Over 300 students participated in this year’s UCSC hackathon from Jan. 20-22. Almost 100 different projects were submitted to be judged by professionals in the technology industry.
The two largest categories were Tech Cares, which aimed to apply technology to help people, and Innovation, which sought inventive programs. Several other smaller categories accepted submissions ranging from Best Domain Name to Redefine Future of Virtual Closet.
Ash Robbins, third-year cognitive science and robotics engineering major, and four other teammates participated in the virtual closet category, where users could scan their clothes, catalog them and model them in virtual reality.
The competition was three 12-hour days, “and everyone on my team slept 10 or 11 hours total,” Robbins said. He said the time commitment was typical for hackathon teams, who have a little less than a weekend to complete their projects.
Hackathons serve as an opportunity for young developers to present their projects to companies and professionals in the field. Companies like Google, Microsoft and Pyze were present for project presentations.
Even if groups don’t win their categories, many come away from the event with a project they can further develop with their teams.
“My group is thinking about advancing our project further,” Robbins said. “We want to smooth over all of the edges and implement certain features we wanted to tackle but didn’t have time to.”