TechSoc 2016

What we’ve done and what’s to come

It’s been an amazing year filled with so many hackathons, conferences, talks, socials, workshops, projects, and most importantly a lot of fun.

Events, and all the work supporting them, is what we do at TechSoc, so here’s some of what we’ve been up to in 2016, and also a sneak peek at what’s to come in 2017!

January-June

Data Visualisation Workshop

The year was kicked off by a collaboration with the economist’s society to run a data visualisation workshop series

Internet of Things project

Our IoT project kicked off at the beginning of term, where we built a smart door sensor 🚪🚨

Data Science Student Challenge with Microsoft

24h hackathon with a theme around Data Science and Machine Learning using the Azure ML platform. We saw a ton of great hacks solving problems like how to improve the quality of sleep.

Google Hashcode

Awesome competitive programming challenge by Google where teams across the world work on the same problem to gather points.

Machine Learning workshop series with Google DeepMind

3 part workshop series delivered by Matteo Hessel, UCL Alumnus and Research Engineer at DeepMind, covering supervised, unsupervised, and deep learning. You can still watch the recorded sessions here.

A crazy amount of socials including the Pride Social, the Hail Corporate (Wear Your Swag) Social, the Spring Tech Mixer, and more!

We have as many socials as possible because they give us a chance to relax, meet old friends and make new ones. It’s also great to talk properly about the world outside technology. Socials are awesome!

HackLondon II

HackLondon happened for the second time and this year it was at UCL 🤗 Keep your eyes peeled on hacklondon.org for information about HackLondon III.

Many great tech talks from awesome companies such as Skyscanner, Stripe, GitHub, Stack Overflow, and MWR.

At the GitHub Tech Talk

Tech talks are a great way to learn. With the help of speakers from awesome companies, with a lot of domain expertise, we can delve deep into technical topics.

3rd in the MLH Fall 2015 Season (and 4th in the MLH Spring 2016 Season)

The awards ceremony in Manchester

Big congrats to Manchester and Edinburgh who took home the trophy for the two seasons. What happens in the 2017 season remains to be seen…

HackStart

Our wonderful volunteers

HackStart was a day of hands-on workshops for 14–17 year olds to get them excited about tech and Computer Science! It was held at UCL and run by first year CS students.

Hackstart will make a return in 2017 as well!

2016 Annual General Meeting

The TechSoc committee for the 2016/2017 academic year was elected at the AGM and took over soon after.

If you want to get involved in the next committee, the 2017 AGM is coming in March. 🖖

TechNight

TechNight was an awesome mini conference in the Shard for students and recent graduates. It was packed with talks, workshops and networking and had a focus on diversity in tech.

Technight will return in March, so look forward to that 🙌

Harvard CS50 Hackathon

The Harvard CS50 staff came to London and we ran a hackathon 🎉. It was a very chilled event with a great atmosphere that helped kick off our CS50 series at UCL.

The CS50 hackathon will return in 2017 as well. Exact dates to follow 🌈

LearnHack 2

LearnHack is a hackathon with the goal of improving education and the student/staff experience at UCL. This event was run in conjunction with the UCL Information Services Division and lots of cool projects came out of it.

LearnHack is happening again in January, and you can already get tickets 🎟

ISD Meetup Series + UCL API

The November meetup

In February we kicked off a regular meetup with the Information Services Division to foster interaction and collaboration between technical students and technical staff. This has also led to the start of the UCL API project. More about that one soon 😉

The ISD meetup series will continue with the next meetup in January. If you haven’t yet been, come join us. All the ISD staff are super nice and there is a lot of 🍕

September-December

Membership became free

We are always trying our hardest to make technology as accessible as possible to as many people as possible. And even if our previous £2 membership fee wasn’t a lot, it was still a barrier to some. Now it’s gone 😎

ISOP Event

To welcome all the international students at UCL we did an event outside (unusual for us 😉) in Regent’s park with a crazy amount of minigames and lots of fun.

CS50 Puzzle day and CS50 kick off at UCL

CS50 Puzzle Day

Harvard’s CS50 course came to UCL in 2016 to give an introduction to Computer Science to all those at UCL who are interested in learning more about it.

So far we’ve had Puzzle Day and quite a few problem set sessions. The CS50 hackathon will make a return in 2017 as well 💻. Subscribe to to the TechSoc newsletter to find out more.

CS50 isn’t over yet! Sessions will continue in the spring term as well 🌝

Scavenger Hunt

The winning team

At our annual scavenger hunt, teams scavenge around London to complete challenges and win points for lots of fun and glory.

Lots of socials including the Halloween social, the Beer Pong social with UCLe & Bizsoc, the Winter Tech Mixer, the Ugly Xmas jumper social and our first Postgrad social! 🎊

Socials are for socialising, so if you haven’t yet been to a social in term 1, definitely check one out in term 2. We have some cool themes coming up, including a pub quiz, and of course the swag social 👀

Hardware & Virtual Reality projects kick off

Hardware project

Projects are an awesome opportunity to spend time with like-minded people to build something that you can be really proud of. Next term we’ll have a machine learning project and an np project challenge. So look forward to those!

Coding & Cookies

Coding & Cookies kicked off for the second year running in 2016 and took beginners on a journey through web development from HTML/CSS to JavaScript over a number of sessions 🍪

Ask the Interns

Past interns from Google, Intel, American Express, JP Morgan, Amazon, and a London startup (onefinestay)

Also making a returning appearance for the second time in 2016 was Ask the Interns. An event where summer interns from a range of companies share their experiences and give advice.

Hackathon Ready

A first timer in 2016, Hackathon Ready was an event to remove any fear anybody might have of hackathons and encourage more people to get involved. We were lovingly joined by Bilawal from Major League Hacking who shared his perspective in an awesome presentation.

More Great Tech Talks from companies like American Express, Stroz Friedberg, Netcraft, and also Jeremy Burge from Emojipedia

American Express Tech Talk

Just like last academic year, we continued with our TechSoc Tech Talk tradition and asked a number of technologists and engineers to speak and share their cool new ideas and technologies with all of us.

More Tech Talks are, of course, coming in 2017 😉

Career events from Credit Suisse and IBM

Career events by our lovely sponsors give a better insight into what it’s really like to work for a company and what internship or graduate positions they have available 👩‍💻

TechSoc Volunteering Crew Meetup

We started having regular volunteering crew meetup sessions, so that anybody eager to get involved with TechSoc has the opportunity to give input and can contribute to the discussion. If you want to join the TechSoc Volunteering Crew, join this facebook group.

We welcomed some new folks to the committee

At the beginning of term, we welcomed some new people to the committee, including the fresher reps and for the first time in recent years, a postgrad rep. Exact details are here. They’ve been 💯

Intro to Open Source

We had a super friendly event introducing everybody to open source, as well as Git + GitHub, in the spirit and month of Hacktoberfest.

TechSoc Open Hours

We started doing TechSoc Open Hours in 2016 for everybody to meet the committee in a chilled environment and to just hang out together. They’ve been great! We’ll do more of these in 2017 🙌

600 members

In October, our community grew past 600 members. Welcome to everybody who’s new and we can’t wait to meet you all 🎉

We turned 10 years old!!! 🚀🎂👥

TechSoc has officially been around for 10 years. So we had a massive party to celebrate our birthday with a ridiculous cake and most of the past 10 presidents present! 💃

The cake was delicious

Collaboration with the Institute of Making

We kicked off our collaboration with the Institute of Making in 2016, bringing two communities together that share a love of building things, especially around robotics and 3D printing 🛠

LocalHackDay 2016

In December we participated in MLH’s global LocalHackday for the second time! It’s a one day hackday and a great opportunity for first time hackers to get a feel for what hackathons are like. Big thanks to GitHub for all the support at this event. 🐙

enghub.io (RoomieMcRoomFace) 🏠

We built a room booking system for the new engineering hub and it went live on the 5th of December! If you haven’t yet booked a room, give it a try at enghub.io. It’s also open source! You can contribute here.

The rooms are named after emoji of course 🍪☕️🍕💰💩🎉🤖

Hour of Code

Hour of Code is a global event that reaches millions of students every year in an effort to encourage more people to take on computer science related courses. In our hour of code session we learnt about Information Security thanks to Mustafa.

Porticode

On the 10–11th December, we held our very own Hackathon called Porticode! Our workshops and beginner focus meant that we welcomed 65% first-time hackers! 120 attendees, 5 winners, 24 hours — the hacks that were produced were incredible.


All in all, 2016 has been an amazing year filled with many new experiences, many new people, and a lot of fun.

Happy New Year from the committee! 💁 🎆

So what’s coming next?

Term 2 is just around the corner and we can’t wait to tell you about what’s coming up!

Hashcode

If you enjoy problem solving and competitive programming, Google’s HashCode is going to give you the chance to make a team, and create a solution to one of their terrifyingly complex problems! Join us in February for this challenge, we promise it will be an unforgettable experience.

TechNight 2.0

We will work closely with WarwickTech, Warwick Business School, and She++ to bring you TechNight 2.0- the technology event which celebrates the successful women and minority professionals in tech. The event will be held at the Shard, you don’t want to miss it!

Projects

In the first half of term 2, we’ll have two shorter projects. A machine learning project and an NP project challenge.

The machine learning project will be focussing on creating a neural net which can visually create or identify things.

The focus of the np project challenge will be on optimising your solutions for an interesting np problem, where the group with the best solution will win a prize 🏆

HackLondon

We’re back with KCL Tech for a third HackLondon this term and it’s looking to be amazing 😍 More details coming out soon. Get those eventbrite F5 fingers ready 👀

DevOps & Doughnuts

This term we’ll be bringing you a series called DevOps & Doughnuts to teach you the fundamentals of DevOps and everything surrounding it. There will be some 🍩🍩🍩 as well.

TechSoc AGM 2017

Do you want to run for a committee position in 2017? In march you will have the opportunity to do so!

Game Development

Thanks to Sondre we’ll be starting to have some more activities around game development. Early this term we’ll have a gaming social, so come along to that for a casual night of pizza and multiplayer games 🕹

We might also have a slightly larger scale multi day event later in the term 😏

Run your own TechSoc event

If you’re a member of TechSoc and you have an idea for an event you want to run in 2017, maybe there’s a cool tech speaker who you want to bring to UCL or there is a competition that you feel should be held at UCL, we want to hear from you. We’ll do our best to make it happen and help out.

And that’s just a taste of what’s coming up! 2017 will be awesome 💯
See you at an event in the near future 👋

💖, the TechSoc Committee