1,000 Hackers Expected on North Campus for MHacks IV

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MHacks, one of the largest and most influential student-run hackathons in the world, will take place this weekend in the home of CSE.

On the evening of Friday, September 5, about 1,000 student hackers from across the country will arrive on The University of Michigan North Campus for MHacks IV, the premier student-run hackathon.

Over the course of 36 straight hours and with very little sleep, the students will team up with similarly-inclined individuals from their own school or from other institutions to envision and create websites, applications, or hardware projects. They will take their ideas from initial concepts to actual working projects that will be on display, science fair style, at 10:00 am on the morning of Sunday, September 7th.

In addition to providing an environment for creativity, MHacks will feature a lineup of speakers that includes Reddit co-founder and YCombinator Partner Alexis Ohanian; Grace Choi, CEO of Mink, a company that has found a way to 3D print makeup; and John Maeda, Senior Design Partner with KPCB and previously a professor at the MIT media lab and president of the Rhode Island school of design. They will share their stories and will serve as all-star mentors who will roam MHacks to help students in developing their ideas. In all, the MHacks organizers expect to field over 100 mentors to help hackers in building their projects.

“MHacks IV puts the focus back on learning by doing this hackathon season. We give our hackers all of the resources, support and tools they need not only to build something amazing, but something that changes the way we look at a problem in our communities,” said MHacks Director of User Experience, Vikram Rajagopalan. “MHacks isn’t just for students who build products at every chance they get – it’s also for those who yearn to, and want an amazing environment to dive into the deep end of developing their own ideas and solving the problems they see in their world.”

MHacks IV offers participants the unique opportunity to learn on some of the world’s leading-edge technologies. Free domain names will be provided by sponsor NameCheap; Pillar Technologies will allow students to hack an actual Tesla motorcar; and other modern technologies that are part of the on-site technology showcase will also available to students. MHacks will give participants not only the chance to learn new skills, but also the chance to build out their concepts on the most advanced technologies available.

MHacks IV is the latest in a string of MHacks events organized by U-M student groups Michigan Hackers and MPowered Entrepreneurship. The first MHacks took place in February 2013 in Palmer Commons and hosted 550 participants. The second MHacks took place in September 2013 in the luxury boxes of the Big House, Michigan’s famous football stadium, and MHacks III took place in January 2014 in downtown Detroit. Each of those events hosted about 1,000 participants.

MHacks IV will take place in the Bob and Betty Beyster Building and the EECS Building on North Campus, both home to the EECS Department and specifically Computer Science and Engineering, and in the Herbert H. Dow Building.

MHacks IV will take place In cooperation with Major League Hacking (MLH), a student-run organization that supports over 40 hackathons across the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom. For the most competitive entrants, producing a top project at MHacks will translate into valuable points for their institution that will influence MLH standings. As the semester progresses, student hackers will be seeking to earn points at hackathons in the US, Canada, and the UK to help their schools advance in the rankings in hope of capturing Major League Hacking glory at the end of the year.

Good luck, hackers!