What is an Unhackathon anyway?
Data Science Hong Kong was set up to as a way for people interested in data science to network and share ideas. We have an active public Slack group where people regularly share articles and discuss all things tech and data science. The group has organised a number of informal meetups before but we wanted to a start a regular event based around coding and presenting, and not just on talking and networking.
There are many IT, tech and data science events in Hong Kong but they are infrequent and often serve primarily as a marketing or recruitment tool. Not satisfied with the state of tech events in Hong Kong, we set out to create an event that was started from the bottom up and would focus on who knew the most and not who spoke the loudest, which is inviting to beginners but not to those uninterested in technical details.
We have therefore started a regular unhackathon. This is our term for a hackathon where the agenda would be set by participants and people would have fun coding together, instead of being a competition. It’s a way to improve your skills and share projects you are passionate about with the community.
Our first event gets under way
Our first gathering was made possible by The Hive. They were very keen on supporting the data science community in Hong Kong and let us use the MakerHive in Kennedy Town which was a fantastic venue for our first event.
The event started with the floor being opened to pitches. After signing up for a slot by putting up a post-it, pitchers were given 5 minutes to convince others to work on their project.
There were many great ideas and teams were formed around those that attracted enough interest. Discussions were soon under way on what each team wanted to achieve by the end of the day.
Of course, being a hackathon, there was coding, coding and more coding!
As it became time for lunch, teams headed out to Kennedy Town center to find a restaurant. Any loss of coding output was more than made up for by the opportunity that people got to better know their teammates. Real data scientists don’t skip lunch!
4 hours and much coding later the deadline for presentations loomed. All the teams gladly accepted a 20 minute grace period to put the final touches on their work.
Some of the projects presented were :
- Address mapping in Hong Kong
- Twitter topic analysis
- Crypto-currency analysis
This team aimed at building an index of cryptocurrencies similar to usual financial market indices, to be used as a benchmark of refined to explore portfolio strategies.
- Facial Expression Recognition using Keras
The team of 3 used a MNIST convolutional neural network model and retrained it on facial expression data from Kaggle, with 55% accuracy over 7 categories
Everyone had made great progress on their projects and a common theme across presentations was that so much more could have been accomplished with just a bit more time. It’s good then that we already have started planning for our next event in September!
Just because the event is over does not mean the coding stops! If you enjoyed the project you worked on or more importantly enjoyed the people you worked with then do continue collaborating and share with us what you did at our next event!
If this event seems interesting then please contact us by email, social media or join our slack group. We’ll keep you updated there about any future events.
Data Science Hong Kong