Well, it looks like I’ll be making a trip to the University of Maryland later this month. After six incredible weeks of hackathon season, I’m proud to announce that the Terrapin Hackers have officially claimed the title of Fall 2013 Hackathon Season champions and a spot on the list ofbest schools for hackers. It literally came down to the last few hacks, but the crew of hackers pictured below managed to seal the deal at HackRU over the weekend. Let’s see how they did it.

When we left off last week, it looked like Carnegie Mellon had locked in first place at HackMIT and that MIT, Maryland, Rutgers, & Columbia would be left to battle it out for second and third place. Knowing how close those teams were, two generous sponsors (SendGrid and 4moms) offered to supply buses to HackRU from College Park and Pittsburgh respectively.

The Terrapin Hackers were certainly not messing around. They filled the entire bus within a matter of minutes. And best of all, in true hacker style, they didn’t just get any bus for the trip – they secured the official University of Maryland bus. That’s right… the same one the football team uses. How cool is that?

The Winning Hacks

We published the breakdown of the MLH points over on Hacker League. In more or less typical fashion, the 1st place hack got 300 points, 2nd got 200 points, and 3rd got 100 points. The remaining 400 points were distributed evenly between the 8 major category prizes. Here’s how things turned out:

Rutgers and Maryland each managed to acquire 350 MLH Points based on merit. A team of High Schoolers stole 2nd place and prevented both schools from acquiring enough points to win on merit alone. It had to come down to attendance.

Too Close for Comfort

After I calculated all the merit points, I realized that both Rutgers and Maryland had past Carnegie Mellon with Merit Points alone. They were also within less than 20 points of each other when I added in the event attendance.

It was too close for me to call a clear winner, so I brought in representatives from each school to go through the points they’d earned from past events and make sure they were 100% accurate. Shariq Hashme from UMD, Kaushal Parikh from Rutgers, and Sri Raghavan from CMU were instrumentally helpful in this process. I’m now confident that the numbers are accurate despite the broken data from some of the larger events.

So without any further ado, here are the top 10 schools for hackers after this season and their scores:

Rank School Attendance Pts. Merit Pts. Total Pts.
1 University of Maryland 320 666.66 986.66
2 Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey 217 661.66 878.66
3 Carnegie Mellon University 128 625 753
4 Massachusetts Institute of Technology 56 442.5 498.5
5 Columbia University 92 300 392
6 University of Michigan 99 200 299
7 Stanford University 20 200 220
8 The College of New Jersey 38 165 203
9 University of Rochester 4 152.5 156.5
10 Virginia Tech 54 100 154

You can get a full breakdown for all 110 participating schools on the standings page.

The Spring Season

We launched the Fall Season with just 5 events on purpose. Starting small helped us work out the kinks quickly so we could scale to the national level for the spring. I’m starting to plan that out with the MLH board already.

We’ll be issuing a call for hackathons in a week or so, keep your eyes out for that. In the mean time, if you participated in the season and have a minute to fill out this feedback survey, it would be extremely helpful.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this season possible. We’re really looking forward to the next one. Happy Hacking!

– Swift (@SwiftAlphaOne)