The Green Room in the UWM Sandburg Residence Hall was host to the first annual Pantherhacks Hackathon this past Saturday. The competition, which was open to all college students, gave participants eight hours to team up and create something new and exciting. Some 50 students showed up. They offered eight submissions.
The submissions ranged from a survey program designed to reduce students stress levels
by creating a better environment in the UWM Union to a nearly silent acoustic drum set. Seven judges critiqued projects from varying disciplines. They analyzed work based on aesthetic appeal, creativity, tech-savviness and marketability.
The winning project was Bar.io Party, a multiplayer party gaming platform created by Aaron Hartwig and Taylor Smith.
This event was the largest hackathon to date at UWM. This increase in participation was attributed to a ramped-up marketing effort as well as support from UWM staff and student organizations.
One of the supporters and contributors to the event was J. Dietenberger, Student and Intern Support as well as Development for Student Affairs IT Services.
Dietenberger was intrigued by this organization and event because of an April 2014 article published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that cited Wisconsin as ranked among the worst in entrepreneurship in the nation.
“This was a fact that really alarmed me,” said Dietenberger.
This year’s event saw many students from different majors and fields of study working together to create innovative projects.
“We’ve had a lot of people from architecture come along, and they’re working with software developers to create tools to better understand how people use buildings,” said Anthony Jesmok, a UWM student and organizer of this event.
The hope for this event is that more interdisciplinary work will come from UWM students and that students will continue to be innovative and forward-thinking.
“What I really hope will come from this event is more interdisciplinary campus work.” said Jesmok. “I want to see architects come together with engineers to make our lives better and to increase innovation in our community and in our world.”