CS Students Compete in Largest Ever Student-Run Hackathon

02-05-2013

On Friday, February 1, 2013, 53 Purdue students travelled to the University of Michigan to compete in MHacks 2013. The Purdue chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) coordinated the trip to the event, with help from MHacks and Facebook. Organized by U-M student groups called Michigan Hackers and MPowered, MHacks proved to be the largest student-run hackathon ever. (Forbes provides further coverage on the event's planning and execution in an article here.)

MHacks was billed as "The Most Epic Hackathon. Ever." and Purdue Computer Science students made up one-tenth of the event's over 500 participants. Teams created 126 projects total, the most ever at a student-run event, and their work varied from humorous to useful. For example, as reported by AnnArbor.com, "One team with students from U-M and Purdue came up with Sup? for the indecisive among us. The website takes the decision making entirely out of your hands and uses your location to simply tell you where to eat."

According to John Franklin, Jr., President of ACM Purdue, "The event lasted 36 hours, leading to some amazing hacks of mobile apps, websites, and hardware projects. Purdue came away with one award, new experiences, knowledge, skills, and hopefully some new friends."

The Purdue team Gather Magic won the Open Source award. Team members George Brinzea and Evan Hissey are both senior computer science majors. Notes Brinzea, "It was tough and grueling work, yet in the end it was worth it to create something cool and to see what other people could come up with."

Additional media coverage of MHacks 2013 is available from The Michigan Daily and Illinois Homepage.

ACM Purdue is enthusiastically seeking support to participate in similar events in the future. Contact information for the chapter's officers is available here.