BrumHack 24-hour computer challenge attracts record attendance

Over 200 students from across the country met at the University of Birmingham for the latest BrumHack event. BrumHack challenges students to develop projects to solve industry challenges in just 24 hours, teams then present their solutions to a board of sponsors. The event was supported by business sponsors including Bloomberg, Capital One, Clarifai and European projects ECIM and OTN.

The winning team Clarifeyes built an artificial-intelligence project to create image descriptions for screen readers. Screen readers are used by partially sighted and blind internet users to read a website, the teams project meant that rather than skipping over an image as some screen readers currently do, a description of the contents of the image will be read out.

The event was organised by three computer science students, Jack Wearden, Poppie Simmonds and Alicia Butteriss and has become a key event on the campus calendar. It gives students the chance to apply the knowledge from lectures in a collaborative environment and share ideas with fellow students from universities across the UK.

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Pavel Kogut from European projects ECIM and OTN attended and said “The event was fantastic, the quality and innovative nature of the apps developed by the students in just 24 hours was impressive. As a company we will use this experience to develop our data and APIs to come prepared with a tougher challenge for the next BrumHack event!”

Jack Wearden, event organiser said “It was a successful weekend, we’ve grown the event from just 50 students to over 200, even organising buses from other universities to join us at Birmingham. The event went very well and I’d like to thank the sponsors for their support.”

Plans are already underway for the fourth edition which will take place on campus starting on 26 March 2016. Image supplied by Chloe Greenhalgh.