A glance at UW Bothell ACM in winter 2021


It may not be obvious at first glance, but winter 2021 has been a surprisingly busy time for the UW Bothell Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) club. Winter quarter is traditionally the time the ACM plans the hackathon for spring quarter, and this year is no different. Cameron Ufland, secretary on the 2020-2021 executive team, shares a glance of what ACM has been up to in winter 2021.

Hack from Home

Circular Hackathon emblem in neon purple. Neon team crow in middle of circle holding neon blue keyboardOver the last three months the club has been working to ensure students will have a fun and fulfilling experience at the UW Bothell Hacks from Home hackathon on April 9-11, 2021. The theme this year is creating applications that help us survive the quarantine. There are four tracks students can focus on: Health, Connect, Interact, and Wildcard.

The “Health” track explores ways of helping others deal with their health while stuck at home, the “Interact” track seeks to find news ways for to foster connections, “Tools” aims to design and build tools to help others develop software or achieve goals while working from home, and the “Wildcard” track is for other creative ideas that help with working from home. 

Students from all around the Pacific Northwest are invited to participate, and we can’t wait to see what they come up with. Check out the UWB Hacks From Home event page.

Engaging students and alumni in workshops and sessions

Beyond the hackathon we have been hosting Technical Interview Prep workshops (formerly Cracking the Coding Interview) throughout the quarter. Every two weeks students tackle a new theme whether it is trees, graphs or other important coding principles. When students finish there they can take their newly learned skills and try their hand at our biweekly weekend Competitive Programming challenge. Students participate in finding the best solutions in the fastest time. 

Our newest event introduced over winter 2021 is our “Ask Me Anything” sessions hosted in our UW Bothell Discord. For these sessions we invite alumni to come to our server once a month and let students ask them all sorts of questions such as those that relate to their work and life. We hope students will find our events entertaining and meaningful.

The UW Bothell ACM collaborated with IxDA to create UW Bothell’s 1st Annual Design Jam on February 19-21, 2021. This weekend-long event brought together 40+ participants who submitted projects that followed the design thinking process to create a product that focused on creativity, social experiences, or problem-solving. The event also featured keynote speakers, an industry Q&A panel, and final judging by a diverse set of designers in the industry. Special thanks to Jay Quedado, of the ACM, and IxDa for all the hard work in making this event happen.

ACM diversity committee

To ensure club events and other programming are lowering barriers for students, the UW Bothell ACM chapter launched an internal diversity committee made up of ACM UW Bothell officers. This initiative wants to make events available to more students and to help broaden our understanding on how to bring more representation to club events.

As part of this we are reaching out to a whole new group of clubs focused on marginalized communities and social justice issues, along with professors that we may not have been engaging with before. The ACM is for all students who love technology, and we can’t reach those students if we focus solely on reaching out to current CSS faculty and students. Unfortunately, it has been a tough start, but we are excited about the opportunity this committee presents and the emphasis on diversity it brings to ACM.