Breaking Barriers: VenusHacks 2023 Empowers Women in Computing

June 21, 2023

A group of students pose for a photo at VenusHacks 2023.
Photo courtesy of VenusHacks 2023

VenusHacks 2023, UCI’s largest women-centric hackathon, took place from May 26-28 and concluded with resounding success. Organized in collaboration with Women in Computer Sciences and Hack at UCI, the hackathon brought together more than 200 participants from over 20 schools and 20 majors. With a mission to empower underrepresented groups and make computing more inclusive and diverse, VenusHacks 2023 provided a platform for students from all experience levels to engage in innovative projects.

Below are the winning VenusHacks 2023 projects.

Best Overall Hack & Social Good Hack: Happy Home
Unsatisfied with period tracking apps on the market, the Happy Home team created their own period tracker mobile app that also tracks users’ daily food, fitness and water intake goals. 

Happy Home was created by:

Best Overall Hack Runner-Up: ZotnFound
ZotnFound digitizes the lost-and-found process to alleviate the stress students experience when they lose their belongings. On the website, students report items they’ve either lost or found around campus, which are then displayed on an interactive map.

ZotnFound was created by:

Hacker’s Choice & Best Education Hack: PolyZOT
PolyZOT is a mobile app that takes users on an “exciting linguistic adventure” to learn Japanese with its mascot Petr. The app includes a variety of gameplay to make learning more engaging and immersive.

PolyZOT was created by:

  • Brayden Rudisill – first-year biomedical engineering major, UCI
  • Yasen Abu – third-year computer science major, UCR
  • Vickie Do – fourth-year software engineering major, UCI
  • Eugene Song – fourth-year computer science major, Oregon State University

Best Beginner Hack: ConcertBuddie
ConcertBuddie is a website that helps concert goers prepare for a specific artist’s upcoming concert. It utilizes various APIs to curate a packing list, various blog posts from past concert goers, and outfit ideas. 

ConcertBuddie was created by:

Best AI Hack (AI@UCI): ZotMySchedule
ZotMySchedule helps UCI students build their course schedules. It rates the manageability and quality of a schedule, displays student reviews of courses and offers suggestions for schedule improvements. 

ZotMySchedule was created by:

  • Brandon Tran – first-year undeclared ICS major, UCI
  • Sahil Somani – third-year computer science major, UCI
  • David Xiu – third-year computer science major, UCI
  • Tenzo Chang – fourth-year software engineering major, UCI

Female Empowerment Hack (WICS): ORA
Driven by a passion for women’s well-being and empowerment, the ORA team created a website to make reliable resources about women’s health more accessible. On ORA, users can find the best healthcare professionals nearby, news articles highlighting women’s stories and discounts for feminine products.

ORA was created by:

  • Fiona Zhang – first-year computer science major, Irvine Valley College
  • Rachel Balta – second-year computer science major, UCI
  • Natalie Quach – second-year computer science major, UCI
  • Janhavi Shah – second-year cognitive science major specializing in design interaction, UC San Diego

Best Product Pitch: ZotStudies
By analyzing the courses a student is taking, ZotStudies matches them with other students who are taking the same classes. It aims to enhance student connections and facilitate the formation of study groups among classmates. 

ZotStudies was created by:

View the rest of the VenusHacks projects at the VenusHacks 2023 DevPost.

— Karen Phan