This is the #BIW16 data science hackathon you should attend - Baltimore


Sep. 20, 2016 11:19 am

This is the #BIW16 data science hackathon you should attend

Get your hands dirty with Apache Spark at Meta Studios' Spark at Spark hackathon. We're giving away tickets.

Inside Spark Baltimore.

(Courtesy photo)

This is a guest post by Wes Etheredge, founder and director of data science at Meta Studios Inc.

We’re hosting a data science hackathon and while we can’t promise fame, glory and fortune, we can guarantee tacos, fun and learning.

What else can participants expect at Meta Studios’ Spark at Spark Hackathon during Baltimore Innovation Week 2016? Well, besides the amazing coworking space of Spark Baltimore and the delightful local eats, participants will be immersed in team-based data exploration, learning and leveraging powerful technology. We request all super powers gained be used only for good.

The hackathon will be from Saturday, Sept. 24 to Sunday, Sept. 25 and costs $50. We’re giving away a pair of tickets.

For a chance to win them, sign up for our newsletter, which sends you a roundup of Baltimore’s headlines every day. When you sign up, use the code “SPARK.” If you’re already getting our newsletter, sign up for our national newsletter for headlines from all across our Northeast markets, using the same code. Sign up by Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 1 p.m. We’ll alert winners that evening.

Get tickets

The journey of the hackathon looks like this.

  1. Meet the Mentors: We asked local data scientists and data professionals to join us in acting as initial guides to participants, helping start them off on a good foot and find a fun direction to investigate.
  2. Deconstruct: As our hacker participants start attacking the data problem, they will have to look at what is in the data and decide what questions to seek out. The cluster provided is currently gathering election-focused Twitter data. Participants will also have the option to choose their own data adventure and bring any wild idea they may have. (Note: Deconstruction is not to be confused with destruction, very large difference in studying the plans for the death star and blowing up the death star.)
  3. Explore and Transform: Here participants will cross the threshold into insight. They will flex the muscles of Apache Spark. Spark is a speed beast compared to its predecessors and supports development in several languages with APIs in Java, Scala, Python and R. It also has components to make machine learning more accessible and powerhouse tools for SQL interfaces or graph data bases. Spark will be the primary method of data transformation but can be combined with other tools of choice to create visualizations or anything the hackers dream up to tell the story of the data.
  4. More Mentors: Mastermind communicators and designers will guide participants through telling the story of the data. We have asked visual storytelling experts to join and assist in putting together the final presentations.
  5. Finally, Tell the Story: Everyone loves a good story. Participants will reveal their stories and that of the data to the judges during our mini pitch competition. Great code is a thing of beauty but data science is about answering questions and then communicating those answers. With the pitch competition, the hackathon seeks to test the full range of skills and find epic winners.

So are you ready to start your journey? Join us!


Projects: Spark Baltimore
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