Hackathons emerged in the late 2000s as intensive multi-day gatherings created to develop new technology solutions; today, many computer science students view the gatherings of innovators, companies and investors as critical to their college educations and job searches. Stephanie Mertz and Allen Osgood, both seniors in Computer Science at Washington University, attended MHacks at the University of Michigan in the fall of 2015 and came back inspired.
“There were 1,200 people there, and an insane level of energy and talent that was unique to anything I’d ever seen,” says Mertz. It was so energizing that Mertz and her classmate started planning how they could replicate it.
“We had an 8 hour drive up and back, and on the way up, we talked about what we were going to do with the weekend. On the way back, we talked about how we were going to recreate the weekend [in St. Louis],“ says Osgood.
Although the WashU chapter of UPE (Upsilon Pi Epsilon), the national computer science honorary, in partnership with WUTE (WashU Tech Entrepreneurs) hosted “WUHack” in the fall of 2014 (20 participants) and again in 2015 (200 participants), MHacks showed Osgood and Mertz that they could create something on a much bigger scale.
As a result of their efforts, for 48 hours, from Friday, November 4 through Sunday, November 6 in Bauer Hall on the WashU campus, ArchHacks will welcome more than 1,000 students and leading players in the health industry to solve real world problems with HealthTech.
“We have people who love to build, people who love to learn, and people who love to get employed,” says Osgood “We can bring together these three things under one roof. It’s really unique.”
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