Programmers flock to University of Michigan for annual Hackathon

In an effort to showcase the next generation of technology wizards, this past weekend students from across the country attended the University of Michigan’s Hackathon or MHacks to compete against each other in front the biggest names in the industry.

A Hackathon is a gathering of programmers to collaboratively code in an extreme manner over a short period of time, according to

The student Hackathon took place Sept. 20-22 with students working on design presentations with the goal to create the best innovation in the given 36-hours. Because of the sort time frame the majority of students went with little sleep, fueled by energy drinks, though napping areas were provided.

The event was held at Michigan Stadium, also known as “The Big House” in Ann Arbor, Mich. Transportation was provided for all students participating in the hackaton. Bus fare or up to $200 of travel cost was provided for participants. In addition, participants were provided with six meals for the weekend.

Thomas Erdmann the MHack director and a computer engineering student at the University of Michigan spoke to about the event.

“Students at this MHacks are the ones you will read about in the near future,” Erdmann said.

Approximately 1,200 students from more than 100 universities were in attendance including Penn State, University of Pennsylvania, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, the California Institute of Technology, Georgia Tech, Stanford, Yale and Harvard. Students had the opportunity to win more than $40,000 in prizes. The event was sponsored by Hearst Automotive, Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, Parse and Microsoft among others.

First prize went to GreenCan by Joshua Drubin. He invented a sorting trash can that uses the sound an item makes when it is put inside the can to determine whether it is recyclable. MHacks honored the top three submissions with the prizes to be announced at a later time.

The hackathon also offered numerous sponsor awards with Apple giving away the “Best iOS App” prize to Seek

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