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24-Hour UHack Hackathon Showcases Student Talent

As the world continues to become more information-driven and technology enabled, there is an ever-growing need for engineers with software developer talent.

Universities are addressing the increasing need for these skills by providing the tools and training needed to succeed in the field. The University of Miami (UM), specifically, has already embraced the concept of hackathons as an exceptional opportunity to prepare students for the evolving work environment.

A hackathon is an event where student developers get together to make new innovative projects together. The events also are great places to interact with companies and recruiters who are interested in working with student developers.

UM’s UHack hackathon competition gives participants 24 hours to build “something” – an app, a website, an autonomous car – and then a few minutes to demo their work to the judges.

This year, more than 150 students participated in the University’s seventh annual UHack hackathon between December 1 and 2, a marathon of brainstorming, building, programming, and testing unique innovative projects. Students enjoyed a full-day of creating projects, meeting with recruiters from top companies, networking with professional software developers and programmers, and participating in technical workshops.

UHack is run exclusively by UM students to give others the opportunity and environment to learn valuable technical skills by making a unique project.

This year’s UHack sponsors, include Magic Leap, 8base and World Fuel Services, all of which conducted tech workshops, or demos throughout most of day two. Other sponsors included Citrix Systems, Taxfyle, Nielsen Holdings, Wolfram Language, Jet Brains and Sticker Mule.

“Even if you’re brand new to programming, the best way to learn is to dive into a project for a full-day and watch it come to life before your eyes,” explained Stephen Murrell, a lecturer in the College of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “UHack provides students with opportunities outside of the traditional education classroom so that they are well prepared to solve problems and succeed in the work environment of the future.”

Overall, there were a total 16 project submissions from teams composed of just under half of the participants.

“UHack went great! We had a fantastic time hosting the competition, with some of the sponsors and some volunteers from our hackathon team judging the projects and presenting prizes,” said Evan Miller BSc ’20. “UHack is just a lot of fun. Even if you’re not participating, you will see the energy and enthusiasm of everyone. We look forward to seeing what next year’s event will bring!”

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