UCI Mobile Data Science Hackathon

The UCI Mobile Data Science Hackathon brought together over 85 student and industry participants who hacked big data over the weekend of May 14-15th. The inaugural Hackathon was founded by the UCI ICSSC (Information and Computer Science Student Council), the UCI Data Science Initiative, and M2Catalyst, LLC. The event was created to foster collaboration and support the newlyminted data science major. “UCI is the one of the first universities in the country or in the world to establish a data science major,” said Statistics Department Chair, Jessica Utts.

The opening ceremony introduced Utts as well as M2Catalyst CEO Michael Brough, UCI Data Science Initiative Director Padhraic Smyth, Statistics Department Chair Jessica Utts, Network Systems PhD candidate Blerim Cici, and ICSSC President Brandon Hastings who discussed the purpose of the event and trends in big data.

M2Catalyst, a mobile software development and distribution company, provided billions of crowdsourced mobile device data points for the Hackathon participants. In teams of 4-5, Hackathon participants explored and experimented with the data in a variety of ways including visualization, machine learning, and app development. Hacking kicked-off on Saturday afternoon and continued until 5pm on Sunday. Throughout the weekend, mentors from the UCI Data Science Initiative and the UCI Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Science PhD program helped guide participants.

During the Sunday showcase, each team had two minutes to present its project to a panel of judges. After much deliberation, the judges awarded five teams instead of four the $500 prizes. The winning teams were presented their awards at the OCTANe Technology Investor Forum on May 18th.