TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Five University of Alabama computer science seniors and members of the Association for Computing Machinery UA student chapter started a hacking competition this semester that they hope will become a yearly event.
CrimsonHacks is a hackathon, or a weekend-long invention challenge. The 24-hour event took place on the third floor of the Ferguson Center, starting at 1 p.m. March 25 and ending at 1 p.m. March 26.
“It’s a weekend of coding, designing and inventing,” said Steven Eastcott, marketing director of CrimsonHacks and computer science senior from Detroit. “We offer a space for hackers, innovators and creators to come together for a weekend to create something meaningful.”
At the event, the University hosted 175 student participants from 20 schools with approximately half the participants representing UA. The hackers competed in teams, and at the end of the event, 40 teams demonstrated their projects for four judges. More than $4,000 worth of prizes were given away.
“The goal is to bring hackers from all over the south for a weekend of innovation,” Eastcott said. “It gives students an opportunity to showcase their talents to companies and is also a great time to network and make new friends.”
Six companies — Pariveda Solutions, Red Ventures, ADTRAN, The Nine, PwC and 84.51 — sponsored the hackathon and many attended the event. Participants were given the opportunity to network with these sponsors, and several sponsors used the event as a recruitment opportunity.
The event was also sponsored by the UA computer science department, the UA student chapter of ACM, STEM Path to the MBA and Major League Hacking.
“CrimsonHacks ended up being a huge success and surpassed the expectations of many,” Eastcott said. “We intend on hosting it annually.”
Before the hacking began, a keynote speech was given by a representative from Pariveda Solutions. Food and drinks were provided to participants throughout the weekend.
Other ACM members and computer science seniors who organized the CrimsonHacks event were:
Emily Huynh – executive director from Nashville, Tennessee
Jake Zarobsky – finance director from Chicago
Scott Carl – logistics director from Mobile
Andrew Thomas – user experience director from Chattanooga, Tennessee
The projects and winners can be viewed here.
In 1837, The University of Alabama became one of the first five universities in the nation to offer engineering classes. Today, UA’s fully accredited College of Engineering has more than 4,500 students and more than 120 faculty. In the last eight years, students in the College have been named USA Today All-USA College Academic Team members, Goldwater, Hollings, Portz, Mitchell and Truman scholars.