Note: this hackathon report was written by ArisKnight Winfree.
This past weekend was the University of Michigan’s hackathon, MHacks
IV. Over 1100 students from universities and high schools across the
United States took over Ann Arbor from September 5th through September
7th to participate in one of the most anticipated hackathons in the
A hackathon is an event where students come together to dream up and
build amazing things together -- but under a strict time limit. At
MHacks, students spent 36 hours straight collaborating with each other
and working with mentors (alongside representatives of some of the
most competitive companies in the world) to learn new things and solve
Over $15,000 dollars worth of prizes were awarded in MHacks IV.
We had over 21 students representing Michigan State University in Ann
Arbor this weekend -- their names are highlighted in bold.
An all Michigan State team that made GoalKeeper ended up winning FOUR
prizes: Best URL from Namecheap, Best use of Venmo API, Best use of
Ziggeo API, and a prize from IBM for using their hosting platform.
Goalkeeper is a social platform for holding yourself accountable,
whether you want to get in shape, establish good study habits, or
write the next great American novel. Users establish goals, then post
videos showing that they're keeping up, both logging their
achievements and encouraging their friends to keep them on track. In
addition to peer pressure, users are incentivized to stick with their
goals because every failure to check in means the user is expected to
donate $5 to charity.
Team Members: Caitlin McDonald, Erin Hoffman
Backseat Driver is a real time manual transmission driving instructor
that could be displayed on a Chrysler vehicle's radio/head unit,
reading information from the car's OBD II sensors using the OpenXC
platform tools from Chrysler. They won awards for most connected car
from Chrysler and best use of mobile sensor data from
Team Members: Katelyn Dunaski, Michael Ray, Colin Szechy,
DrinkNoDrive is an app that prevents drinking and driving by
monitoring a person’s alcohol use. The app keeps track of your
consumption, calculate your BAC, and will order an Uber for you when
it’s time to go home. They were awarded the Best Use of the Uber API
Team Members: Chris McGrath, Drew Laske, Tommy Truong, Anh Nguyen.
First place winner: Power Glove - Power Glove 2.0 is an affordable and
customizable virtual reality system, focused on finger and hand
movement interaction with the computer.
Second place winner: Android for iPhone - We built a full Android
environment running inside your iPhone. We even used the newest
version of Android possible, the L developer preview!
Third Place winner: Smash Connect – while Super Smash Bros. 64 is a lot of
fun to play with a controller, our project uses your body as a
controller. Two Microsoft Kinect cameras are used to [Camera 1]
Capture user specific commands (Kick, Punch, Special Move, Jump) and
[Camera 2] is used to watch both players fight each other to play the
List of Companies at Mhacks: Quixey. Mashery. Nest. Thiel
fellowship. IBM. Apple. Chrysler. Facebook. Thalmiclabs. Union
Pacific. Codility. FarmLogs. Twillio. Ziggeo. Capital
One. Microsoft. MLH. Yo. Pillar. Meetup. Sales force. Jawbone. State
Farm. Namecheap. Castle. Firebase. Sendgrid. MongoDb, Ebay,
Paypal. stackoverflow. Bloomberg. Goldman
Sachs. Chrysler. Moxtra. Pillar. Andreessen
Horowitz. Uber. Techsmith. Indeed.
The students of Michigan State University were so inspired by the
amazing energy and innovation at the University of Michigan’s
hackathon (and others) that we are planning on hosting our own
student-run hackathon. It is tentatively planned for Spring of 2015.
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