Exploration Trail: Research at Bitcamp

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Date:  April 9th - 11th, 2021

Location:  Virtual 



The Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland and Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing are pleased to present the first year of Exploration Trail: Research at Bitcamp. This is a research workshop geared towards engaging undergraduate students who are traditionally underrepresented in computing (Black, Indigenous, People of Color [BIPOC]) held in collaboration with Bitcamp. During this workshop, student teams will come together and collaboratively work together to use technology to solve pressing issues. The April 2021 workshop is supported in part by explore CSR.

Exploration Trail: Research at Bitcamp will be held virtually in 2021!

Parallel to Bitcamp, students will participate in the Exploration Trail: Research at Bitcamp workshop; The weekend event will bring together computing faculty from institutions across the state of Maryland to serve as mentors on projects in their research areas. Along with providing hands-on research experience in a dynamic hackathon setting, the weekend workshop will include virtual sessions introducing attendees to the basics of computer science research (CSR) and highlight the exciting opportunities that come with pursuing a graduate degree in computer science.

Note: Please be aware that this event involves separate programming from Bitcamp and that the majority of the programming will take place with the Maryland Center for Women in Computing and the Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity. However, you will have full access to Bitcamp including the Career Fair and Keynote Speakers.




This workshop hopes to give undergraduate BIPOC students an opportunity to learn about future computer science research opportunities and to provide hands-on experience engaging in CS research in a hackathon setting. Additionally, we plan for this event to give undergraduate BIPOC students to meet computing faculty and current graduate students as well as to socialize and collaborate with like-minded peers. By providing a positive intellectual, social, and emotional environment for the participants to meaningfully engage in computing research, we hope to directly address the underrepresentation of BIPOC in CS departments and higher education.

Attendees of this event will expand their computer science skills and be given the opportunity to meet and network with many individuals who are a part of the computer science community at the University of Maryland.


Workshop participants will:

  • Meet others who share their curiosity and interest in computer science.
  • Explore the research experience in computing related domains.
  • Work hands-on with researchers.
  • Work in a team to tackle a research problem.
  • Present their research with their team.
  • Broaden understanding of the possibilities of graduate school and the application process.

Surrounding area schools and departments were invited to submit research projects. Projects from the following departments have been submitted:

University of Maryland, College Park

  • Department of Computer Science
  • Department of Electrical and Computing Engineering
  • College of Information Systems
  • College of Education


Schedule of Events

Thursday 4/8/2021 Location
7:00pm-8:00pm Student Kick-off and Introductions Virtual (Zoom)
Friday 4/9/2021 Location
10:00am-12:00pm Bootcamp #1 Virtual (Zoom)
12:00am-12:30pm CS Alumni Guest Speaker Virtual (Zoom)
12:30pm-12:50pm Lunch Virtual (Zoom) - Optional
12:50pm-1:20pm Overview of CS Grad Programs and UMD and Grad Panel Virtual (Zoom)
1:20pm-1:25pm Welcome from Bitcamp Organizers Virtual (Zoom)
1:25pm-3:00pm Bootcamp #2 Virtual (Zoom) - Optional
3:00pm-3:15pm Project Introduction and Transitions Virtual (Zoom) - Optional
3:15pm-5:30pm Project Breakout Rooms or separate Zooms Virtual (Zoom)
7:00pm-8:30pm Bitcamp Opening ceremony Virtual (Zoom)
8:30pm Hacking Begins Virtual (Zoom) 
8:30pm-9:00pm Bitcamp 101 Virtual (Zoom)
9:00pm-9:30pm Team Formation Virtual (Zoom)


4/10/2021 Location
All Day The schedule depends on each project


4/11/2021 Location
9:30am-10:00am Hacking Ends Virtual (Zoom)
12:00pm-3:00pm Project Expo Virtual (Zoom)
1:00pm-2:30pm Final Research Presentation Virtual (Zoom)
3:00pm-4:00pm Closing Ceremony Virtual (Zoom)

Register to Attend

Who Can Attend?

We welcome all students undergraduates with a specific focus on Black, Indigenous and students of color (BIPOC) from all colleges and universities to apply. Current master's students considering a PhD program may apply and will be considered on a case by case basis.

Registration Process and Fees

All participants will experience this workshop remotely through the Zoom virtual platform.

All gear (water bottle, pens, stickers) will be shipped to your personal address. Students will be responsible for their own meals but are welcome to share the lunch space via Zoom.


Register for the Exploration Trial: Research at Bitcamp Workshop by filling out the following form:


Register for the Bitcamp here:


Participant Information

Logistical Information for Attendees

Tech Requirements and Access

More information coming soon.

General Information

All students participating in the research workshop must join the Zoom meeting by 10am on Friday morning. We have an important bootcamp event to prepare you for the research projects. If you cannot make it by this time, you need to let us know immediately.

You will not be working on your own idea or hack during Bitcamp. During Bitcamp, you will be working with your research team on a specific project you selected as an interest.

You will be assigned your research group the week before Bitcamp. Each team will have their own Slack channel to communicate. Researchers may send out a small amount of pre-reading to help you prepare for the project.

Spread the Word

View the Bitcamp Flyer Here

View the Bitcamp Flyer Here

Follow MCWIC and The Iribe Initiative on social media!

  • Twitter: Iribe Initiative
  • Facebook: Iribe Initiative
  • Instagram
  • Questions about the registration process, workshop, or logistical information can be sent to mcwic@cs.umd.edu

    Questions about Bitcamp can be addressed to hello@bit.camp

    About Bitcamp

    Bitcamp is a place for exploration. You will have 36 hours to delve into your curiosities, learn something new, and make something awesome. With world-class mentors and 1,200+ fellow campers, you're in for an amazing time. Whether you’re a seasoned hacker or completely new to the world of hacking, we’ll have something for you. If you're ready for an adventure, we'll see you by the campfire!

    The idea of Bitcamp was conceived by a group of UMD students back in 2013. “Camp” represented an event that evoked togetherness, warmth, and adventure. “Bit” was the embodiment of tech. Bit+camp = Bitcamp! The first ever Bitcamp focused on the idea of YOU+TECH, where participants (“Bitcampers”) were encouraged to take something they loved and fuse it with technology. The team focused on collaboration, fun, and a commitment to the Bitcamp experience, which are all values we carry forward today.

    Since its inception, Bitcamp has always been about bringing people together through their love for technology. This year, we want to bridge the gap between our hackers and the rest of our community with our theme “Build With Purpose.” We want to focus on directly impacting local businesses and nonprofits by incorporating real-world problems at the forefront of our challenges. Hoping to shed light towards key issues that are prevalent in our local community, we launched this year’s program, Compass Challenge.

    Register here.


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