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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggies to attend UCLA Hackathon

 
 

Four Aggies will have 36 hours to show the world what they can do.
A group of Texas A&M “hackers” will represent A&M at LA Hacks, a 36-hour hackathon at UCLA from April 11-13. The team will compete against 1,500 from across the country in Pauley Pavilion, the home of the Bruins.
Robert Timm, team member and sophomore computer science major, said the team plans to create something groundbreaking that will win prizes at the upcoming hackathon, but said the idea has to stay under wraps until the competition.
“Let’s just put it this way -our idea for the LA Hacks is going to change the tech industry forever,” Timm said. “We have devised a product that will revolutionize the way you live and are going to possibly be working with Kickstarter.”
The team of Aggies competed against 25 different teams in Austin at a Facebook-sponsored hackathon, at which they created a web application called KidTag to take home first place. This victory also secured the team an invitation to the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park to compete in the Facebook Global Hackathon Final in November.
Eleni Mijalis, sophomore biology major, said she had never competed in a hackathon before the competition in Austin, but the team used her idea to win the competition.
Timm said these events are not all about winning but more about working as a team and having fun while creating something amazing. The time crunch experienced at these events allows participants to showcase their best qualities, Timm said.
“At first I thought these events were all about winning,” Timm said “But when you arrive at your first event and sit down and start hashing out a new idea you begin to realize it’s about the culture. These events are just too much fun. A 24-hour – or in this case of the LA hack, a 36-hour – sprint of teamwork really brings out the best in everyone.”
Rafael Cesar, junior computer science major, said the team’s goal for LA Hacks is to represent A&M with a win and to show large companies at the hackathon that the University is full of future employees.
“Our goal for when we go to these is to represent A&M in a way that helps put it on the map for companies to want to come recruit at,” Cesar said “We essentially want our hopeful success to help A&M as a whole. When we won the Facebook hackathon, it helped drive interest in coming down and checking out what the computer science scene is like down at A&M. We hope that if we do well at UCLA, since it is sponsored by so many companies, that all of them will want to recruit from here as well.”
Timm said the team is thinking of starting a club at A&M to provide a support network for students interested in these kinds of events.
“We are currently exploring the possibility of founding an official student organization and raising money for these trips,” Timm said. “We really want to get more students involved. Personally, I am aiming to provide a mentoring system where we can all sit down, learn a few new technologies and be better suited for challenges, not only hackathons but for future programming careers.”

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