Hack For A Reason

HackMIT is MIT’s largest hackathon. Over a 24-hour period from September 14 to 15, over 1,000 hackers from around the world will gather on MIT’s campus to experiment and innovate on software and hardware projects. This is your weekend to dust off old ideas or try something completely new. Imagine the craziest projects possible, and work on the hack of your dreams!

View full rules

Prizes

$31,700 in prizes

Grand Prize

The best of the best, judged by our expo judges.

Prize: $1000 Reimbursement

2nd Place Prize

The second best project, judged by our expo judges.

Prize: Sonos Beam Smart Soundbar

3rd Place Prize

3rd best project, judged by our expo judges.

Prize: Bose Soundlike Wireless Headphones

Track Prizes (8)

We are introducing Tracks at HackMIT 2019! You can submit to any of the following tracks:

Assistive Tech
With technology, you can assist a wide range of individuals, from the elderly to those with disabilities. Empower people to overcome their impairments with your hack!
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Urban Innovation
Cities are changing at a faster pace than ever before. Hack on self-driving cars, renewable energy, city planning, and more to understand and improve how people interact with their urban environment.
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Fintech
Analyze the stock market, create a cryptocurrency, or improve the banking experience. The future of finance is in your hands!
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Health Tech
Fitness, sleep, and exercise are among the most neglected parts of every college student’s life. Make it easier for people to track or improve some aspect of their or the community’s health.
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Education
The Internet has revolutionized the way we learn. Digital study aids, online learning materials, and more continue to help students every day! You could create the next big education platform.
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Entertainment
Build a new game, puzzle, or VR experience! With entertainment, the possibilities are endless.
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Dev Tools
Improve the coding experience for other hackers and developers like you! Make products more secure, create an extension for your IDE, or build an AI programming assistant.
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Social Good
Encourage people to change the world for the better. This could mean hacking on politics, helping a nonprofit, or making it easier for others to volunteer their time.

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Prize:
The best project in each track will have the choice of picking one prize from this list:

AirPods 2
Oculus Go
Beats portable speaker
iPad Air 2
Beats solo headphones 3
Fitbit Versa
GoPro Hero 5
Parrot Bebop 2-camera drone

Best IBM Disaster Preparedness & Relief Solutions (3)

To qualify for the "Best Disaster Preparedness & Relief Solutions for IBM Code and Response Challenge," hackers need to incorporate at least one of the API services from https://cloud.ibm.com/catalog into their project. Submissions will be judged across 4 areas: Completeness and Transferability, Effectiveness and Efficiency, Design and Usability, and Creativity and Innovation.

We are looking for ideas that will help prevent, mitigate, or recover from natural disasters utilizing technology. Take a look at what our Call for Code 2018 winner Project OWL created: http://www.project-owl.com/

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Prizes:
1st place: $2000 team prize
2nd place: $1000 team prize
3rd place: $500 team prize

Best Use of IBM Visual Recognition (2)

Have a good idea that involves Visual Recognition? The team that showcases the best use of IBM Visual Recognition will win up to 5 Tello Drones. We have Visual Recognition experts on-site to help you bring your idea to reality.
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Prize: Up to 5 Tello Drones for the winning team

Microsoft Azure Champ Prize - Hack for Good

Microsoft’s Azure Champ Prize Challenge is all about hacking for good. Let’s see which team can use Microsoft Azure to have the highest positive impact, while addressing a clear need, problem or opportunity with a clear and concise solution. Include innovations in technical design and implementation of services (Cognitive Services, Bot Services, IoT Hub, Functions) to blow us away – happy hacking!

Judging criteria:
1. Was the project developed using Microsoft Azure and did it have a positive impact? (required for entry)
2. Does the project address a clear need, problem, or opportunity and is the solution clearly explained? (10 points)
3. Does the project include innovations in technical design and/or implementation of services (e.g., Cognitive Services, Bot Services, IoT Hub, Functions) and/or user experience? (20 points)
4. Does the project have a clear target market or audience? (5 points)
5. Is the project’s purpose and basic functionality easily understood? (5 points)
6. Does the project have a professional degree of production in terms of performance, user interface, visuals, and audio? (10 points)

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Prize:
- $1,000 USD to be donated to an approved charity of their choice to support our joint initiative - social good!
- Prioritized entry in the upcoming Imagine Cup Semi-Finals with two chances to become one of the few elite teams at our regional finals!
- Surface Go's plus keyboards will be given to each team member!

Best Hack to Help the Housing Inequality Crisis with Wayfair

From homelessness to hunger, there's a lot of room for innovation to drive significant social change, especially when it comes to housing inequality. Can you find a solution to help everyone live in a home that they love, where they feel safe and comfortable? Challenge your creativity and create a project to help solve the housing inequality crisis.
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Prize: $500 for the winning team and the opportunity for each team member to interview at Wayfair!

Best Use of Amadeus APIs

Amadeus is the leading technology partner for the global travel industry. We challenge you to create the best hack that utilizes Amadeus' API for travel related challenges. You can just either use just the Amadeus API or combine it with other company APIs. If you're interested in Urban Innovation, this is the challenge for you!
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Prize: $1000 Amazon Gift Card

Rev.ai Speech API Challenge

'Rev.ai is the most accurate Speech-to-Text service on the market. This prize will go to the team that creates the most novel use of our Speech-to-Text engine. We want to see you leverage our speech API as creatively and effectively as possible. This year we have both the real-time and asynchronous version available.

Go to rev.ai to sign up.
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Prize: $4000

Build the Financial Revolution on Algorand (2)

Use any of our developer tools to build an amazing application leveraging Algorand!

Using any of our dev tools qualifies your team for prizes. However, the judging team will give preference to teams that demonstrate creative competence by:

Using one of the SDK’s
Writing to and reading from the `note` field in a transaction
Using multiple dev tools
An example solution would be to: Build a solution for easy account management using one our SDK’s, the solution should be able to: Create and sign transactions, do the same with multisig accounts, recover accounts from mnemonic phrases

Bonus: Build a UI for the solution (command line, web based or other) in any language.

Example solutions:
Evancoin - https://medium.com/algorand/l2-applications-on-algorand-make-your-own-coin-6d62c5d5578d
ARC-01 - https://github.com/AssetBlock/arc-01

Community Resources:
Algorand Developer Documentation - https://developer.algorand.org/

What is Algorand?
The Algorand blockchain is a ‘Pure Proof of Stake’ blockchain based on voting and registration mechanisms with Verifiable Random Functions (VRF). Leveraging these features results in near-instant transaction finality and true decentralization with respect to economic throughput and incentives.

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Prizes:
First Place: $1000 + Codrone + Thule 32L Backpack
Second Place: Gotenna + Matrix Creator + Raspberry Pi 3 B+

Best Hack for Building Community with Facebook

Facebook's mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.

Our judges will be evaluating the best Hack Project that focuses on building community and connecting people.

We are sponsoring an all-expense paid trip for each member of the winning team to visit Facebook's Headquarters in Menlo Park, CA, where they will participate in Facebook's Global Hack Finals!

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Prize: Fully paid trip to Facebook Headquarters in Menlo Park, CA for the Facebook Global Hack Finals!

Best Use of AWS AI / ML Services (3)

We are looking for the best use of the AWS AI / ML services in your project! $100 in promotional credits will be provided to all who build for the AWS challenge.

Resources and documentation below:

AWS AI / ML services: https://aws.amazon.com/machine-learning/ai-services/
Demos and workshops: https://s3.amazonaws.com/aiml-demo-site/index.html
AWS Hackathon Guide: https://syum.github.io/aws-hackathon-guide/
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Prize:
Grand Prize: (1) custom AWS-branded mechanical keyboard (104-key, Cherry MX Browns!) per team member
1st Runner Up: (1) Amazon Echo Spot - Smart Alarm Clock with Alexa per team member
2nd Runner Up: (1) Amazon Echo per team member'

Best Use of the DocuSign Agreement Cloud APIs (4)

The DocuSign eSignature API lets you eSign documents, request signatures, automate your forms and data, accept payments, verify identity and much more! You can integrate the eSignature REST APIs into any app, website, or embedded system that can make https requests.

Our Click API provides an extremely easy interface through which to create, manage, and modify clickwrap agreements.

For more information, go to https://developers.docusign.com/esign-rest-api/code-examples/quickstart-overview

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Prizes:
1st place: $1000 Cash. Winning team will be featured on the DocuSign Developer Blog and will be showcased on DocuSign's social media platforms.
Runner Up: $500 Cash

DRW: Best Data Visualization Hack

We will be judging for the best data visualization hack. Projects will be judged on their ability to make data more accessible to more users. Can you make large data sets easily understandable at a quick glance? In a world overflowing with data, breaking it down for people is more important than ever.

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Prize: Oculus Go for each team member

Most Interesting Use of AI Automation with Veritone (5)

1 - Hackers design and automate a text, image, audio, and/or video-based data analysis workflow using Veritone Automate Studio that utilizes machine learning and demonstrates an application within one of the Hack MIT tracks. Bonus for those that not only analyze data with machine learning but trigger an action based on the machine learning output.

Submission requirements:
1 - Complete workflow design in Veritone Automate Studio workspace and deploy using the workspace or automation engine runtime.
2 - Automation can be run end-to-end to successfully produce desired data output and/or action
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Prizes:
First prize (1 total): AWS DeepLens (each member of the team) and Veritone hoodie (each member of the team)
Second Prize (1 total): $100 gift card (each member of the team) and Veritone hoodie (each member of the team)
Honorable Mentions (3 total): $50 gift card (each member of the team) and Veritone hoodie (each member of the team)'

Best Use of Nasdaq/Quandl Datasets (3)

Three Challenges:
1. Smart Cities
Best use of Nasdaq/Quandl datasets applied to Smart Cities-related solutions.
2. Personal Financial Decisions
Best use of Nasdaq/Quandl datasets applied to Personal Financial Decisions.
3. Apps Beyond Capital Markets
Best use of Nasdaq/Quandl datasets applied to applications beyond capital markets.
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Prize:
Nasdaq will award (1) overall prize for the best solution across Nasdaq's three challenges. The prize is an exclusive Dinner with Nasdaq's Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) - Brad Peterson.

Best Product or Idea that Leverages Sia Storage Platform (3)

The goal of this challenge is to showcase a product or idea that leverages Sia's renter API, and uses the decentralized aspect of Sia's storage in an innovative manner. Decentralized storage completely changes the way files are stored in the internet. By encrypting and splitting a single file up with your private key over 30 hosts, Sia allows end-users to store data on the web in a private and censorship resistant manner.

Extra consideration to:
- Teams who make an app that deeply integrates with Sia’s API features
- Teams who build data-heavy application and/or upload the largest amount of data to the Sia Network

Bonus: Anyone who uploads at least 100 GB of data by the end of the hackathon will also win a prize!

Docs:

You can find our main api docs here: https://sia.tech/docs/

Resources:

Our API Quickstart guide: https://blog.sia.tech/api-quickstart-guide-f1d160c05235

Our open source Golang repo is here: https://gitlab.com/NebulousLabs/Sia

Our Sia-UI Electron/React/Typescript repo is here (useful for learning about how to talk to the daemon): https://gitlab.com/NebulousLabs/Sia-UI

Client Libraries:

Our JS Library is here: https://gitlab.com/NebulousLabs/Nodejs-Sia

Our Typescript library is here: https://gitlab.com/NebulousLabs/sia-typescript

Our Golang library is here: https://godoc.org/gitlab.com/NebulousLabs/Sia/node/api/client

Blockchain download:

It takes a couple hours for the blockchain to download (https://sia.tech/get-started). If you haven't downloaded it before the hackathon, we will provide USB sticks with pre synced blockchain to the teams. Please find us at Sia's table in the bleachers.

Examples: Built on Sia

Filebase - Amazon S3 on Sia: https://filebase.com/

PixelDrain - Rapidshare on Sia: https://pixeldrain.com/

ZeroBit - Censorship resistant cloud: https://zero-bit.io

SiaStats - Useful stats GUI to visualize the network: https://siastats.info/
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Prizes:
1st prize: 250,000 Siacoins and potential internship opportunity.
2nd Prize: 100,000 Siacoins.
Bonus prize: 10,000 Siacoin for each bonus team winner.

Best Use of Instabase API

Instabase is a data processing platform providing services such as OCR, text extraction, natural language processing, and text classification. We're awarding $1,000 to the team that demonstrates the best use of our platform to solve a problem! More specifically, solve a problem using our platform to do:

* Optical Character Recognition
* Natural Language Processing
* Clustering and classification
* Information extraction and web scraping
* Python Scripting

Visit instabase.com/hackmit for more information about our API.
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Prize: $1000 to split amongst team members + internship/full-time interview

Best Command Line Tool with LightStep

At LightStep, we build product for developers in many different companies and parts of the world. The command line is the basic starting point for a lot of our work as developers, but there's a lot that goes into making a great one. Specifically:

- How _useful_ is it? Does this solve either a need or want for developers in their workflow? Does it make sense to build/use this as a command line tool and not as a webapp? Clear cases where a developer would turn to your tool are better than tools which try to do everything but don't address a specific problem.

- How _usable_ is it? Is it clear what commands a developer can use, and which ones are optional or required? Is it easy to execute repetitive or common flows, as well as discover less common ones if needed? What happens when there is a very long running process - is my only option to escape, or can I run other work concurrently, and why? Do the names and commands make sense?

Note that usefulness and usability have a few key differences, and both will be important to win.

Complexity in scope, performance, and "fun" are bonuses :)
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Prize: Sony Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones for every person on the team! (Model WH-1000XM3 in case anyone cares)

Best Use of Google Cloud (3)

API Challenge this weekend for Best Use of Google Cloud - just use any Google Cloud product to qualify.

If you win you'll get a prize pack including a Google Home Mini, a Google Cloud Backpack, and more for each team member.
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Prize: Prize pack including a Google Home Mini, a Google Cloud Backpack, and more for each team member

Secure User Healthcare Data Challenge with Imprivata

Hospitals and clinics around the US and the world face an unprecedented challenge in keeping patient data secure. This challenge has only increased in magnitude with the wide adoption of cloud-based solutions and applications for managing everything from billing to increasingly regulated protected health information (PHI).

It is not atypical for Healthcare workers to have to move from room to room and from device to device throughout their day. Often, this includes having to go through lengthy and complicated logon processes for both devices and applications to do anything from simply looking at a patient chart to signing prescriptions. Imprivata provides solutions that enable those Healthcare workers with fast and easy access to all of their devices, applications and patient data. Imprivata does this while providing the most secure, but transparent approach, to handling both healthcare worker data and the data of the patients that they have to support. Keeping this in mind...

The winner(s) of this challenge will develop the most creative and secure hack that manages user data. The winning hack should focus on things such as novel approaches to user data encryption or advanced authentication methods (think password-less) to access that data.

Bonus consideration will be given for hacks that include...

* Specific healthcare application
* Use more than one, non-password based, authentication method
* Provide simple, fast user data access
* Leverage devices that healthcare workers already have (fitness trackers, cell phones, etc...)
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Prize: Imprivata Swag Bags

Best Ford Car Mobility Challenge Hack

Best Urban Innovation hack using Ford Mobility technologies (OpenXC, Smart Device Link). The prize will be awarded to the team that best shows creativity, innovation, and human centered design.
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Prize: Team O'Neil Rally School - Ford Performance Driving Experience

Most Interesting Use of Data with HRT

Projects that put data to use in interesting ways. This could include analyzing existing datasets to solve non traditional problems or building ways to gather and study new data.
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Prize: $100 Amazon gift cards

Kensho Data Usability Challenge (2)

At Kensho we end up dealing with a lot of data. Unfortunately for us, the data we want is often hidden in legacy systems which are hard to query, cumbersome to maintain, and have high barriers to entry to use. Because of this, we spend a lot of time thinking about and developing tools for us to better explore, query, store, and manage sources of data. We challenge you to think about and do the same--make something which takes a messy data set and makes it friendlier, easier to use, or more explorable. This can be anything from a UI for data exploration to a better way of writing queries. Actionable criteria for success/impressing us/real life inspirations: Vastly shortens/cleans up a process involving data, provides a new abstraction for querying data, makes querying data easier.

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1st: Audio-Technica ATH-M50x or Bose QuietComfort 25 headphones

Runner up: $50 Amazon gift cards

Best Social Impact Hack with Coding It Forward

Coding it Forward is a student-led nonprofit that empowers computer science, data science, and design students to create social good by breaking down the barriers to entry in social impact spaces. The Best Social Impact Hack prize will be awarded to the team whose hack addresses a compelling social issue--at the community, regional, national, or international levels--and is backed up by an understanding of the underlying cause(s) of the issue.

Strong submissions will be thoughtful, well-researched, and cognizant of existing solutions in the identified problem space. Submissions can address any social issue, including but not limited to: economic opportunity, education, justice and safety, international development, civic engagement, and diversity and inclusion.

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Prize: $500

Niantic Augmented Reality Prize

Make the world a more interesting place with AR! We are looking for novel applications of AR that are utilitarian, assistive, or just plain cool. Use whatever APIs or hardware you want - though we are most excited by visual AR.

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Prize: $4000 (split among team)

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

Judges

John Cohn

John Cohn
IBM Fellow at IBM Watson

Rob Zhu

Rob Zhu
Principal Technical Evangelist at AWS

Minerva Tantoco

Minerva Tantoco
Cofounder of Grasshopper Bank

Judging Criteria

  • How Judging Works
    Our judging will be done through Gavel, our pair-wise-comparison-based judging platform. Gavel will be used to select the top 10 projects. These projects will then present to our panel of judges, consisting of John Cohn, Minerva Tantoco, Rob Zhu.
  • Tracks
    Along with our overall prizes, the top project in each Track will also get a prize (see prizes for details). Each project can only be submitted to one track.
  • Sponsor Challenges
    Each project can submit to MULTIPLE challenges! Each challenge will be judged by the company that sponsored that challenge, so make sure to interact with the sponsors of the challenges you want to submit to!