Update: We have a winner! See who was named Hack Madness Champion.
“Hacking is the students reminding the administration that they are smarter than them.”
– Former MIT administrator Ben Jones
According to the seminal anthology Nightwork, an MIT hack is ingenious, benign, and ephemeral mischief pulled off under a cloud of secrecy or misdirection.
Some hacks—like ones that interrupt a football game or misplace a police car—receive national attention. Others, like a nerd cathedral or a building-size video game, are purely for the enjoyment of the MIT community.
To honor this tradition, coupled with the tournament-mad month of March, the MIT Alumni Association announces Hack Madness: The MIT Tournament of Hacks, a two-week contest that invites the MIT community to vote for their favorite hack. View the full interactive bracket. Tournament voting is now closed.
The five-round tournament began on Monday, March 3. Votes can be cast on Slice of MIT and the Alumni Association’s social media pages. Jump to the official tournament page for the schedule and voting details.
Choosing the hacks was difficult and subjective—some favorites will be left out. The 32 selected hacks cover nine decades of pranks at more than 20 MIT locations plus, of course, off-campus classics at Harvard and Caltech.
The bracket was compiled based on input from the elusive Institute of Hacking Theatrics and Fugacious Pranks (IHTFP) with invaluable research culled from Nightwork, the MIT Museum’s Institute for Hacks, Tomfoolery, and Pranks, and the online MIT IHTFP Hack Gallery. The tournament would not be possible without those resources.
Check back with Slice of MIT and the Alumni Association’s social media outlets each day to vote. Visit the Hack Madness official page for the tournament schedule and more information.