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the night of Jan. 27, the long wooden tables of Siebel Center’s room 2405 were nearly fi lled by 8:15 p.m. With a Pandora station pumping music through the hall’s speakers, students pulled out takeout containers, laptops — one even had a desktop monitor — and plenty of soda for fuel until midnight. The third Hack Night of the school year was underway, and the Illini Hackers were getting to work. On Jan. 18, the Illini Hackers — a loosely formed group at the University with the goal to “foster a community of technologists, builders and hackers” — were named the winners of the Major League Hacking fall 2014 North America season. “It’s not hacking in the sense that you’re hacking into systems; you’re hacking together a project,” said Nick Kortendick, sophomore in Engineering. “It’s not a business plan or anything like that. It’s literally just

making a project of anything ... fun little projects that people otherwise wouldn’t have time to work on.” From the 36 Major League Hacking events, or hackathons, throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico, the Illini Hackers racked up a total of 381 points, which is 26 more than the second place University of Maryland , College Park team. The score is a combination of both participation points, the number of students who attended and merit points for winning hacks and placing at each event. The recognition comes just as members of Illini Hackers are gaining speed themselves. While University students have been attending hackathons across the country since the events started, it wasn’t until last fall that Illini Hackers was formed as the umbrella group to organize the school’s hacking community and host informal Hack Nights throughout the year.

Technograph Volume 130, Spring 2015  
Technograph Volume 130, Spring 2015