Betty Fabre 2017-10-05
Python Is a Multicultural Language At a Hackathon

The fall semester is always the good time for students to start the Hackathon season. In the end of September students from HSE computer science faculty attended the 4D Hackathon, organised by Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) simultaneously in Moscow, St-Petersburg and Krasnodar.

The principle of a Hackathon is simple : two days, one product. Participants, divided into teams, have two days to create an application, a concept or an object on a specific topic and then present it to the orgnizers in a short but efficient presentation.

The 4D hackathon offered to the teams three categories to compete on. 'IoT' to create a prototype of connected object; 'Create & Mad' a free topic for original inventions and 'Data Science' which goal was to analyze datas in the field of neurotechnologies based on biological data.

Those categories allow the participants to quickly delve into the matter and create something concrete fast. That is why Hackathons are really good places to learn new concept or technologies, and to be aware of the last innovation and tools in a specific field.

Another very interesting aspect of hackathons is the people you can meet there. Indeed, a lot of different people are attending those types of event, there is a lot of programmers for sure, some specialized in mobile application or software development and others in robotics for instance, but there are also designers, or managers. Some people may be specialist in their field, others may be beginners. The goal is not to create the perfect application or prototype but to work together on an original innovative idea.

At the hackathon HSE team “HSE foxes” built a helmet in order to measure data of the brain and analyze it to enhance the mood of the user. The HSE team was composed of students not only from the faculty of Computer science but also from the faculty of Communication, Media and Design. First year master students Anton Ukhlin, Elena Pavlova, Artem Mikhailovich and Betty Fabre analyzed neurosignals from brains with Python and libraries. First year master student from the faculty of Communication, Media and Design Yulia Kazakova presented a concept to potential investors and mentors.  Two interns from Mobile TeleSystems assisted students and guided them with insights from the company. A neuroscientist Dmitry Suchoruchkin shared insights from neuroscience and helped to analyze data that was retrieved from a helmet. Data scientist Anton Ukhlin noticed that the list of areas of implementation is not limited and can be expanded in the future.

Those two days of brainstorming, coding and building allowed the HSE students to learn new technical skills from the specialists present at the event or from other students, but also communication and organizational skills.

Indeed, two days is short to build something from scratch, so work effectivly, communicating and focusing on what really matters are skills that you can developped in a Hackathon and that will always be useful in a professional environment. In attending a hackathon, you will learn a lot from other people.