A team of students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was awarded a $40,000 prize in a national contest held by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency this week. DARPA announced MIT as the first group to find the latitude and longitudes of 10 eight-foot weather balloons hidden across the United States. DARPA created the competition to measure the ability of social networking and web-based tools to complete tasks in a large scale setting under time constraints
MIT found the 10 weather balloons in less than 9 hours after the competition began. DARPA plans on discussing with the individual teams their techniques, technology, and thought processes to aid in the search. The agency hopes strategies used by each group will give the military new ideas for completing a wide array of missions and operations.