CruzHacks brought together teams from all over the Bay Area and beyond on the weekend of January 18-20. Over 600 talented young engineers packed the Stevenson Event Center on the University of California Santa Cruz campus to compete in various categories. Students entered the event with a wide range of programming talent. From first time programmers to students that have attended dozens of hackathons. Whatever their incoming experience, all students showed a strong drive to learn and apply new technical skills.

Eric Fultz, Ray Chen, and Cam Johnson were on hand the entire weekend to mentor the students

ProductOps sponsored the Best Use of Analytics for Product Improvement category donating a $300 first prize to the winner. That winner was the team of Adam Filiz, Akul Goyal, Collin Hurst and Darren Dawson all from the home team UCSC. Their project Webcast.DB scrapes video lectures uploaded by professors, identifies key points and then creates slides and keywords, enabling students to find valuable information in the lectures much more easily, as well as cross reference subjects with other lectures.

The winning team from Webcast.DB with productOps' Frank Piva (far right)

Coming in second was the team of Apoorva Peervelli, Meghna Banerjee, Namratha Prithviraj, Neha Pamidi and Nitya Davarapalli. They created TrashIt, a machine learning based mobile app that identifies household waste and tells the user whether an object is recyclable, compostable, or just landfill. Long term they wish to create a system that will do this on a greater scale without human interaction.

The team from TrashIt that took second place

As well as being a category sponsor, productOps was on hand to support, mentor and judge students over the weekend. The core of the experience for the students was that they came up with creative ideas to real world problems. They all started with a blank slate and they raced through the workflow to build solutions - ideation to provability to prototyping to deployment.

Steve Yatson of productOps one of the weekend’s judges, checks out a prototype of a smart pill dispenser. 

The students were resourceful in the way they used whatever materials were on hand for the weekend to build their prototypes.

ProductOps was proud to support CruzHacks 2019 and is supportive of the many programs and resources available to UCSC students as an employer of their most talented graduates.