What is the QBI Hackathon?
The QBI hackathon is a 48-hour event connecting the vibrant Bay Area developer community with the scientists from UCSF, during which we work together on the cutting edge biomedical problems. Recent advances in computer vision, AI, and machine learning have enabled computers to pick out cat videos, recognize people’s faces from photos, play video games and drive cars. We look forward to seeing how far we can push science ahead when we apply these latest algorithms to biomedically relevant light microscopy, electron microscopy, and proteomics data. If you love FFTs, convolutional neural nets, topological data processing, or simply writing code, this is your chance to apply your skills to make an impact on global healthcare. Beyond the actual event, we hope to establish a better connection between talented developers and scientists in the Bay Area, so that we can work together and learn from each other.
What are hackathons?
Hackathons are events where individuals come together for a short period of time to collaborate on specific challenges and create some sort of product/result at the end of the allotted time, usually, 24 or 48 caffeine filled hours. In the end, there is a demo where teams present their work in front of the panel of judges and the best teams get some sort of prizes. At this point, hackathons are fairly well established in either pure tech sector or pure academia sector. However, hackathons bringing the two communities together are much rarer. Beyond being just exciting, hackathons are known to be really good networking events providing a great recruiting opportunity for employers to find talent and conversely, for talent to find future jobs.
Who is invited to participate?
As we strive to connect together two Bay Area communities: developers and scientists. The only prerequisites are that you either are a scientist working in the fields of light microscopy, electron microscopy or proteomics with some interesting data to process, or if you are a developer who has experience/interest in machine learning or computer vision algorithms, AI, classifying data, big data processing, etc. Alternatively, if you have some general coding or software design experience and are curious to play around with scientific data you are encouraged to register as you can absolutely make an impact by making the existing/new algorithms run faster and be more user-friendly. Also, students are encouraged to register.
An example team for the hackathon would consist of about three people: one scientist with exciting data to process, one developer with experience in any of the above mentioned areas/algorithms interested in applying their knowledge to real scientific data and a third person who doesn’t have to be either a hardcore scientist or a hardcore algorithms developer but is just an enthusiastic and curious individual who helps with either light coding, interface design, etc. So, if the above sounds interesting and you think you can contribute, please go ahead and register for the event!
Who is organizing the hackathon?
The event is organized by a group of UCSF/QBI scientists with support from QBI. UCSF is a world leading medical and biology research institution with laboratories working to understand fundamental biological processes all the way from molecular building blocks to disease utilizing latest technologies.
Do I have to register? Can I just come and hang out without participating?
You absolutely have to register to enter the event. Also, please commit to attending for the whole two days, do not register if you can only attend for part of the time. You can not just come and hang out without either registering or participating. This event is going to be driven by the active participation of the attendees, we are there just to provide guidance and infrastructure. Register now.
Do I need to know what I will work on or have a team before the event?
Definitely not. Part of the excitement of the hackathon is that ideas, projects and collaborations will be born during the event. To facilitate this we will have a meet and greet mixer on October 4th at Oda Restaurant and Brewery at Mission Bay. This will give an opportunity for attendees to start forming groups and to start thinking about projects couple of weeks in advance of the actual hackathon.
Are there going to be prizes?
Yes! This was a hard decision as we don’t want this to become a prize driven competitive event. The event is about people coming together and working together on exciting challenges. Having said that, we recognize that some may have to take time off work to come and participate. The prizes will be announced soon. Stay tuned!
Who's going to be judging?
The judge panel will be an accomplished mix of individuals consisting of technologically minded scientists, science minded developers and talent minded VCs.
What infrastructure is going to be provided?
In terms of hardware we will have outlets with chargers for computers, fast internet and a couple of workstations running Linux CentOS 7 with GPUs in them (Titan XP or GTX 1080TI). We also can get access to UCSF’s computer cluster and/or get some cloud computing time for heavier computations.In terms of human infrastructure, we will have breakfast, lunch, and dinner with snacks, drinks, and coffee in between. You are welcome to sleep over if you bring your own sleeping bag/Ostrich pillow, but we will not have any separate rooms or showers.
Where can I go if I need a 15-minute rest from the beehive?
There are three parks at/around Mission Bay campus: Mission Creek Park, Bay Front Park and Mariposa Park. Bay Front Park offers an awesome view of the water and East Bay, definitely a good spot for contemplating.
What is the code of conduct at the QBI hackathon?
QBI hackathon is an inclusive event and expects all participants to be respectful to each other, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, ethnicity, national origin, race, religion (or lack thereof), body size or software preferences. Don't be a jerk. Be nice.
For a full version of UCSF code of conduct see here: http://chancellor.ucsf.edu/sites/chancellor.ucsf.edu/files/Code of Conduct.pdf
Harassment of individuals in any way will not be tolerated. If you are being harassed or you see someone else being harassed please grab one of the organizers wearing a T-shirt with the hackathon logo.
What about intellectual property?
Any of the software, algorithms or discoveries, which happen during the QBI hackathon will be open source. QBI Hackathon entrants may create original solutions, prototypes, datasets, scripts, or other content, materials, discoveries or inventions (a “submission”) during the event. Entrants retain ownership of all intellectual and industrial property rights (including moral rights) in and to submissions. As a condition, entrants agree that the submission will be perpetually and irrevocably open source as defined by MIT license.