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The Event

Reflections|Projections is an annual technology conference held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. We bring industry and academia into one conference to incite the spread of novel ideas, connect students with professional opportunities, and host a one of a kind AI hackathon.

This year, for the 27th anniversary of Reflections|Projections, the conference will be held from September 20th till 25th and will be focused on the intersection of tech and social good. Stay tuned for updates regarding our various speakers, panels, networking events, and MechMania.

Our Team

We are students passionate about technology who embody the diversity and excellence inherent at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Our staff comes from a variety of personal and professional backgrounds, and our staff comes together to plan and organize an event which reflects our dedication to exploring the field of tech. Wee can't wait for you to come to Reflections|Projections 2021!

Conference Format + COVID Guidelines

In order to adhere to university safety guidelines, our conference will be held in a hybrid (in-person and virtual) format. As we approach the conference dates, we will publish the specific details of each event. Please remember that masks should be worn at all times to any in-person events, as we want to do our part in preventing the spread of the virus.

We are excited about the opportunity to leverage this hybrid event format to make our talks and conference events more accessible to people throughout the global CS community, but also allow students who are on campus to be able to interact safely with one another.


MechMania is a 24 hour AI hackathon where students team up to write a bot that playes a game. Every year, we build a game in secret, and challenge you to write the best bot! You can fly solo, or participate in a group of up to four. We will have some time before the tournament starts for you to find a team and you can re-register if you decide to join a team! MechMania open to all skill levels of coding. we provide the starter code in Java and Python, and you can focus on creating an awesome strategy to beat the other teams' bots in our game. No experience in artificial intelligence or machine learning is required to participate. In many years past, several freshmen have won the top three positions! Oh, and did we mention there are prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place? (To be eligible for prizes, you must register here). If you want to find out about the game, you'll just have to see us on Friday, September 24th at 12:00pm CT.

If you want to find out more about MechMania, please visit and Please feel free to contact angiesc2 [at] illinois [dot] edu if you have any other questions. See you soon!


PuzzleBang is a puzzle hunt that takes place over the course of the conference. Puzzles are released online at over the course of the week, with one or two puzzles per day and tying everything together with a metapuzzle on Saturday. You're welcome to play solo or with as many friends are you'd like. No past experience is necessary and you can join at any time! To get started, sign up at or take a look at the poster puzzle we have around Siebel. Tbbq yhpx! (Good luck!)