Hac φ

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November 6-8, 2015

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA


Hac φ is a yearly Haskell Exchange, drawing together academics, professionals, and hobbyists to share, collaborate, and hack together.

Hac φ will be held November 6-8, 2015 at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. It is open to all -- you do not have to be a Haskell guru to attend. All you need is a basic knowledge of Haskell, a willingness to learn, and a project you're excited to help with (or a project of your own to work on).

Note: Hac φ was previously called a Haskell Hackathon. The organizers of Hac φ felt that "hackathon" connoted the wrong vibe. People might think that we're up at 3am fueled by Monster. Instead, this is a much more casual affair, with sleeping at night. We decided to name it a Haskell Exchange, as a place to exchange code, cool ideas, contacts, and camaraderie.

There will be lots of hacking, some talks, good food, and, of course, fun!

  • IRC channel: #haskell-hacphi (freenode)


We are currently seeking sponsors. If you work for an organization that could potentially help to sponsor this event, please contact the organizers!

So far, the following generous organizations are helping to sponsor:

janest.jpg penn.jpg spcapiq.jpg jpm.png


Registration is now closed. If you feel like you're special enough to attend even without making our registration deadline, email Richard at `eir` at `cis` dot `upenn` dot `edu`. (Note: we're all special in some way, aren't we?)


November 6-8, 2015 at 5:30pm-9:30pm Friday, 9am-7pm Saturday, and 10am-3pm Sunday. There will be some talks Saturday afternoon.

Although the exchange won't officially kick off until 3pm on Friday, you are welcome to arrive Friday morning if it makes for easier travel. We can find space for you to work comfortably for the day.


We will be catering the following meals/snacks:

  • Pizza dinner on Friday evening
  • Continental breakfast Saturday morning
  • Lunch Saturday afternoon
  • Continental breakfast Sunday morning
  • Lunch Sunday afternoon

Though not an "official" part of Hac φ, many of us will likely go to a nearby Indian buffet for dinner after the close of the hackathon on Saturday. This meal is not sponsored.


If you'd be interested in giving a 15-minute talk, put your name and the subject of your talk on the talks page. There will be a projector and blackboard available.


Hac φ will take place in Room 307 of Levine Hall (3330 Walnut St., Philadelphia). Please enter the building from the west-facing doors (toward the rest of Penn campus).

Check out the Google map for info on relevant locations.

Getting to Philadelphia


Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is the closest major airport.


Take Amtrak to 30th Street Station (station code PHL), which is just a few blocks from Levine Hall; see the Google map.


UPenn's admissions office has driving directions that take you right into the center of campus.

Intra-city Transportation

Hac φ will be held in room 307 of Levine Hall. See Penn's searchable campus map for more on this location.

Without a car

  • SEPTA operates the trains, buses, and trolleys in Philadelphia. The fare is $2.25 per trip, exact change (so save up your $1s and your change before you come). You can also get tokens (which are cheaper, and don't require exact change to buy) at most big stops. Their site is a little bit unfriendly; I recommend using the Trip Planner to find out what routes to take, then consult the route schedules to find out how often those lines run, so you know how flexible your trip will be.
  • There are about a dozen cab companies serving various parts of the city; Google will point the way. You will likely be within Center City and University City (sometimes called West Philadelphia) for the duration of your visit. Hailing cabs is also theoretically possible, but I would recommend giving the radio dispatcher a call if you want to take a cab. Uber and Lyft are also active in Philly.
  • Walking is always an option. Philadelphia is a very walkable city.

From the airport

  • There is a SEPTA Airport Express Train (R1) every half hour; the fare is $8 (pay cash after you get on the train; change is available). If coming directly to the exchange, get off at University City station and walk a block west and a block north; otherwise, go one stop further to 30th Street Station to connect to other forms of transportation.
  • A cab from the airport to Center City or University City is about $30. Uber and Lyft are also available.
  • The PHL website has a list of rental car companies. UPenn's admissions office has driving directions that take you right into the center of campus.
  • Walking is probably not an option.

With a car

There is some parking on-campus, as well as street-parking for $1/hour. Walnut St. on the bridge over the Schuylkill River (and east of 33rd) allows you to park all day; other locations have more limited times. To help with interpreting the maps below, Levine Hall is located at 34th and Walnut.

The Google map also highlights the public parking locations near the hackathon; the fee is about $13/day.

While you're planning your route, keep in mind that while the city is laid out mostly in a grid, about half of the roads are one-way.


Attendees often stay at the Club Quarters hotel in Center City Philadelphia. There are some additional hotel suggestions here and in the "Hotels" section here. There may also be some local residents willing to accommodate a few attendees. See the attendees page for more info.


Here is a Google map with relevant locations marked.


Before you arrive

  • Pick out a couple of projects to work on and familiarize yourself with them, or bring your own project(s) to work on. See the projects page for a list of projects people plan to work on. If you plan to work on your own project, be sure to list it on the projects page and set up a public repository if you don't already have one, so that other people can help hack on your project.
  • Install an up to date Haskell toolchain: at least ghc and cabal-install. If you don't already have these installed (or need to install from scratch on the laptop you're bringing), the easiest way is probably to install the Haskell Platform.


See the Attendees page.


The organizers of Hac φ:

  • Richard Eisenberg (goldfire)
  • Antal Spector-Zabusky
  • Kenny Foner