New Data Science Track Added to HopHacks

March 1, 2018

Nearly 320 graduate and undergraduate students from around the country gathered at Johns Hopkins University in mid-February to compete in Hop Hacks, Johns Hopkins University’s bi-annual hackathon. The three-day marathon session, which took place February 16 to 18, challenged students to realize their best software and hardware ideas while competing for cash prizes.

The event allowed students to either work on creating and implementing software projects, such as mobile applications, or take part in something new: the MINDS challenge, a new data science track, created by HopHacks in partnership with the Johns Hopkins Mathematical Institute for Data Science (MINDS).

“In today’s society, techniques to perform data analysis with statistics or machine learning are becoming commonplace in almost all academic disciplines,” said Jason Yim, MINDS Challenge organizer and fourth-year Computer Science major. Students are drawn to the amazing advances in fields like Machine Learning and Computer Vision. At HopHacks, we saw this growing body of students with interests in Data Science and wanted to allow them to participate in a hackathon. We worked together with MINDS to build a submission system and organize the logistics of the challenge.”

The MINDS challenge provided participants with an unseen dataset of images and asked them to perform a type of data analysis called, “clustering” using the technique of their choices. Twenty-nine teams of up to 4 people competed in the MINDS challenge. They were given 36 hours to do their best and were evaluated on how well their clustering algorithms performed.

The top three performing individuals or teams were selected as winners of the MIND challenge. Each place won a cash prize of $1024, $512, $256 respectively for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Students learned cutting-edge data science and machine learning techniques. Winners of the inaugural challenge all were JHU students.

The complete list of winners includes:

  • 1st place: Felix Parker
  • 2nd place: Alok Tibrewala, Chaitali Ladikkar, Mason Cole, and Christian Cosgrove
  • 3rd place: Cameron Franz

To learn more about HopHacks and prize-winning submissions, click here.

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