As the leading student-run tech community of Los Angeles, we know it’s important to reflect upon what we’ve done and what we could have done better. We know 2016 has been a wild year for many people, but for ACM it has been a year of exponential growth. When ACM started in 2014, it began with just three members, but during this past year we have reached a major tipping point for our organization.
In 2016, we began with a major restructuring and consolidated our efforts into five committees: Hack, W, AI, ICPC, and the newest committee VRCG.
We created these separate branches so each committee could tackle a different aspect of technology. Each group represents a distinct area within the UCLA tech community, giving UCLA students the opportunity to explore and cultivate their interests. Collectively, these committees form ACM and our goal is to set the standard for what a student organization can achieve.
Founder’s School 1.0
Partnering with UPE at UCLA, we launched the first and largest student-run entrepreneurship conference in SoCal. Notable speakers included Robinhood CEO Vladimir Tenev, YC Combinator partner Kevin Hale, founder of Rap Genius Mahbod Moghadam, and author of Ruby on Rails tutorial Michael Hartl. The event had 200 attendees from throughout the SoCal region learning from success stories of these speakers. We aim to inspire our students to pursue their goals and establish meaningful connections in the industry.
Fall GM was one of the largest in ACM’s history, boasting over 350 attendees in CNSI. We also launched our internship program and reached a historic high of 57 officers.
Hack launched its initial run of Hack School, a weekly workshop dedicated to web development with attendees filling entire lecture halls — likely more than some classes. Not to mention the success of Hack on the Hill, Hacker Expo, and Hack Nights.
ACM-W experienced an increase in overall membership and enjoyed a keynote speaker from JPL. We continued our mentorship program and put on numerous corporate events.
ICPC achieved the best overall record in recent school history at ACM-ICPC SoCal Regional Contest. Four teams represented UCLA to participate at the SoCal regions this year. Our top three teams placed 2nd, 4th and 10th.
AI launched its reading group to boost student participation in research. It hosted numerous workshops on the topics of machine learning and data science. Introductory topics included logistic regression and scientific python.
Gathering students interested in virtual reality and computer graphics, VRCG is the newest committee created by ACM. Following the great success of an initial meeting of 100 attendees, VRCG regularly holds weekly workshops and recently acquired an HTC Vive to broaden students’ experiences in the latest tech trend.
Looking Forward to 2017
With 2016 in the rearview, we have many events lined up for you in the upcoming months. To name a few: we’re bringing back Founder’s School bigger and better than ever, an initial launch of California Capture the Flag — an online cybersecurity competition that involves solving technical challenges— in partnership with Stanford Security Group and the Distinguished Speaker Series bringing in members of the tech community to UCLA. In addition to these new major events, we will continue our mission of cultivating the technical skills of ACM members through regular workshops.
We hope you join us on our journey in 2017.