UBC CIC holds inaugural Hackathon on Cloud Computing & Generative AI

On March 2, 2024, the UBC Cloud Innovation Centre (CIC) hosted its inaugural CIC Hackathon for students: a day of collaboration and creative problem-solving centered around themes of cloud computing and generative AI. Held in-person at Sauder Learning Labs, the Hackathon was a resounding success with over 200 applicants, and a full capacity of 100 accepted participants. Over the course of the event, student teams worked on creative solutions to address the core focus of the UBC CIC: fostering community health and wellbeing. 

With topical technologies like cloud computing and generative AI being at the forefront of recent innovations around the world, the CIC’s Hackathon provided an insightful glimpse into how students today view the potential of these technologies and their future applications. The resulting set of student projects from the 12-hour session were full of standout ideas. Notable projects included: TypeTalk, a chat-based AI web app that allows users to interact with 16 MBTI-based personalities to gain different perspectives on certain issues; and BrainChip, an app designed to enhance learning on topics of choice by tailoring content on any selected material for the time that you have available to study.  

The Hackathon’s 1st place project was PersonaLLM-Tutor. This project was selected based on its creativity, implementation, interactivity, and presentation. The app was designed to help students study by creating sets of questions related to specific course documents and included an automated marking system.  

The success of the first CIC Hackathon represents a keen interest in innovation and new technologies from UBC students, and sheds light on how they could be applied to address complex problems. A common theme from participants’ projects was chatbot implementations: particularly around personalized assistance and its application to education. The interest in chatbots highlights the implications for the future of post-secondary education and its cross-section with technology. 

To see photos from the event, visit the UBC CIC Hackathon flickr page. 

If you would like to learn more about UBC CIC and their projects, visit the UBC CIC website.  

Article written by Aaren Lin.