The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

Students break the code at first Hawkathon

Shubrat Simkhada

ULM’s chapters of the Google Developers Student Club (GDSC) and Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) created a new event called the ULM Hawkathon. The Hawkathon, which took place on April-12-13, provided computer science students with opportunities for skill development, networking and enhancing problem-solving abilities.

GDSC president Bishwo Dahal explained why the two organizations collaborated to sponsor the Hawkathon. He states that the Hawkathon provides computer science students with real-life experiences they cannot get elsewhere on campus.

“I mean, computer science is practical,” sophomore computer science major Dahal said. “You need to have practical knowledge before going to any IT company, and events like hackathons help you test your practical skills.”

Once students arrived at the Hawkathon, they engaged in an open discussion to identify campus-wide problems and brainstorm potential solutions. After the open discussion, judges gave the teams criteria for the Hawkathon project. Students needed to create an app linking ULM students by sharing interests or addressing a campus issue.

Freshman computer science major Unika Bista explained his reasons for participating in the Hawkathon. He mentioned how he enjoyed working with his fellow computer science majors to create a new project.

“It’s a great event for students. Teams here are really giving their best and we can see a lot of good projects,” freshman computer science major Unika Bista said. “I think, for me, I got an opportunity to network with people of Cs.”

Representatives from International Business Machine Corporation (IBM), a multinational technology conglomerate with multiple branches in North Louisiana, presented on the developing field of AI.
Currently, IBM is focusing on developing new AI software. The speaker discussed the genAI chatbot, which extracts data from provided videos to gather information.

Following the presentation, the teams showcased their projects to the judging panel.
The top three teams were invited on stage to deliver presentations to the entire audience. Judges chose the winners based on their presentation and technical skills.

Team “Byte Builders” won the Hawkathon led by Prashan Sapkota, Unnayan Thapa, Utsab Neupane and Sulav Dhakal. Team member Prashant Sapkota elaborated on why he believes his team won the Hawkathon.

“I think what set us apart from others was the problem we were trying to solve,” freshman computer science major Prashan Sapkota said. We focused on solving three problems on campus and used five programming languages to compete.”

17 teams attended the competition, which served as a platform for students to work together on challenges. However, Dahal seeks to expand the Hawkathon beyond ULM’s campus.

“Our next goal is to organize a state-level hackathon or at least a hackathon compromising other universities,” Dahal said.

The GDSC and ACM plan to continue collaborating on events such as the Hawkathon, showing off ULM’s talented and tech-savvy student body.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Hawkeye Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *