UMD Hosts Inaugural Bitcamp Hackathon
The University of Maryland hosted Bitcamp, the university’s first Major League Hackathon, on April 4-6, in Cole Field House. Over 500 college students from across the country attended the 36-hour summit, working in teams to create new apps, games, and programs.
A hackathon is an event, typically lasting 24 to 36 hours, where students work in teams to produce inventive hardware and applications for computers, mobile devices or the Web—otherwise known as “hacks.” Teams then showcase their creation to a team of judges and other participants. Bitcamp is one of 37 official Major League Hacking events taking place this year.
However, Bitcamp isn’t your typical hackathon. Organized completely by undergraduate students, Bitcamp focused less on competition and more on collaboration. For this reason, its organizers created a fun environment where students could meet each other, make contacts, and discuss problems and solutions. Teams roasted marshmallows, constructed towering structures with building blocks, and tried out gadgets like Google Glass and Oculus Rift while developing their projects. They also had the opportunity to network with representatives from major companies, including former Clark School student Brendan Iribe, CEO of Oculus VR, a company developing wearable immersive virtual reality technology that was recently sold to Facebook for $2B.
Submissions were featured online and included a myriad innovative, interdisciplinary hacks. These included an application that generates mood-based playlists based on the sentiment of your tweets, a virtual business card wallet, and a website that aggregates news articles and posts them onto a world map. Teams were judged and awarded prizes by Bitcamp sponsors, such as Booz Allen Hamilton, Clarabridge, and Microsoft.
Though not every team completed a project or won a prize, they all walked away with useful skills, positive experiences, and new friends, making the goal of Bitcamp a major success.
Check out comprehensive coverage of Bitcamp:
“11 Awesome Startup Ideas Launched in Just 36 Hours at UMD” – InTheCapital
“Bitcamp: A 36-Hour Hackathon Where Dream Ideas Become a Reality” – InTheCapital
“First Bitcamp Hosted at University of Maryland” – Storify by UMD student Dennis J. Ting
Published April 8, 2014