CruzHacks brings together a diverse and inclusive group of students and professionals to develop innovative solutions to solve real world challenges.

Last year​ ​we​ ​brought​ ​together​ ​700​ ​students​ ​from​ ​over​ ​25​ ​universities. Our goals to support creativity in technology and promote the development of technological solutions in social good are at the forefront of our efforts every year.

View the schedule here: https://cruzhacks.com/#schedule

 

WORKSHOPS:

UAudio Workshop - 9:00am to 10:00am

TokBox Workshop #1 (Easily Add Interactive Live Video to Web) - 10:00am to 11:00am

TokBox Workshop #2 (Mobile Apps in Minutes) - 11:00am to 12:00pm

Google Workshop #1 (Intro to Cloud Computing and Hands-On Tutorial Plotting Earthquakes with GCP) - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Google Workshop #2 (Google Daydream Impact: Creating Virtual Reality for Good) - 1:30pm to 2:30pm

Microsoft Workshop (Speech-Enabled Applications) - 2:30pm to 3:30pm

 

View full rules

Prizes

$23,375 in prizes

Innovation (3)

Do you have an amazing idea for a future best-selling product? This is your time to shine.

Judging Criteria:
Novelty: Is the approach or solution novel? Does it substantially depart from similar products?
Technical Merit: How elegant is the solution? Was a particularly difficult design challenge met? How polished is the Hack? How complete is the Hack, as presented? What work was actually accomplished as opposed to what was envisioned?
Impact/Use Potential: How much does an individual benefit from this hack? How many people will benefit from the hack?
Design: Is it accessible and usable in its current state? Were positive user experience principles exercised? Is usage self-apparent or do you need a manual?

Prizes (Prepaid Visa Cards):
1st place $250
2nd place $100
3rd place $50

Tech Cares (3)

Are you passionate about what technology can do to help in your society? Look no further.

Judging Criteria:
Solves a community issue: Does it contribute to social improvement in a clear and tangible way?
Technical Merit How difficult was this Hack to build? Was a particularly difficult design challenge met? How polished is the Hack? How complete is the Hack, as presented? What work was actually accomplished as opposed to what was envisioned?
Impact/Use Potential: How much does an individual benefit from this hack? How many people will benefit from the hack?
Design: Is it accessible and usable in its current state? Were positive user experience principles exercised? Is usage self-apparent or do you need a manual?

Prizes (Prepaid Visa Cards)
1st place $250 cash and we will match your prize for a non profit organization of your choice!
2nd place $100
3rd place $50

Project YX Fashion Prize (3)

Build a fashion app for iOS, Android, Web, or any combination of thereof. Use machine
learning, computer vision, and/or AI to build an app to change the way we traditionally
think about fashion.

Ideas
- Generate personalized garment recommendations
- Detect and forecast fashion trends
- Apply classification or machine learning to identify garments
- Perform visual search for fashion e-commerce
- Apply computer vision to analyze clothing images and auto-tag garments

Judging Criteria:
- Implementation: was the machine learning / computer vision / AI self built or was a 3rd party library / API used?
- Execution: does the hack / prototype function? How well is the prototype built or constructed?
- Creativity: how unique and innovative is the idea?
- Presentation: how finished and polished is the UI?

Prize:
First: $1500, Santa Cruz Aerial Tour, Lunch with YX team   
Second: $500 Amazon Gift Card, Lunch with YX team
Third: Lunch with YX team

Creative Entrepreneurship Sponsored by UCSC Arts Division (2)

Artists are natural entrepreneurs. They are creative. They are disruptors. They take initiative. They implement enduring change. They bring others along. They make something new and put it out in the world, over and over again. The entrepreneurial mindset positions the artist as potentially instrumental in every facet of human endeavor. Equally important, the vision, creativity and problem-solving abilities artists possess are invaluable assets for solving the countless problems we face as a society and for advancing a competitive culture of innovation.

Judging Criteria:
Does the project attempt to solve a problem facing society (large or small scale)?
How creative and entrepreneurial is the project?
Does the project inspire creativity in others?

First prize: $1000 and lunch meeting with Dean of the Arts, Susan Solt (and relevant faculty) to further explore creative entrepreneurship
Second prize: $500 and lunch meeting with Dean of the Arts, Susan Solt (and relevant faculty) to further explore creative entrepreneurship

Hack Alumni's Keeping’ It Weird

Santa Cruz is full of weird and wonderful folks and we want to represent that weird spirit at CruzHacks! This category is for you if you want let out your kooky mad scientist go free and build something weird! We are looking for people to explore, experiment and have fun with tech!

Judging Criteria:
- How well it works? Actually has to do something. At least 24 hours of effort. Button presses, mouse clicks and touch surface swipes lead to things happening! (Not including your project crashing. Which is something to avoid.)
- Weirdness Something unexpected. Original. Sounds like something found on the Onion yet it’s real! You made it!
- Usefulness Must be useful to someone. It can be useful to a small subset of people like your friends! (Or your dog! Woof!) It might not ever be mainstream, but somewhere, out there, someone really needs your weird project!
- Must be appropriate nothing illegal or too inappropriate. You can proudly show this off to your mom! (Or maybe not.) Won’t get you (or we poor sponsors) fired at work for. Nothing racist/sexist/discriminatory/controversial stuff. No parodies of current products. Spin-offs are okay but the project should actually work and can be used in real life as if it was a separate product.

Prize:
- UDI U818A HD+ Drone
- Brookstone Wireless Cat Headphones
- $25 Amazon gift card per team member

Tokbox's Best Live Video Application

TokBox is the leading global Live Video Platform for web and mobile apps. We help developers build online customer experiences incorporating live video, screen sharing, messaging and recording to enhance user engagement and increase accessibility and reach. The TokBox API builds on WebRTC and is available for JavaScript (browsers), iOS, Android, Mac and Windows. The TokBox platform (PaaS) scales from one-to-one video interactions to large multi-party video chat sessions to interactive broadcasts to huge audiences, including concurrent streaming to Facebook, YouTube and Twitch. TokBox is trusted by thousands of global customers including leading social media apps and industry apps in Healthcare, eLearning, Financial Services and Entertainment.

Prize: $250 in giftcards

Google's VR Challenge (3)

Virtual reality doesn’t just let you see the world, it allows you to experience it in a whole new way. This technology has the potential to provide viewers with new perspectives and increased awareness around an endless number of issues and challenges humankind faces today.

Using 360 content, put the viewer in someone else's shoes with the goal of increasing awareness around a global challenge or social movement.

Extra credit to those that incorporate Google APIs and Platforms with their project.

Prize: Google Daydream, Google Cloud Credits

Microsoft Invoke Cortana's Best Speech Client Implementation (2)

Teams must implement a speech client using the streaming voice protocol defined on the Cognitive Services site using Microsoft Cognitive Services APIs. Teams must submit their implementation to some public Git repository and must publish a public blog about their experience and their client

Judging Criteria:
- The quality of the code
- The number of features used
- The clarity of the published blog
- Uniqueness of implementation. E.g. we already have a JavaScript implementation on the Microsoft site, so creating a new one in JavaScript wouldn’t be unique.

Prizes (Between both Microsoft Categories there are only 3 winners)
First place: $1000
Second place: Microsoft Invoke Cortana Speaker
Third place: Microsoft Invoke Cortana Speaker

Microsoft Invoke Cortana's Best Speech Application

A winning application would be impossible to use without using speech. Such applications might also be potential candidates for the Tech Cares category; for example an application that assists persons with physical disabilities using speech input could be a potential dual-category candidate.

Judging Criteria:
- Be interactive (i.e. integrate with a microphone)
- Use the Microsoft Cognitive Services API
- Demonstrate the usefulness of speech. (i.e. creating an application to which you can say “File”, “Open”, etc. is not useful).

Prizes (Between both Microsoft Categories there are only 3 winners)
First place: $1000
Second place: Microsoft Invoke Cortana Speaker
Third place: Microsoft Invoke Cortana Speaker

Diversity Award, Sponsored by the SUA Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Award will be given to one team that utilizes technology to innovate, address, and highlight a diversity and inclusion based issue.

Criteria:
- Teams that apply to this award MUST be comprised of UCSC students

Prize:
- $25 Bay Tree Bookstore Gift Certificate (1 per team member)
- Student Union Assembly Swag Bag (1 per team member)
- Lunch with SUA Office of Diversity and Inclusion (1 per entire team)

Big Data Federation Challenge

Challenge description can be found here: https://goo.gl/6vkWz4

Prize: $300 Amazon Gift Card

Choose Santa Cruz's Tech Transfer Bonus Prize

This bonus prize will go to a team with high potential for commercialization of their idea. The team will receive 3-months of expert mentorship through the Santa Cruz Works Accelerator program. Expert mentors will work with the awarded HACK team to assess the viability of the idea, find product-market fit, develop a value proposition, and provide direction for the next stages of the startup process.

Divison of Graduate Studies' Best Hack by a UCSC Graduate Student

$2000 summer fellowship

Bioinformatics Prize by the Genomics Institute (2)

2 winners: $200

Bioinformatics is an exciting and wildly changing field, with new tools and methods of analysis being developed side-by-side the technology sequencing the data. We're looking for innovators who can work in the domain in new and creative ways. This can be visualization of relevant biological data, a program to help people learn about DNA and/or biology, apps that track and record the latest research to alert people who have novel variants of their significance, and generally, anything creative and helpful in the realm of bioinformatics.

Judging Criteria:
Must be Bioinformatics related.
Look to improve the world.
Be creative!

Prizes:
First prize: $200
Second prize: $200 Amazon Gift Card

Best Domain Name from Domain.com

Raspberry Pi & PiHut Essential Kit

Amazon Web Services - Best Use of AWS

$250 Amazon Web Services Credit

Best IoT Hack Using a Qualcomm Device

410C Dragonboard for each team member

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

Judges

Dylan Salisbury

Dylan Salisbury
Software Engineer Manager @ Google

Peter Bergstrom

Peter Bergstrom
Technical Lead Manager @ Google

Sarah Borland

Sarah Borland
Software Engineer @ IBM

Subhas Desa

Subhas Desa
Technology & Information Management Professor @ UC Santa Cruz

Ian Muldoon

Ian Muldoon
Software Engineer @ Google

Danusch Merrikh-Yazdi

Danusch Merrikh-Yazdi
Mobile Application Engineer @ Google

Ahmad Mahdi

Ahmad Mahdi
Program Manager, M&A Security @ Google

Manik Sachdeva

Manik Sachdeva
Developer Evangelist @ TokBox

Hashir Baqai

Hashir Baqai
Product Manager @ TokBox

Greg Harmon

Greg Harmon
Software Engineer @ Google

David Moore

David Moore
CEO/Founder @ FuzzStati0n

Emmanuel Leroy

Emmanuel Leroy
Lead Solutions Architect @ Syndio

Regina Firpo-Triplett

Regina Firpo-Triplett
CEO @ dfusion Inc

John Skardon

John Skardon
Founder @ Tailwater Systems

Viraj Patel

Viraj Patel
System Administrator/Developer @ Tanius Technologies LLC

Joshua Bradley

Joshua Bradley
Portable Co-Founder

Tim Bensch

Tim Bensch
Development Director for Physical & Biological Sciences Division @ UC Santa Cruz

Scott Smith

Scott Smith
Cyber-Security Practice Lead @ CIO Professional Services

David Hansen

David Hansen
Senior Consultant @ HIC, Inc

Chris Peltier

Chris Peltier
Assistant Director, Global Admissions @ UC Santa Cruz

Alex Sibille

Alex Sibille
Assistant Director of Business Development @ UC Santa Cruz

Fuad Abunofal

Fuad Abunofal

Monica Nofal

Monica Nofal

Manju Kanthilal

Manju Kanthilal

Kanti Bhabuthmal

Kanti Bhabuthmal

Alan Johnson

Alan Johnson

Vikram Sahai

Vikram Sahai

Judging Criteria

  • Technical Merit
    Technical Merit: How elegant is the solution? Was a particularly difficult design challenge met? How polished is the Hack? How complete is the Hack, as presented? What work was actually accomplished as opposed to what was envisioned?
  • Impact/Use Potential
    How much does an individual benefit from this hack? How many people will benefit from the hack?
  • Design
    Design: Is it accessible and usable in its current state? Were positive user experience principles exercised? Is usage self-apparent or do you need a manual?
  • Novelty (For Innovation Category)
    Is the approach or solution novel? Does it substantially depart from similar products?
  • Solves a community issue (For Tech Cares Category)
    Does it contribute to social improvement in a clear and tangible way?