You are only eligible to participate if you were accepted and RSVP'd to Uncommon Hacks 2022. Submissions from non-accepted participants will NOT be counted.

Uncommon Hacks is a weekend-long celebration of technology where college and high students from everywhere log onto the interwebs or join us in Crerar Library to make fun, random, and innovative tech-related projects with friends old and new. You'll work in a small team to design and build a creative project from start to finish in a weekend, learning and having fun in the process!

This year, we encourage out-of-the-box projects more than ever through our tracks, with unconventional takes on web development and data analysis, or take an artistic approach by making some programmatic art or video games!

For more info about our tracks and our full schedule, go to our website at and see our hacking guide at!


We accept submission from people who registered with us and who were formally accepted by email. No one else is eligible to participate or qualify for any of the awards.

We accept submissions from teams of up to 4.

We accept submissions that have been started during the hours of our hackathon only. No existing/ongoing projects that were started prior to Saturday, April 2nd will be considered.

You may submit your project to at most ONE track and any number of sponsor prize categories. All projects will be considered for the Most Uncommon prize.

Submissions must include a description of your project. You may choose to either a) present your project live at the expo (2:30-4pm CT on Sunday, April 3) or b) submit a demo walkthrough and project pitch. Videos cannot be longer than 3 minutes in length. Teams that do not present live or submit a video may not be considered for prizes.

Hackathon Sponsors


$3,000 in prizes

Most Uncommon (1st Place)

$100 Amazon Gift Card + lifesize platypus plush for each member of the winning team

The winning hack is a balanced, well-designed, and innovative project - perhaps also a tad overengineered or with a suprise twist :)

Most Uncommon Runner Up (3)

Various exploration-themed plushies for each member of the winning teams!

Track: Data Analytics

Data Sketches by Nadieh Bremer & Shirley Wu for each member of the winning team

Imagine this: a state-of-the-art machine learning algorithm runs on the most powerful super-computer in the world, sending terrabytes of data to be projected and visualized on the literal surface of the moon...The technical complexity of these projections wouldn't even come close to what we're looking for in the top project in Data Analytics. Pie charts, line graphs, histograms, interactive embodied interfaces -- we want to see all of them!

Track: Web Development

Web Dev swag pack for each member of the winning team: rare mugs, stickers, and more!

The top prize in Web Development must be to the web what the steam engine was to industrial society. Forget Web 3.0 -- this project must completely reinvent what it means to be Online, and then reinvent that, again. Emerging out of the rubble of internet technologies, this project must stand proud, ready to act as the foundation for the metaverse (read: not just a fancy wrapper around an API).

Track: Game Design

Framed (gaming-themed) print of your choice (up to $50 for each member of the winning team)

The top prize in Game Design goes to the game that is so engaging and fun that it makes us forget what's real. In order to qualify, players must be so immersed that they wouldn't respond to their name, a fire alarm, or even an earthquake. Only when the game releases them from its grasp do they fall away from the screen; exhausted, amazed, forever changed.

Track: Programmatic Art

Mini projector for each member of the winning team, for displaying all of your art IRL

The top prize in Programmatic Art goes to the project that is so impressive that it would sell for at least three million dollars at an art auction. Remember Banksy's self-destructing painting? Now imagine that, but complete with flashing colors, changing backgrounds, and flying shapes. That's the project we're looking for.

Best Use of Google Cloud

Google Cloud Swag Bag or Backpack

Build your hackathon project with a suite of secure storage, powerful compute, and integrated data analytics products provided by Google Cloud. See full list of products here: Winners located in the US will receive a Google Cloud Swag Bag complete with a beanie, pillow, journal, socks & lanyards. Winners outside of the US will receive a Google branded backpack.

Most Creative Use of Twilio

Twilio Swag Box & GameGo Console

Twilio allows you to incorporate mobile messaging, phone calls and a ton of other awesome communication features right into your hackathon project using a web service API. Are you building an e-commerce website and want to send text notifications or email confirmations once an order is completed? Or maybe you'd like to verify users based on their mobile numbers? Twilio makes all this possible and more. Build a hack that simplifies your life using any Twilio API for a chance to win some awesome prizes! Get started with $50 in free credit!

Best Use of Auth0

Exclusive Auth0 Swag made for MLH

Auth0 wants your applications to be secure! Use any of the Auth0 APIs for a chance to win some exclusive swag, including a Miir 12oz tumbler, Rubiks Cube, and sticker! Why spend hours building features like social sign-in, Multi-Factor Authentication, and passwordless log-in when you can enable them through Auth0 straight out of the box? Save some time on your hack and set yourself up for a big win. It doesn't take much to get started. Auth0 is free to try with up to 7,000 free active users and unlimited log-ins. Make your new account today!

Best Usage of CI/CD sponsored by CircleCI

CircleCI Swag Pack

Have you ever wondered how professional developers from companies like Peloton & Samsung collaborate and ship code to production? For one, they use continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) platforms like CircleCI to help automate testing, versioning, deployment and so much more. Whether you’re looking to learn a new skill, practice coding, or hack with friends, CircleCI can help you to utilize the best development practices possible when approaching a new project, however big or small. Use CircleCI in your next hack for a chance to win some awesome CircleCI swag, including a branded mug, beanie, socks and stickers!

Best Use of DeSo

$100 worth of $DESO coin & an exclusive DeSo Tumbler

DeSo is the official Web3 sponsor of the MLH Hackathon League and the first Layer 1 blockchain custom-built for decentralized social media applications. In order to qualify for the contest, you must launch an app that writes to the DeSo blockchain and implements DeSo identity. While social media apps are a great fit for DeSo, you can also build financial apps, marketplaces, and more on the DeSo blockchain. For inspiration on project ideas, you can check out some of the existing 200+ apps already live on DeSo at Bithunt.

Best Domain Name from

PowerSquare Qi Wireless Phone Charger

Register a .Tech domain name using during the weekend for your chance to win a PowerSquare Qi Wireless Phone Charger for you and each member of your team! Each team may submit one entry per person on the team. The more creative the domain the better!

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Borja Sotomayor

Borja Sotomayor
Associate Senior Instructional Professor @ University of Chicago

Benjamin Xia-Reinert

Benjamin Xia-Reinert
Senior Software Engineer @ Microsoft

Will Field-Thompson

Will Field-Thompson
CTO @ Speeko

Gamal Deweever

Gamal Deweever
Software Engineer @ EA

Julliete Lola Hainline

Julliete Lola Hainline
UX Researcher @ Google

Ben Jarso

Ben Jarso
Product Manager @ Facebook

Richard Whaling

Richard Whaling
Director of Data Engineering @ M1 Finance

Jas Brooks

Jas Brooks
Ph.D. student @ University of Chicago

Dima Kolesnikov

Dima Kolesnikov
Senior Frontend Developer @ Lamoda Group

Judging Criteria

  • Innovative-ness
  • Out-of-the-box-ness
  • Uncommon-ness

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

Tell your friends

Hackathon sponsors

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