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Coders make Hackfest a success


7 March 2016

Around 60 coding enthusiasts attended the Melbourne Science Hackfest this weekend (4-6 March), challenged with creating innovative new applications from science data.

The event was organised and co-sponsored by ANDS, CSIRO, NeCTAR, TERN, ALA, AURIN, RDS, AuScope, IMOS & University of Melbourne.

hackfest pulsar voices team
Following a welcome reception on Friday evening, eight teams got stuck into the data to think up new ideas and create their own project from scratch, supported along the way by event mentors and organisers.

After strong competition, the $2,000 first prize went to the team behind the Anomaly Finder tool, which searches datasets for outliers and maps them geographically.

Pulsar voices, which attributed sound to pulsars based on their speed and distance, took second place.

'Vision by Black' was awarded third place for developing a way of automatically attributing keywords to images.

There were also a number of other interesting projects that didn't win the prize money. Some of the projects created over the weekend may now be developed further outside of the event.

hackfest mentor

ANDS would like to thank all participants and organisers for making the event such a success. In particular, we are grateful to the two international guest speakers who attended the event: Dr Peter Löwe (Head of Development, German National Library of Science and Technology) and Dr Steve Richard (Research Geologist, Arizona Geological Survey), Dr Jens Klump from CSIRO who chaired the judging panel and the NCRIS data mentors. Congratulations to the winning teams.

You can check out some of the activity and photos from the weekend on Twitter via the hashtag #SciHackMelb.

Update 21 March 2016: CSIRO has added an article about the hackfest to its blog.