Latina hackathon FixIT a great success

FixIT Hackathon participants
April 10, 2015

By Rich Kildare

The FixIT hackathon, presented by Google Anita Borg Scholars, was a great success. The event — an intense computer science competition in which a large number of collaborators develop projects, usually over the course of several days — was held to encourage Latina involvement in the field of computer science.

“We created one of the largest all-Latina hackathons to date,” said Saiph Savage, a UC Santa Barbara computer science graduate student and creator of the event. “It provided internship and collaboration opportunities for participants, and created a large network of Latinas who love technology and are now participating in its design and creation.”

Approximately 300 women registered for FixIT, which took place February 26-27, 2015, at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), in Mexico City. One hundred and forty-seven female hackers attended the two-day event.

Organizing the event required the effort of many people and several institutions. Savage noted, “The Four Eyes Lab from the UCSB Computer Science Department collaborated closely with UNAM professors and UC Davis professors to produce an amazing event. In collaboration with professors from UNAM, specifically Dr. Jesus Savage and Professor Norma Elva Chavez, we were able to create a hackathon that was welcoming for Latinas. In addition, Googlers Rohan Lamba and Miray Kas provided great help in organizing the event. UC Davis computer science professor Cindy Rubio González was the keynote speaker.”

Much of the success was due to the collaboration among a wide cross-section of diverse women, including high school students, young professionals, graduates and undergraduates in computer engineering, mechatronics, industrial design, philosophy, and political science.

Hackers competed to design innovative smart home appliances using Arduinos, an open-source electronics platform.


The team winners of the FixIT hackathon:

First Place Team: CUCode
Product: On-the-Go Mom
Description: The team designed a network of intelligent sensors which detects when food supplies in a home are running out.
Team members:
     Grecia Karina Chombo Perez, mechatronics undergraduate student
     Atenea Mireille Martinez Dolores, mechatronics undergraduate student
     Villa Rivera Veronica, computer engineering undergraduate student
School affiliations:
     National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)

Second Place Team: Easy PetCare 
Product: Easy PetCare 
Description: The team created a system allowing owners to track their pets by sending a signal to the owner if the pet travels out of a restricted area.
Team members:
     Mariana Ruiz Espinosa, computer science undergraduate student
     Patrica Padilla Valencia, mathematics undergraduate student
     Alonda Felicitas Mejia Alba, computer engineering undergraduate student
     Ariana Rodríguez Santillán, informatics undergraduate student
School affiliations:
     National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM),
     National Polytechnic Institute (IPN),
     Dev.f

Third Place: WE (Women Engineers)
Product: Keypeer 
Description: The team created a key holding device that tracks when each family member has arrived home.
Team members:
     Claudia Sofia Carillo Vazquez, high school student
     Vivian Paola Triana Galeano, computer engineering graduate student
     Claudia Jazmin De Leon, informatics and administration graduate student
     Adriana Eloisa Rodarte , graphics designer
School affiliations:
     Tomás Alva Edison High School,
     National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM),
     Anahuac University,
     Mexico Autonomous Institute of Technology (ITAM)

The event was presented by the Google Anita Borg Scholars Community. The hackathon was made possible by teamwork between the Google Anita Borg Scholars Community, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the University of California Santa Barbara, the University of California Berkeley, the University of California Davis, Georgia Tech, and the non-profit organizations Major League Hacking and SocialTIC.

For more information about this event, future events or ways to get involved, please contact Saiph Savage at saiph@cs.ucsb.edu.

The following photos of the FixIT Hackathon are credited to FixIT.

FixIt Hackathon participants

FixIt Hackathon participants

FixIt Hackathon participants

FixIt Hackathon participants



The following photos of the FixIT Hackathon are credited to Major League Hacking.

FixIT Hackathon participants - photo by Major League Hacking

FixIT Hackathon participants - photo by Major League Hacking

FixIT Hackathon participants - photo by Major League Hacking

FixIT Hackathon participants - photo by Major League Hacking