CSE Alumni Attend Reception at SD Hacks 2017

Oct 24, 2017
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CSE chair Dean Tullsen  (third from right) with members
of the Alumni Board at CSE Alumni Reception
overlooking the hackathon floor in RIMAC Arena.

Under the theme "Build Your Dreams," student organizers hosted the 2017 SD Hacks hackathon Oct. 20-22 in RIMAC Arena.  On the first evening, a CSE Alumni Reception attracted some of the department's former students who were competing or serving as mentors during SD Hacks.  Appetizers, desserts and beverages were served at the reception that was open to CSE alumni only.

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CSE alumnus Taner Halicioglu with
Jacobs School dean Al Pisano and CSE
professor Rajesh Gupta

Roughly 700 students from around the country took part in the hackathon this year. Computer engineering junior Elise Wong, lead organizer of SD Hacks 2017, told the UCSD Guardian newspaper that campus organizations played an important role in the event. "We have workshops run by other UCSD student orgs," she said. "The CSE Society held a workshop, App Developers at UCSD held a workshop, and VR Club at UCSD held a workshop. I think [it's] pretty cool that we work closely with those groups."

The Grand Prize went to a team of five students from four departments. The VRTracking app was designed to track where the user goes in both virtual space and in the physical world. The app reads accelerometer data and tracks position, using Javascript and html to write the software. "We built something that is presentable and comes close to what we expected," wrote the team on their DevPost page. "We also learned a lot about VR and tracking and integration." 

Other hacks submitted by the end of SD Hacks 2017 included "Dining with Alexa", which gives students access to daily menu information from cafeterias, restaurants and dining halls around campus using voice commands through Amazon's Alexa platform. It was built by CSE M.S. students Tushar Koul and Janet Johnson; visiting student in CSE from Germany, Markus Duecker; and Calvin Xavier Gomez, a recent CSE alumnus (M.S. '17).

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Alumni Board members attending the CSE Alumni Reception with CSE's current and 
former chairs Dean Tullsen (far left) and Rajesh Gupta (far right), respectively.

SD Hacks 2017 was the third annual edition of the 36-hour event.

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UC San Diego students, many of them CS and CE majors, flocked to participate
in SD Hacks 2017.