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Calling all data scientists! The first ever global data science hackathon

  • Apr 28, 2012 · 8:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

Are you a smart data scientist? Participate in this hackful event. 24 hours of non-stop, fun data science competition. The first ever global, simultaneous data science hackathon!


In connection with Big Data Week and Data Science London, we’re helping organize a global data science hackathon that will simultaneously take place in various locations around the world (including London, Sydney, and San Francisco). We will host the NYC event at the Bloomberg Ventures office in the West Village.

The aim of the hackathon is to promote data science and show the world what is possible today combining data science with open source, Hadoop, machine learning, and data mining tools.

Data scientists, data geeks, and hackers will self organize around teams of 3-5 members. Contestants will be presented with a ‘big data’ set (hosted on the Kaggle platform). In order to win prizes, the teams will have to use data science tools and develop an analytical model that will solve a specific data science problem specified by the judging tech panel. The contestants will have to report their achievements at specific milestones, and a leader board will be published online at each milestone.

The contestants will spend 24 hours in Bloomberg Ventures’ office space where food, drinks, workspaces, and resting areas will be provided. Teams will compete for both local and global titles and prizes.

The Hackathon runs for 24 hours starting on April 28th at 8am (early start to allow for the event to happen simultaneously in multiple time zones around the world).

If you have questions, please email [masked]


1. This is a technical competition, not a networking event or an opportunity to learn more about big data techniques and technologies. We have limited space, so we unfortunately need to be strict about who gets to compete. If you're an entrepreneur looking to recruit, we're excited to have you as a member of this community, but this specific event is not the right venue, please come our regular Data Business meetups instead! :)

2. You should have Mad Skillz at at least one of the following:

a) Data grappling and/or cleaning,

b) Data modeling and forecasting,

c) Data visualization,

d) Spontaneous micro- and macro-economic theory creation

3. You should know one or more of the following languages:

a) R

b) python

c) Matlab

d) Some statistical package like SPSS or SAS

4. You should bring your hardcore laptop to the event, since we will have on the order of 10 gigs of data to play with.

Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    This is a fantastic idea! got to bring more events like this one.

    April 29, 2012

  • Scarlet Yezhuo L.

    Interesting data

    April 28, 2012

  • Jim

    I'll give up my space for someone whose py skills are more "mad" than mine but could I come see the presentations when the hacking is done?

    April 27, 2012

  • Shivon Z.

    The competition is now posted on If there are any questions about AWS, tools, or the like you can email [masked]

    We sent an email with additional info earlier today - if you haven't read that please do! You can get me at [masked] w/ questions.

    We'll be tweeting updates to #nycdatahack as they come in.

    David - You don't want a 50 pound binder? Shoot...
    We will have the Kaggle data on both USBs and DVDs. It's now 18MB so very managable.

    April 27, 2012

  • David M.

    Shivon, Matt wrote elsewhere that hard copies of the data was going to available... do you guys mean USB Flash Drives that we can use to copy the 500MB (compressed) data file? I hope we're not going thru binders of print outs ;) I imagine the wireless over at Bloomberg will be very slow if we're all downloading at once, but just wanted to be sure. Thanks.

    April 27, 2012

  • Ajish

    Any chance we have also a Cray or a BlueGene available?
    500 MB of data seems awfully large...

    April 27, 2012

  • Shivon Z.

    John, the competition will be open on Kaggle from Sat 8am - Sun 8am. Contestants are welcome to use the Bloomberg office space we're providing any time during that period.
    If you're curious to learn a little more about the challenge the following may be helpful:
    Kaggle will provide more competition info tomorrow, we will send judging and logistical information for those participating on-site event this AM.

    April 27, 2012

  • Shivon Z.

    Iqbal - there will be a limited number of instances donated by Amazon with Hadoop stacks installed, however Kaggle has not told us how much will be available yet. They recommend planning to work mostly off of your machine as the data set is a very manageable size but they will try to provide whatever additional tools they are able to.

    April 27, 2012

  • John

    Please clearly specified the terms and time table of this competition by NYC perspective... tnx what are the prizes anywayz lol

    April 26, 2012

  • Iqbal M.

    Will there be a "community" hadoop cluster available for use during the hackathon?

    April 26, 2012

  • Marshall S.

    I signed up but I would come as an author (Social Media Analytics) who is looking into my next book on Big Data, and as an Analyst and Blogger (,, - if that's ok, then I'd like to be there, though I probably could not contribute much beyond ideas of data visualization to any of the teams. LMK

    April 23, 2012

  • Matt T.

    I've just added a few more spots, and also turned on the waiting list. Cool to see so much interest! If we need to, we'll figure out a larger venue. Otherwise, yes, the plan is to post the competition on Kaggle.

    April 9, 2012

  • David M.

    Seems like event has "sold out already"... no spots available... Will this competition also be posted publicly on, so we can partake from home/office?

    April 9, 2012

  • Shivon Z.

    You can either form a team in advance or find a team when you get here. There is no team requirement, but finding folks with complimentary skills will help you do better in the competition. We'll have a session early on where those who are looking to form teams can mingle and share their thoughts. In short, we're quite flexible!

    April 9, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I was also thinking of joining a team on the day of the event.

    April 9, 2012

  • Wei C.

    This is interesting. Do I have to join as a team? (I need to find my team member first.) Or I can team up with anyone join the event on that day?

    April 9, 2012

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