New Faces and New Rules : Daemon Dash 2015

By Alex BenDebba
Student Staff Writer
Descriptive image for New Faces and New Rules : Daemon Dash 2015

Daemon Dash is the Computer Science Undergraduate Department’s annual hackathon.  Daemon Dash was established to give Computer Science and Computer Engineering majors, minors, and their friends to experience a 24-hour hackathon.

This year's Daemon Dash hackathon brought much bigger prizes and inspired much bigger hacks.  There were many changes to the format of the competition this year.  This includes a new way of judging, taking away the theme, and opening up slots for even more teams.  Instead of each team demoing their hack in CSIC 1115, teams pitched their hack to roaming judges.  Judges included company representatives, various Computer Science professors, and this year, audience members.  With the introduction of audience judges, there was also a new category for Audience Choice.

The winning team for Audience Choice was MPlex VR, for their virtual gallery.  It allowed users to better appreciate online artwork, even able to see individual brushstrokes on the paintings.  The team consisted of Mikhail Sorokin, Chris Castellano, Sebastian Pituscan, and Galen Stetsyuk, the president of the Virtual Reality Club here at UMD.  Each team member won an Oculus DK2.

Runner up to the grand prize was Victorious Secret, for their reimagination of the Computer Science Events page.  Team members Brandon Berry, Allen Cheng, Timmy Chen, and Jeffrey Zhao created dynamic pages and an enhanced backend functionality geared towards students, staff, and system administrators. Victorious Secret also won the Computer Science Undergrad Office challenge by creating the best event registration system.  Each team member won a Pebble watch and a Sony PS4.

Grand prize went to Bilbo Swaggins, for their Microsoft Office add-in that allows user to highlight a word in their file and automatically search for academic papers.  The add-in also gives users the option to flag the paper for later on, view different parts of the paper, and even automatically add a citation.  Team members Tim Furman, Andrew Gast, Patrick Healey, and Amelia Bateman each won a Pebble watch, a Sony PS4, and a 43” 4K TV. The team also won a bitcoin from Bookholders for creating an amazing academic hack.

Daemon Dash would also not be possible without sponsors.  Capitol One, Bookholders, AT&T, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, Leidos, Social Growth, and Easy Dynamics sent representatives to help out the students.  Many other companies helped out by sponsoring the event to make the large prizes possible for students, as well as giving out swag to each hackathon participant.  There were also a few company specific prizes given out.

Capitol One picked Team Awesome as the best hack using the Capitol One API.  Team Awesome created a money management app that rewards users with coupons for saving money.

Cipher Tech picked WHJK Python & the Holy Hack and Larry Herman is the Way for best digital forensic hacks.

Factset picked the Hoco Hackers for best data visualization.  Hoco Hackers created an application that let users search for a term in the news and see the most prevalent words surrounding that topic.

The Computer Science Undergraduate Department picked Victorious Secret for the best redesign of the Computer Science Events page.

The Department welcomes comments, suggestions and corrections.  Send email to editor [at] cs [dot] umd [dot] edu.