The student-run UMW chapter of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Club took first place at the sixth annual HackU competition held Feb. 22-23 in Norfolk, Virginia. The hackathon, hosted by the Norfolk-based media and information services company Dominion Enterprises, pitted seven teams of Virginia college students against each other in a quest to create programming solutions such as mobile apps and websites.
The Mary Washington team claimed a total of $10,000 in scholarships, which will be shared equally with the winning team members. The Goats, as they are known, include Chad Baxter, Mikaela Goldrich, Colin Mistr, Harrison Crosse and Evan Shipman.
This year’s challenges focused on business needs of Dominion Resources clients. For the grand prize, the Goats developed an internet application that recommends unique web domains for businesses based on key search terms.
“Hackathons are a great opportunity to network and get involved in computer science,” said Goldrich, a senior who was offered a summer internship after the team’s impressive showing at last year’s competition. Although they fell short of the top prize for their debut HackU competition last year, the UMW competitors scored prime software and incentive to return to vie for the top prize.
“Winning the event is outstanding,” said Gusty Cooper, ACM faculty advisor and computer science instructor. “It demonstrates the top-notch computer science skills of our students, but I am equally proud of the ACM team for its efforts to plan, organize and execute participation.”