Bitcamp, the University of Maryland’s first Major League Hackathon, drew nearly 700 students from colleges as far away as Toronto, Canada to the University of Maryland’s Cole Field House on April 4-6, 2014. Bitcamp attendees spent 36 hours working in teams of four to hack together websites, apps, and hardware projects focusing on the theme YOU+TECH. The organizers encouraged to students to “ take what [they] love, fuse it with tech, and build something the world has never seen.” Organized exclusively by undergraduate students at UMD, Bitcamp is now one of 36 official Major League Hackathons that have been held during the 2013-2014 academic year.
Bitcamp opened with a keynote speech from Brendan Iribe and Michael Antonov, from Oculus VR, the company that produces the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset designed for immersive gaming. Mr. Iribe and Mr. Antonov met while there were Computer Science undergraduates at UMD. Mr. Iribe is the CEO of the company, and Mr. Antonov is the Chief Software Architect. In addition to speaking at Bitcamp, Oculus VR donated a number of their virtual reality headsets developer kits for students to use in innovative ways.
Bitcamp was made possible by support from the Department of Computer Science, The College of Computer Mathematical and Natural Sciences, as well as the several other colleges, departments, and institutes on campus. In particular, the Computer Science Department helped the organizers of Bitcamp secure some of their corporate sponsors, and organize last minute details.
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