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Students from Engineering and Computer Science Pull off Successful HackUMass VIII Virtually

HackUMass logo with electronics in the background

A group of brilliant and dedicated students from the College of Engineering and the Computer Science Department managed to hold a very Successful HackUMass VIII, which they ran on December 19 and 20 in a totally virtual format because of the pandemic. According to the lead for the event, undergrad Kevin Sie of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, “Overall, I believe the event went smoothly considering it was the first virtual hackathon that we hosted.”

Sie added that “While there were definitely obstacles and learning of new things to transition everything to a fully digital platform, it resulted in a fairly smooth experience for the participants. There is definitely much to learn from this event, and we will be looking back at those aspects for future events.”

The slogan of the annual event is: “We are HackUMass, a 36-hour event where students bring their craziest ideas to life.” Stay up-to-date on future events on HackUmass' Instagram.

There were a total of 13 HackUMass VIII Projects that were selected for various prizes:

One of the innovations used for HackUMass VIII was a custom dashboard.

“I did not personally work on the creation and maintenance of our custom dashboard so I am going to shout out the main person behind the job, Cody Richter, our Director of Technology,” said Sie. “He has spent countless hours on creating the necessary features and modifying some functionality required in a virtual event.”

Richter commented that the "The HackUMass Dashboard is an open-source project created by the HackUMass tech team to run all aspects of running a hackathon. Used by multiple hackathons and thousands of participants annually, the project is under continuous development at HackUMass VIII, it handled everything from event applications to project submissions, and it is even hosting the public page for projects after the event."

As Sie commented about the international participation in HackUMass VIII: “I would like to note that while our previous in-person events had participants from primarily the Northeast region of the U.S., we had participants attending from all over the U.S., as well as reaching international countries, including India and China.”

This event would never have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the HackUMass Organizing Team. (January 2021)