Hundreds of hackers converge on campus for semi-annual hackathon

January 16, 2015
Contact: Nicole Casal Moore

ANN ARBOR—At the nation’s premier collegiate hackathon this weekend, more than 1,100 students from dozens of universities will spend 36 hours making apps, sites and devices.

MHacks, the University of Michigan’s semi-annual hackathon that helped to spark the movement across the country, starts at 10 p.m. today and closes at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Participants will have access to cutting-edge tools like Google Glass, augmented reality technology and 3D sensing tablets, as well as mentors from top companies including Apple, Microsoft, Google and LinkedIn.

Previous MHacks spawned tech like Workflow, a highly-rated iOS app that lets you automate tasks you regularly do on your phone or iPad. It climbed to the #1 paid productivity app last year. Cosmos Browser, which lets you surf the Internet through SMS text messaging, received national attention and is currently under development.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the amazing hacks that come out of MHacks V and all of the people connecting together to make one large hacking community,” said Vikram Rajagopalan, MHacks director of user experience and a student at the U-M School of Information. “Hopefully we will be able to change the lives of some of our participants and I am excited to be a part of it.”

Hackathons have become the 21st century job fair for the computer science field. The mentors that companies send end up being recruiters.

“Many companies today are favoring hackathons over the traditional career fair because instead of seeing a face with a resume they get to see an individual doing what they love in an environment where their imagination is their only limit,” Rajagopalan said. “Seeing what these hackers have done on paper does not come close to being able to see what they can do in person.”