TAMUHack was a Major League Hacking event held at Texas A&M University on October 24th and 25th. It was the first MHL hackathon held at the university and it was met with great enthusiasm.

Congratulations to the team that I helped who were building a VR game in Unity. They ended up winning 3rd place overall at the hackathon and that is a picture of them with me at the top of the article.

Microsoft sponsored the hackathon and provided prizes for the most creative use of Azure cloud services.

I was astonished at the creativity of the projects at the hackathon and there were some very creative hacks that were able to use the Azure platform to enable the cloud portion of their applications. The uses ranged from hosting websites in Azure website to uploading data to Azure Blob storage.

Azure Projects

Here are the projects that leveraged Azure during the hackathon with the winners highlighted.

  • WebBro(our big winner) – a chrome browser extension that allows users to leave comments on a website even if the website doesn’t have a built-in comment system. Think crows-sourced comments. We felt this was a very creative project and solves a problem on the web in a very creative way.
    • Team members – Arun Krishnakumar, Anirudh R, and Brandon Jackson
    • Their use of Azure included
      • Azure web site exposing PHP web service.
      • Persist data in MySQL on Azure.
      • Automatic deployment through Github.
    • Each team member won a Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard
    • You can also install the extension via the Chrome web store –
  • Projections(runner up) – Retrieving, and analyzing, and reporting Fortune 500 data from Bloomberg. This was a very polished, well-rounded web application. It was a close call between this one and WebBro.
    • Team – Jeffrey Zhao, Son Pham, Benny Yan, Ian Macalinao, and Klayton Wittler
    • Their use of Azure
      • Created Ubuntu VM; connected to Bloomberg VPN. Deployed Java backend app.
  • OcuLeap – Use Leap motion gestures to navigate world map; Oculus Rift displays photos at selected location. The technology uses WebGL for rendering to Oculus.
  • GitBrub – a crowd-sourced repository for food recipes.
    • Team – Justin Emig, Wasim Wadhwani, Logan Collins
    • Their use of Azure
      • Installed “Bottle” micro framework on Azure VM
  • BudgetByte – Web app calculates the maximum calories for a given restaurant and budget.
    • Team – Garrett Whitehorn, Magan Tyler, Chris Gillis, and Harrison Golden
    • Their use of Azure
      • Hosting PHP site in Azure Web Sites
  • SecureStore – Secure storage and sharing of photos.
  • Satyakiran Duggina – Capture American Sign Language gestures with Kinect and translate message.
    • Team – Satyakiran Duggina
    • Use of Azure
      • Deployed app to VM
      • Storing videos in blob storage

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