Innovation & Enterprise


Bentham hackathon

20 October 2017–22 October 2017, 5:00 pm–6:00 pm

Hackathon partner logos: IBM, Transcribe Bentham, UCL Digital Humanities

Enjoy a weekend of hacking and problem solving, investigating how digital technologies help research the writings of the philosopher and social reformer Jeremy Bentham.

Event Information

Open to





UCL Innovation and Enterprise


UCL BaseKX, 103c Camley Street, London, N1C 4PF

Our partners IBM are sponsoring a £1000 prize for the winning teams.

Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) wrote on a vast array of subjects including democratic reform, religion, crime and economics. His ideas on education inspired the founders of UCL.

Transcribe Bentham (part of the Bentham Project at UCL) is a digital humanities crowdsourcing initiative that asks members of the public to transcribe material written by Bentham. Transcripts produced by volunteers are made freely available online and are used by the Bentham Project in the production of the definitive edition of Bentham’s Collected Works.

For this hackathon, Transcribe Bentham and the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities are working with IBM to explore how can digital technologies help us to research Bentham’s philosophy.

Join us for an intense and fun weekend of hacking and problem solving as we apply the best of IBM’s innovative technology to a vast and unparalleled dataset of Bentham’s manuscripts.

Help solve challenges

Help solve challenges such as:

  • How can we use keyword searching to explore Bentham’s writings?
  • Can we use technology to decipher Bentham’s difficult handwriting?
  • Can we build a user-friendly interface for navigating and transcribing documents?
  • Can we build a more user-friendly version of the Transcribe Bentham crowdsourcing platform?

Who can attend

We’re looking for creative people with varied interests and skills including coding and developing, idea generating and pitching or knowledge of history, philosophy and digital humanities. Everyone is welcome.

Join us for the hackathon if you’re interested in:

  • contributing to an active and important UCL research project and learning about Jeremy Bentham
  • sharing ideas about the best ways to use digital technologies in humanities research
  • working collaboratively in diverse teams to tackle research challenges
  • working with IBM’s cutting-edge platforms and learning new tech skills
  • making new friends and connections

Book now

Our partners

The Bentham Hackathon is a collaborative event, put together with the support of our partners: