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SydneyHack 2016: Pedestrian Safety Hackathon
Fri., 09/09/2016, 6:00 pm – Sun., 11/09/2016, 1:30 pm AEST
Are you a university student with a passion to solve some of the pressing problems facing the Government of NSW? You are invited to participate in SydneyHack and win a prize of $5000 AND an opportunity for a paid internship at the Data Analytics Centre (DAC), an initiative of the NSW Government.
SydneyHack is a 48-hour hackathon organised by the School of Information Technologies and the Sydney Accelerator Network at the University of Sydney to come up with data-driven solutions to the pedestrian safety problem in NSW. Pedestrian fatalities represent about one fifth of the road toll and as high as a third of all road deaths in metropolitan areas in the state.
1st place: $5000 provided by PwC PLUS an opportunity for up to 4 members of the winning team to undertake paid internships in NSW Data Analytics Centre (please note this is subject to eligibility for Australian employment)
2nd place: $2000 provided by the School of Information Technologies PLUS a Microsoft Xbox One (each member of the 2nd place winning team will receive one of these).
PLUS $500 - awarded by the Atlassian mentors to the most collaborative team.
What to expect
Real world problems. Participants will have a unique opportunity to work with fine-grained open datasets that relate to pedestrian safety to generate insights and solutions that can help reduce accidents on NSW roads involving pedestrians.
“Data is one of the greatest assets held by government, but when it’s buried away in bureaucracy it is of little value”, - said Victor Dominello, NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation. Not anymore! Centre for Road Safety (Transport for NSW), State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA), and NSW Data Analytics Centre (DAC) open rich, previously unseen datasets exclusively to our hackathon participants.
Your submission matters! Solving ‘wicked’ problems through big data analytics is a priority endeavour for DAC and the Government of NSW. After the hackathon is over, the life of your valuable output just begins. Useful data-driven insights and solutions will be used in government reporting and strategies and will help the NSW government to improve life in Sydney. Your names will be recognised and associated with change and innovation. The winning team members will also receive an opportunity to be considered for paid internships in DAC in addition to the First Prize of $5000 sponsored by PwC.
Learning and networking opportunities. Whether you are a first year student or pursuing your PhD, you can always learn a lot from your peers. It is our goal to create a friendly atmosphere of knowledge sharing where every participating student will be closely mentored by professional developers and data scientists from PwC, Microsoft and Atlasssian, and the best academics in the field. Come, learn, teach, network and see what happens next.
Why pedestrian safety? And what solutions can I offer?
Pedestrian safety is a complex interdisciplinary problem. It is both a cause and an effect of a wide range of factors.
We invite you to get creative with the data that the government provides - as well as any external data you are inspired to use. If you have a strong vision or an idea, blend, remix, model, analyse and visualize data to uncover its hidden patterns and predict trends. Some insights can be gained by blending and mixing datasets; others - by applying data mining techniques. If you love experiments, you can ask “what if?” scenarios and run simulations. You may identify the most crucial data that would be helpful, but is yet to be collected - and design a mobile app-based solution for it.
Each insight the participants discover is a piece of a puzzle. When we have enough pieces, we can see a bigger picture - what causes pedestrian accidents, and how pedestrian accidents affect society, the economy and our daily lives. This will contribute to lowering the number and severity of pedestrian accidents.
To be sure that you are on the right track, please attend our information evening on September 2nd, where DAC representatives will introduce the questions and data and outline the areas of strategic importance.
Who can participate and what skills do I need?
Registered students enrolled in any of Sydney-based universities are encouraged to participate. You will need to use your university email address to register.
You can be a data analyst, a programmer, a designer, a researcher, an urban planner, a sociologist or a person with great ideas. We encourage you to form teams of 3 or 4 members. The magic of discovery happens when multiple disciplines collaborate to solve significant real world problems using large and highly relevant datasets. If you think your knowledge, experience and enthusiasm can add value - you probably already have what it takes.
We encourage you to register your interest before 29 August 2016 and attend our briefing information evening and networking event on 2 September to be held on Level 1, School of IT Building at the University of Sydney. It will give you time and space to learn more about the hackathon, explore the problem space, meet potential collaborators, ask important questions and seek clarifications.
Please note: Depending on data sets used, participants may need to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
Briefing and networking event - 2 September at 6pm
06:00pm (catering will be provided)
Learn more about the hackathon, explore the problem space, meet potential collaborators and ask any questions you may have.
Hackathon Day 1 – Friday 9 September
06:00pm start (catering will be provided)
An introduction session will run from 6-7pm, and then teams are welcome to start work!
Hackathon Day 2 - Saturday 10 September
09:00am start (a light breakfast and lunch will be provided)
The Hackathon will run throughout the night with lab access available
Hackathon Day 3 - Sunday 11 September
The Hackathon will run through until 1.30pm, followed by presentations and the prize giving (a light breakfast and lunch will be provided).
I am not a member of a team, what should I do?
If you don't have a team, don't worry! Please register, and then we would encourage you to come along to the briefing information evening and networking event on 2 September, where you can meet potential collaborators and form a team. The briefing will be held in the School of IT building from 6-8pm. We will send you a reminder via EventBrite before the session, so it is important to register!
Do I need a coding background or is there a program I need to know to take part?
The choice of the solution strategy and the tools to use (including programming) is entirely up to you and your group members. There is no strict requirement that you have to actually do coding to come up with your solution. We would advise you to look for diverse skills among your team members.
How long does the hackathon go for? Do I have to stay on campus for the full 48 hours?
The problem, the expectations, and the data that will be made available will be presented at a briefing session on Friday, 2nd September at 6pm.
The actual hackathon will start on Friday, 9th September after 6pm, and go on till lunch time on Sunday, 11th September. The general idea is to work with your group during that time to produce your outputs to be judged by a panel of experts and distinguished judges.
There is no need to stay for the whole time, and the team members can stay as long as they like. All team members should be present during lunch on Sunday, before which each time will be required to submit its solution.
Photo credit: Miwok (Flickr)