New student group focused on hackathons

Publish Date: 11/25/2013

A new student organization is helping to organize and promote involvement in college hackathons this semester.  The new TechHackers club is taking advantage of a recent wave of interest among college students in weekend hackathons.  For example, seventy-five Virginia Tech students, most of whom were computer science majors, participated in the September MHacks hackathon in Ann Arbor, MI.  According to the organizers, this MHacks event was the largest student-only hackathon ever.  With sponsorship from several well-known technology companies, the hackathon brought together over 1200 college students to build innovative projects from scratch in an intense 36 hour sprint, from Friday night to midday on Sunday (September 20-22). The Virginia Tech group represented the second largest contingent from any university, with only the hosts from the University of Michigan having more participants. According to trip organizers Ben Johnston and Jouella Fabe, two VT teams received special recognition for their projects: TrackPunch and VR Glove.  Johnston and Fabe report that enthusiasm among the VT students was high. They are now leading the effort to establish the new student organization, TechHackers, which will encourage participation in future hackathons, and possibly host an event in Blacksburg.  Since September, the group has also participated in hackathons hosted by Yale University and Duke University.