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September 23, 2013 - Image 1

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-09-23

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Ann Arbor, Michigan

Monday, September 23, 2013

michigandaily.com

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V -.
RUBY WALLAU/Dai
TOP LEFT: University of Virginia sophomores Marisa Readdy (left) and Rolph Recto (right) participate at the hackathon at Michigan Stadium Friday. BOTTOM LEFT: Illinois Institute of Technology senior Abed Arnaout and junior Tameem Imamdad
(second and third from left) plan with teammates at the Hackathon at Michigan Stadium Friday. RIGHT: Engineering junior Michael Christen looks out over the field at Michigan Stadium Friday.
At Big House, innovations abound

MHacks moves to
Michigan Stadium
for largest student
hackathon in U.S.
ByAMRUTHA SIVAKUMAR
Daily StaffReporter
It wasn't game day, but the Big
House was bustling.
The MHacks hackathon, a

competitive weekend of non-stop
programming, is a collaboration
of Michigan Hackers and MPow-
ered, an entrepreneurship group,
where "hackers" from universi-
ties worldwide filled the stadium
- a location chosen after the
2012 hackathon outgrew Palmer
Commons. At MHacks, students
collaborated to churn out innova-
tions between Friday night and
Sunday morning.
The rules are simple: The
hackers are be given exactly 36

hours to create an application
programming interface - which
specifies how some software
components should interact with
each other - and present it at
an expo for the chance to win a
series of prizes.
With nearly three times the
number of participants as the
2012 hackathon, the 2013 event
surpassed world records for
hackathon attendance, as 1,700
tickets for the event sold out in
less than 24 hours. The previous

record was set early September at
PennApps, the annual hackathon
hosted at the University of Penn-
sylvania that boasted a record
1,000 attendees.
Though much of the partici-
pants' time was spent developing
apps, they were provided with
ample food and drink, and were
even able to watch the Univer-
sity's football game against the
University of Connecticut on the
stadium screens.
As it neared closer to 11 p.m.

Saturday, a class of student par-
ticipants turned to sleep and
social media after failing to effec-
tively debug failed applications.
Others, however, inched closer to
finishing and implementing last-
minute functionalities - Bing-
hamton University senior David
Lui included.
"You are competing against
the others here, butI don't think
of it that way until the end," Lui
said. "Right now it's more of a
social collaborative event."

Lui created an application
that would determine a user's
inherent biases through a per-
sonalized series of questions.
He said being able to participate
in a hackathon hosted in the Big
House was a perk.
At the expo following the
hackathon, application develop-
ers had the opportunity to com-
pete for a total of $23,000 in cash
prizes.
While the overall best applica-
See BIG HOUSE, Page SA

GLOBAL OUTREACH
" Wallenberg
fellow works to
sustain Earth,

human
With $25K grant,
student studying
how conservation
affects Kenyans
By MICHAEL SUGERMAN
For the Daily
Even after University alum
Zachary Petroni explains in
native Kiswahili that he is a
student researcher, locals from
the small Kenyan town of Gede
question his intentions. To
them, Petroni is like any other
mzungu, or white person, pass-
ing through - there as a tourist
rather than as a student.
Petroni said withstanding
this reaction has been his big-
gest adjustment - other than the
"tropical heat" and "de-indus-
trialization" of his diet - while
working as a Wallenberg fellow
on the northern edge of Kenya's
Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve,
where he has been researching
"the relationship between con-
servation governance and human

rights
rights" for a month. Over the
summer of 2013, he worked as a
research assistant for the School
of Natural Resources and Envi-
ronment.
Petroni, formerly a student in
the Ford School of Public Policy,
is the inaugural winner of the fel-
lowship, which grants $25,000 to
a graduating senior each year to
pursue an independent learnings
or exploration project anywhere
in the world. He wrote in an
e-mail interview that his overall
objective is "interrogating the
linkages between how conser-
vation spaces are constructed
and governed ... and the conse-
quences of this decision-making
on the socio-economic, cultural
and political well-being of people
living in close proximity to such
efforts."
Each school on campus can
select up to two nominees, whose
applications are then forwarded
to the Wallenberg Fellowship
Selection Committee. The com-
mittee comprises representatives
from various University units
and colleges.
See WALLENBERG, Page SA

Students transform a parking space on State Street into a temporary park Friday for International PARK(ing) Day.
Rolling out the green carpet
to spark urban-space debate

ANN ARBOR
City council
reconsiders
crosswalk
regulations
Council members
concerned about
ambiguous law
By WILL GREENBERG
Daily Staff Reporter
In light of the death of a stu-
dent early August at a Plymouth
Road crosswalk, Ann Arbor's
current crosswalk ordinance has
raised questions among the pub-
lic and City Council as many leg-
islators are working to revise or
repeal the ordinance.
When the current law was
passed in 2012, it was considered
an improvement over the previ-
ous ordinance, which required
drivers to stop for pedestrians
"approaching" the crosswalk.
Some considered the wording too
ambiguous to follow or enforce.
Today, Ann Arbor has an
ordinance that is distinct from
the Michigan Uniform Traffic
Code. A memorandum to coun-
cilmembers from Nick Hutchin-
son, manager of the city's Project
Management Unit, illustrated
the differences in the word-
ing of the two laws. The MUTC
See CROSSWALK, Page SA

Students make
mini-park out of
parking spaces
By MICHAEL SUGERMAN
For the Daily
From a rolled-out strip of
bright green AstroTurf span-
ning a couple of parking spac-
es on South State and East
Liberty streets, Rackham and
Public Health student Arielle
Fleisher invited a passerby
into her makeshift "park."

On Friday, Fleisher and
Rackham student Jenny Coo-
per created a "parklet" as a
part of PARK(ing) Day 2013,
an annual program that cre-
ates temporary green spaces
in an attempt to spark discus-
sion about how to use urban
space.
The duo received permis-
sion from the Downtown
Development Authority and
the South State Street Cor-
ridor Authority to use the
spaces for free, setting up at
11 a.m. Local businesses even
contributed to the parklet's

creation: Downtown Home
and Garden donated furniture
and potted plants, the Pro-
duce Station donated one park
bench and the Lunch Room
provided lunch for the group.
Other expenses were cov-
ered by a $315 grant from the
Student Sustainability Initia-
tive, a University program.
"We're not just passively
sitting here today, but we're
also making a statement,"
Fleisher said. "We want to
ask the question, 'How do we
value urban space, and what if
See URBAN, Page 5A

WEATHER HI 68
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