ACES Students Organize Bitcamp's 10th Anniversary

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ACES Students at Bitcamp 2023

Bitcamp, the renowned 36-hour hackathon hosted annually at the University of Maryland, stands as the largest collegiate hackathon on the East Coast. Drawing students from across the nation, this event not only offers a platform for networking and skill development but also fosters a community dedicated to technological advancement and creativity. 

In its 10th year, Bitcamp, co-hosted by Cloudforce, celebrates a decade of innovation and collaboration, bringing together over 9000 hackers in its journey of growth and excellence. 

ACES students Amrit Magesh, Anjali Samavedam, and Beatrice Chung graciously shared their insights into organizing the event, offering a glimpse of what attendees can expect.

Anjali and Beatrice, part of the Sponsorship & Finance team, handled tasks such as reaching out to potential sponsors, negotiating deals, managing finances, and ensuring effective budget allocation. They collaborate with the ACES team to oversee sponsorship involvement in recent Bitcamps.

Amrit, part of the Marketing team, developing strategies for event promotion through social media campaigns, newsletters, and partnerships with other organizations. In previous years, Amrit contributed as a podcast co-host, editing episodes featuring UMD faculty and prize-winning ACES students from Bitcamp.

ACES Students: A Pillar of Bitcamp's Organizing Team

ACES students have been instrumental in organizing Bitcamp over the years, serving across various teams such as design, logistics, marketing, sponsorship & finance, Technology and more. From upperclassmen to freshmen, ACES students hold key roles as organizers, directors, and senior advisors for Bitcamp. The long-term commitment of ACES upperclassmen students and the more recent involvement from new freshmen has contributed to a wholesome community of ACES students organizing Bitcamp through the years.

“As a freshman organizer, I was  encouraged by ACES upperclassmen students’ involvement in the Bitcamp organizing team! Bitcamp continues to give me opportunities to connect and seek advice regarding ACES classes, extracurriculars, and academics. It’s a supportive community of innovation that has significantly influenced my college career.” - Beatrice Chung, ACES ‘26

For Bitcamp 2024, we add with pride that 17 ACES students have served as event organizers:

Trisha Anand, Anoushka Arora, Amber Chen, Eileen Chen, Julia Chen, Beatrice Chung, Harleen Green, John Hooker, Anthony Huynh, Mia Hsu, Anthony Ma, Rishabh Misra, Dhruv Raval, Anjali Samavedam, Renee Sen, Charis Wang, Joy Wang

ACES Program's Support for Bitcamp

The ACES program has been pivotal in nurturing student leadership and fostering engagement with Bitcamp since 2019. Through targeted promotions via ACES Monday emails, flyers in key locations, and announcements in ACES classes, the program has encouraged students to participate not only as hackers but also as organizers, mentors, and volunteers. ACES instructors have actively supported Bitcamp, further strengthening the bond between ACES and this premier hackathon.

“As an ACES LLP student, hearing about my instructor Toby Lin’s involvement in Bitcamp as a hacker and mentor throughout the years encouraged me to join the organizing team as well! I’m so proud to be part of Bitcamp's decade-long tradition of creating innovation and learning at UMD. For me, Bitcamp has been a source of community where I’ve made friendships with students across campus.” - Anjali Samavedam, ACES ‘26

 At Bitcamp sponsor fairs, ACES engages attendees with informative presentations while distributing exclusive ACES merchandise. “In 2024, we are grateful to have ACES sponsoring Bitcamp at the Byte Tier. We are excited to have ACES mentors at the event, a reserved table, the ACES logo on the Bitcamp hacker shirt and website, and the ability to distribute marketing materials and ACES merchandise at Bitcamp”, added Anjali.


ACES Students' history of Impact at Bitcamp

This year 17 ACES students are part of the Bitcamp Organization team with three members holding directorial positions: Amrit Magesh ‘25, Anthony Hyunh ‘25, and Anjali Samavedam ‘26.

In 2023, Joshua Lin, Wendy Tu, Anna Dai, and Brian Xie won Best Bitcamp Hack with "Hotpackets," a network simulation tool addressing cybersecurity class challenges. Their success highlights ACES students' innovative problem-solving approach.

In 2022, former ACES LLP and current ACES minor student Patrick Gough led a winning team that created "Bits in the Wall." This project, inspired by the TV show "Hole in the Wall," won the best gamification hack at Bitcamp.

In 2022, ACES students Tony Lin and Anthony Ma won ‘Best First Time Hack’ with their project "Ocean Adventure," an educational website about ocean zones and aquatic life. Anthony Ma then joined Bitcamp's Marketing team as an organizer, showing ACES students' ongoing engagement.  

Neha Shijo and Sean Lin, ACES alumni, served as co-executives at Bitcamp in 2020 and 2022. Their leadership during the challenging times of a pandemic, greatly helped the hackathon community at UMD. 


Professional and Technical Development Through Bitcamp

Organizing Bitcamp has been a transformative experience for ACES students, offering them opportunities to develop both professional and technical skills. 

“As an organizer, you gain valuable professional and technical skills. With 7 subteams and nearly 80 organizers, communication is key over 8-9 months. Organizers interact with sponsors, vendors, universities, and more, honing their business email etiquette. The tech team offers opportunities to learn new frameworks, algorithms, and technical skills like graphic design, video editing (with Adobe software), and hardware hacking. Many organizers find their Bitcamp experience relevant to internships or work outside the hackathon.” - Amrit Magesh, ACES '25

“The ACES program has helped students develop event organization and management skills through courses like HACS200/202 (Capstone Project), which fosters time management, planning, and organization skills. The program also provides opportunities for students to develop their professional skills through sponsor/career fairs and tech talks, which introduce them to niche topics within the realm of computer science and cybersecurity and help them communicate with industry professionals when organizing Bitcamp.” added Amrit.


Overcoming Challenges and Looking Ahead

“Finding a venue was a major challenge for us initially. Bitcamp has traditionally been hosted at the XFinity Center. However, due to ongoing construction projects, we had to explore alternative options, which put us under time pressure. Event planning typically starts months in advance, but after extensive discussions within our directing team, we evaluated various factors like pricing, location, and accessibility. Eventually, we chose the Armory as our new venue after conducting a thorough review process.”- Amrit Magesh, ACES '25

Despite challenges such as venue selection, Bitcamp's resilience and collaborative spirit have ensured a successful 10th-anniversary edition. 

What to expect at Bitcamp 2024

ACES student organizers proudly shared their key achievements with us and offer a glimpse into what participants can expect.

“In our tenth iteration of Bitcamp, we’ve committed to showcasing our anniversary in numerous ways: a special anniversary cake, inviting guest speakers/alumni panels from previous organizing years, and new social media content to visualize progress over the years.”

We’ve produced a lot of video content, including conducting interviews with past winners and tenured lecturers such as Justin Wyss-Gallifant. We’ve also launched a new  App-Dev track (pre-made curriculums under a specific specialization during the weekend of).”

“Bitcamp is proud to partner with companies to provide hackers exposure to powerful tools and platforms early in their careers; which can even help them prepare for or gain micro-credentials that they can use to demonstrate their skills. Additionally, we’ve been thankful to be sponsored by 20+ organizations and obtain numerous in-kind donations for a successful event. Similar to previous iterations of our hackathon, we have strived to create numerous opportunities for our attendees to bond and have an inclusive environment to engage with such as, game/trivia nights, quesadilla nights, scavenger hunts, etc”

Providing Opportunities for Collaboration and Mentorship

“Bitcamp's mission is simple: to provide a place for a diverse group of the nation’s brightest makers, all working on different projects and possessing different skill sets, and to educate the next generation of technologists. We aim to do this by giving hacker experiences they can't get anywhere else - like through building their hacks and through relevant tracks, such as ML/AI and Cybersecurity.

We worked with our co-hosting organization, Cloudforce, to provide mentors with years of experience and a deep knowledge of the field to give students a whole new perspective and help them grow even more. This has allowed Bitcamp to expose young people to solving real-world problems in industry, to more students than ever. Through workshops, prompt-a-thons, and Microsoft-certified Azure Architect Experts, Bitcamp is excited to meaningfully contribute to a growing local workforce in the fields of AI and cybersecurity at Bitcamp 2024.” - Anjali Samavedam, ACES ‘26

“I think one of my favorite aspects about Bitcamp is that it's an opportunity for growth. The UMD and ACES Bitcamp community along with Cloudforce and Microsoft's support is set to offer an unprecedented experience that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on all participants. Regardless of your level of experience, you can explore your passions in different tracks, learn new skills in workshops, or build an awesome website, app, or hardware project to win a prize!” - Amrit Magesh, ACES ‘25

As Bitcamp 2024 approaches, the excitement is high and our ACES students look forward to a successful event.  The legacy of Bitcamp and the contributions of ACES students promise an exciting future of fosteringprofessional growth, skill development, and community engagement among students.

Register now for Bitcamp 2024, co-hosted by Cloudforce, from April 19-21 at the Reckord Armory, UMD:


Published April 5, 2024