Strap on your leather seat-belts, folks, ‘cuz the Major League Hacking season is blasting off this weekend with one of the largest student hackathons (ever) ready to rip up the Midwest!
The Original Epic Hackathon
On Friday, Michigan will see the fourth MHacks take over the storied University of Michigan’s North Campus. MHacks once owned the distinction of being the largest student-run hackathon ever, when it featured over 1200 student hackers during their second run in September 2013. (It probably still does, but I’ll confirm that as some point once I get the numbers in. If anybody knows of any bigger ones, come at me, bro.) During that Fall 2013 run, the hackathon took place at “The Big House,” University of Michigan’s massive football stadium, which also happens to be the largest stadium in the country and the third largest stadium in the world. (All the records!) On-campus locations for the hackathon will include: The Bob and Betty Beyster Building, the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Building, and the Herbert H. Dow Building on North Campus.
This year, MHacks will feature John Maeda as the closing speaker. Maeda is a senior design partner at Silicon Valley VC powerhouse Kleiner Perkins, and was formerly the president of the Rhode Island School of Design.
— John Maeda (@johnmaeda) September 3, 2014
The hackathon will also be a hosting a veritable menagerie of talks by big-name tech speakers, including Mink CEO Grace Choi, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, and the Andreessen Horowitz-backed Jawbone team, among others. According to the UMichigan Engineering blog, Maeda, Choi and Ohanian will serve as “all-star mentors” who will roam around the hackathon floor, help student hackers out with ideation, and shower the floor with sweet, sweet wisdom. In addition to these all-star mentors, MHacks will also deploy over a hundred hacker mentors to support competitors with their endeavors.
MHacks is an incredibly exciting experience — and immensely galvanizing. The hackathon has been credited with catalyzing a rise in student hackathon culture across the country, and with inspiring more than a few creative souls. A USA Today article published back in March cited the story of Kristin Clemens, a 28-year-old who returned to Iowa State after a five year hiatus to finish a software engineering degree after attending MHacks III. (The article also highlighted a fascinating concern held by Clemens about hackathons in general, in that she fears that they could drive a wedge between those who can and cannot attend them. We here at MLH News will investigate this issue more in the future). Whether you’re hackathon veteran or a first-timer, it’s a sensory-flooding experience that’s bound to see a bevy of fascinating ideas come to life.
If you’re in the area, you should totally check it out. Some key schedule details:
Registration Begins : 5.30 pm on Friday, September 5th
Opening Ceremony : 9 pm on Friday, September 5th
Hacking Commences : 10.30 pm on Friday, September 5th
Hacking Ends : 9.30 am on Sunday, September 7th
Closing Ceremonies and Demos : 2 pm on Sunday, September 7th
And if you’re too far away, here’s the link for the LiveStream, which you should totally tune into: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUhwQlD0EJY
MLH News will also be live-blogging the demos, so you should doubly tune in on this here website.
You can follow MHacks on social media on the handle @MHacks.