In the News

January 30, 2017

Hackathon showcases creativity, innovation

HackUCI 2017 brought over 400 college hackers to campus for a weekend of programming challenges.

Orange County’s largest college hackathon, HackUCI 2017, descended upon the University of California, Irvine campus on January 13-15, 2017. The event brought together more than 400 eager and promising hackers to tackle true technical programming challenges using the latest software and hardware. The event was open to all college students.

“A lot of people come with creative ideas,” said senior computer science major Michelle Tjoa, a logistics officer for HackUCI. She pointed out a team that went so far as to create a small, self-driving car.

Although HackUCI has been an Irvine tradition for the last two years, this was the first time the event was held without a mandatory disruption over the weekend.

“This was the first overnight event at UCI because of the no-camping rule within the UC system,” said senior computer science major Dalton Kraatz, marketing director for HackUCI. “However through a lot of negotiations in proving that this is a viable event that brings positive promotion to the campus, as well as the computer science program, we were able to have this as the first big event to happen over a couple days without a break in the middle.”

HackUCI allows teams to start working on their hacks following the Friday evening kickoff and continue until Sunday morning. It is against the rules for teams to begin work on a project before the event or for them to steal another team’s source code. The projects are submitted via Devpostto be judged by a guest panel.

This year’s judges included local tech industry professionals Mike Strange and Joey Shih of Pariveda Solutions, a technology consulting firm in El Segundo; as well as Sharron Zhao, Zach Lanier and Andy Palumbo of Cyclance, a local Irvine company that specializes in cybersecurity products and services.

Judges considered technical difficulty, polish, usefulness and originality while making their decisions. A total of 39 completed projects were submitted.

The following is a list of prize categories and the winning groups:

  • Pariveda Solution's Best Social Hack — Won by Clickblock for their clickbait analysis tool.
  • Cylance's Best Data Science Hack — Won by Monopoly Simulation for their Monopoly analysis in a Monte Carlo-like scenario.
  • Best IoT Hack — Won by a first-time team for their IoT Greenhouse.
  • Best Education Hack — Won by UCI's own Lecture Hall for their iClicker, checkin, and real-time interest/understanding meter all-in-one application.
  • Organizer's Choice — Won by Succinct for their "turn complex words into simpler ideas" info-chart creator.
Along with bragging rights, teams also won $2,350 worth of prizes like Corsair mechanical keyboards and Amazon Echo Dots, plus Cyclance and Pariveda Solutions prize packs.

“The students at UCI are really diligent in their projects; they work as hard as they can throughout the whole thing,” said senior computer science major Maddy Chan, a logistics officer for HackUCI.

Watch a highlights video of HackUCI 2017:
Hackathon showcases creativity, innovation

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