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Solving national security issues with the Lean Launchpad
Solving national security issues with the Lean Launchpad

Hacking for Defense

Hacking for Defense (H4D) is a project-driven course that teaches problem-solving, creative thinking, and solution development.

The class provides students with a menu of problems to solve, with each problem being sourced directly from a sponsor within the Department of Defense (DoD). Working directly with DoD personnel, class mentors, and other experts, students spend the semester crafting and refining solutions that can be adopted in short order.

Students’ work and solutions have real-world impact.

How does Hacking for Defense work?

Students break into teams of 3-4, and each team receives a real-life problem statement from the military. Over the course of the semester, students work hand-in-hand with their problem sponsor as they interview as many people related to their problem as they can. Students continually develop their solution as they become experts on their topic. By the end of the course, students are required to have a minimum viable product (MVP) and/or prototype.

Frequently asked questions about Hacking for Defense

All majors. Business, Engineering, Design and Sustainability students are highly encouraged.

There are no prerequisites to this course.

Absolutely not! The "Hacking for Defense" title is meant to highlight the problem-solving nature of the class rather than computer science or what you think of with traditional "hacking."

Problems are sourced directly from entities like NASA, the U.S. Army, U.S. Special Operations Command, the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps. Students will be working closely with military members and representatives from each of these groups.

Student applicants are coming in from business, engineering, design, computer science, sustainability as well as arts and sciences. Teams will be formed with students of different majors and areas of expertise to create the strongest teams.

H4D is delivered at ASU through its partnership with the DoD's National Security Innovation Network, and powered by BMNT, Inc. and the Common Mission Project. For additional information about NSIN's work with ASU, contact Ms. Samantha Hiller.

Photo credit: Heidi Kaden (Unsplash)