flagship Hackathon is a fast-paced learning event that allows participants to “use your experience and seek advice from experts in the field of language technology to propose technology-based solutions (‘hacks’) that may impact the future of language learning.”

The purpose of the event is for students or employees in the language fields of study and work to get together and develop ways and systems to improve the technology of language learning.

Hopeful participants must write and submit a one-page proposal that addresses one of six challenges proposed by The Language Flagship, a national initiative of theNational Security Education Program in the U.S. Department of Defense. These challenges were real issues Language Flagship students had encountered and believed could be resolved with technology. Issues addressed resource management, cultural barriers, and standardization of what tools are available to Language Flagship students.

Students were then selected to attend the event based on the quality of their ideas. The Language Flagship sent out a national call for proposals, making attendance competitive, but the Hackathon itself centered around brainstorming and working together as a large group.

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