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First Annual WICS Games

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On Wednesday, October 1st WICS held its first ever WICS Games! Over 40 students and 7 teams participated in our games to be the first team to ever win WICS Games. Each team worked together along with a mentor for each team to solve rounds of questions with varying level of difficulty to accumulate points to win. Subway sandwiches were served for dinner to munch on while solving problems! Everyone that came to our meeting received really cool Google swag!

Make sure to come out to our annual WICS Games and start the year by meeting many people and having fun!

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HackUCI Spring 2014

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Written by: David Dinh

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UCI’s first annual hackathon was a huge success! HackUCI was hosted at PeopleSpace, where people can collaborate on common interests in computers, technology, science, art, entrepreneurship and start-up business. The small, cozy venue was packed with awesome ideas and much energy during the Memorial Day weekend. HackUCI was so spectacular that some preferred to call it a hack festival!

When the HackUCI opened on Friday evening, buses streamed participants five miles from campus to PeopleSpace. As attendees entered, they were greeted by a live performance from Blake & Kurt. As the event started, hackers had access to everything they needed to work on their project during their stay. There was lots of free food, including muffins and croissants for breakfast, Veggie Grill and Chipotle for lunch, Ray’s Pizza and Dos Chinos for dinner, and Domino’s Pizza and 85 Degrees for midnight snacks. Caffeine from coffee and energy drinks were, of course, a necessity for those who wanted to stay awake for the entire time.

By far, however, the most popular item among the hackers was none other than UCI’s Ring Road specialty: Lollicup Boba! This free drink was probably a first in the history of hackathons judging by the overwhelming response of the participants. Another rare attraction was the dedicated sleeping area located at the back of the venue. Because the area is primarily a martial arts dojo, people were able to rest on the mats. The isolated location and dim lighting made it a better place to sleep than inside the bright and noisy hacking areas.

Last, but not least, there were mentors at the event. Company representatives from Cylance, Infinite Peripherals, Amazon, SendGrid, and Kloudless came to help and answer any questions. It was very inspirational to see that several hacker participants were willing to help out other teams with their projects. The core values of inclusiveness, diversity, innovation, and creativity exhibited by everyone would definitely make HackUCI’s hackathon forebearers proud.

In the end, all projects were built from scratch over the 36-hour period. The teams came up with some great hacks, but as the hacking period closed, only a handful of these would come out gloriously on top. One of these teams had created Shark Education, which allowed the player to see through the eyes of a shark with the Oculus Rift. For Legend of Zelda fans, one of the best Twilio hacks was a Hylian Transliterator, which could convert English to any of the several Hylian languages found within the games and vice versa.

With about 300 registrations from all over Orange County, HackUCI was possibly the largest event ever hosted by ICS Clubs. WICS definitely played a large part in this event, as most of the volunteers were WICS members. All in all, it was due to the hard work, commitment, and sacrifice of the volunteers, committee members, and main organizers that such an astounding event was pulled off. I can’t wait to see how HackUCI will grow next year!

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WICS Final Python Project Meeting

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Written by: Gurveen Sekhon

At the last WICS Python Flappy Bird project meeting on May 19th, everyone submitted their projects and were entered into a raffle with cool prizes! Yummy sandwiches were served for dinner and everyone that came out to the meeting received really cool Google swag such as eos chapstick, a Google whiteboard sticker, and much more!

The first place winner received a fancy set of Google headphones!!! Make sure to come out to the quarterly project meetings next year to learn new programming languages and win some more cool prizes! Thanks to all that came this quarter, hope everyone got a better insight on Python and Pygame.

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Studying and Interview Help from WICS

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On Thursday April 24th and May 8th, WICS hosted a Study Session that also consisted of interview help in order to prepare for upcoming midterms and career fairs.

Study groups were formed by classes, there were tutors that came by to help anyone who was struggling with specific topics.

At the same time, for those who came by for interview help, WICS prepared common tech interview questions for them to solve. Interview experience and questions were shared amongst those who have been in one before.WICS hopes that those who came got to learn something new and useful towards their classes and finding a job.

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Spring Potluck with ICS Clubs

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Written By: Gurveen Sekhon

Monday, April 28th, WICS held our Quarterly ICS Potluck. More than 30 students from various ICS clubs attended! Everyone brought some really delicious food! There were WingStop Wings, Pasta, Pizookie from VGDC and lots of other really good food. WICS also made our ever popular Nutella, strawberry, and boysenberry crepes filled with strawberries and bananas this time! That’s definitely a very rare opportunity!

There were also groups playing Apples to Apples, Cards against Humanity, Uno, and more. All in all, it was a fun day to let loose with fellow ICS students during the first wave of midterms.

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WICS Launches a Flappy Bird Python Project

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Written by: Katie Khuu

For this quarter’s programming project, WICS has decided to make a Python version of the popular Flappy Bird game. The first project meeting on April 21st had over 70 attendees, a combination of WICS members, non-members, and non-UCI students.

To start off, WICS guided them with a PowerPoint presentation on how to download Python and Pygame modules and explained how to start the project. WICS board members also displayed an example of their completed project–a flying anteater in a cape moving through narrow pillars–to encourage participants and to promote creative designs. Help was available for those that had difficulty installing or getting started. After the presentation, there were downtime for attendees to chat and work with others. Food was available as a quick boost.

The Flappy Bird Python project will span for 5 weeks with tutorials included every week for those that are new to the Python language. This is a great way to get programming practice for anyone thinking about attending hackUCI or have already signed up.

For more information and updates about the spring project, join the WICS project group.

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WITI Comes to UCI

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Written by: Gurveen Sekhon

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On Thursday, April 17th WITI, Women in Technology International, hosted a panel of technology experts that informed the audience on software delivery methods. The key speakers were some really successful and passionate women. The speakers consist of Diane Cochran, a software engineer at Blizzard, Kristine A. Hayes Munson, an IT leader with a successful record in completing projects in finance, printing, and construction industries, and Melissa Meyer, the lead producer for Battle.net at Blizzard.

Some of the issues they addressed are the pros and cons of using agile for building products, how traditional companies address ‘time to market’ barriers when Compliance/Safety is a concern, and the best ways to track and measure development progress against goals. Six of our WICS members volunteered at the event and got to attend the event for free! WITI provided a large amount of delicious food from Gina’s Pizza and raffled out cool prizes such as books on Agile development, hand bags, and much more!

WICS will be working with WITI again in the future, so be on the lookout for more events hosted by WITI and WICS!

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WICS Attends CWIC SoCal!

WICS members got the opportunity to attend the Celebration of Women in Computing in Southern California (CWIC-SoCal) Conference held on April 5th and 6th. WICS provided attendees reimbursement for signup fees as well as free transportation!

The event kicked off with a welcoming ceremony that consisted of talks from inspirational women in the computing field. The talks were held by a broad scope of women all united by the core concept of computing. The backgrounds of these women ranged from industry to research. In fact, Gloria Mark, a professor from the Informatics department of UCI also held a talk of her research of multitasking.

The WICS members learned about grad school, what these speakers do, and about women in the tech field in general. There was also a Q/A panel with company representatives as well as a mentorship panel. At the end of the first day, CWIC-SoCal also held an Academic/Career Fair with quite a few company booths, swag, and networking opportunities. That night ended with a Lego Challenge and a game of CS jeopardy. The winners of the lego competition, 5 groups of 5, all received $25 Amazon gift cards, congrats to one of the WICS’s teams that won!

All in all, it was a very exciting weekend that consisted of fun and networking with other women students and professionals in computing. Next year, WICS will be hosting init(Together) once again, stay tuned and don’t miss out!

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WICS is Invited to Western Digital

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On April 4th, Friday of Week 1, Western Digital held a company tour from 10 AM to 3:30 PM for students from Cal Poly Pomona, UCR, and UCI.

After breakfast, the first thing on the to-do list was to break apart a hard drive, which was given to the attendees along with free swag to take home! As the hard drive was opened, everyone got to see what the inside looked like as the Western Digital speakers described the individual parts and their usage.

Before lunch was served, there was a tour of the Western Digital Shop (items were discounted for attendees), and the company in which we saw the employees in their natural habitat.

The tour concluded with a talk held by a panel of 10 women engineers that was provided just for WICS members. They described their work environment, gave school advice, and explained the benefits of working at Western Digital. It was definitely an informational and hands-on learning experience. WICS plans on having more future events with Western Digital so stay tuned!

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WICS First General Spring Quarter Meeting

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The first general meeting of the quarter was held on Thursday, April 3rd. With the last quarter wrapped up with the Android Development workshops, this quarter brings more projects, information sessions, and social events for members to look forward to!

In terms of professional development, WICS will be holding a total of 5 Python Project Meetings on Mondays at 6:30pm. There will also be a couple tech talks and tours, such as the Western Digital Tour, The Portal Open House, and the WITI Talk on Agile Development. There are also quite a few social events planned for WICS members to network and socialize with other students. A few events, just to name, are the ICS Quarterly Potluck, Bowling, and the SWE & Phi Sigma Rho Mixer.

Some major events of this quarter are the CWIC SoCal, ICS Day, and HackUCI! Check out more information on our events calendar and our Facebook page. Also, if you want to be more involved with WICS and interested in writing weekly blogs and recaps of the events, fill out this form and you will get an email with more information!

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