CodeLounge, the center for software research & development of the Software Institute, is pleased to announce the USI Hackathon 2019, which will take place in the USI Aula Magna from Friday (Nov 15) to Sunday (Nov 17).
The USI Hackathon represents a first experiment in Lugano of an open data approach to share city-related data, in particular regarding city mobility flows. To this aim, a number of datasets concerning the city of Lugano and, in particular, its mobility, will be given to the participants. The City of Lugano will provide real data through the Lugano Living Lab initiative.
The goal of the USI Hackathon 2019 is to find interesting facts and trends in the data (data analysis track) and to leverage the data to build prototypes useful for citizens and tourists (coding track). In the coding track the teams with the best tool or prototype will be awarded, whereas in the data analysis track is all about producing the best data analysis. More details as well as examples of prototypes and analysis can be found in the .
Moreover, there will be a “Mini-Hackathon”, a special competition for kids and their families, will take place on Saturday (November 16) with an award ceremony at the end of the day.
Elasticsearch presentation and enablement session
Come and learn how to use Elasticsearch the best and increase your chance to win the hackathon
IBM presentation of their cloud products, offered for free to the participants
Participants start hacking
10 - 16
Award ceremony and closing apéro
USI Hackathon 2019 takes place in the Aula Magna on the USI campus
Via Buffi 13, 6900 Lugano, Svizzera
The teams which build the best prototypes or provide the best analysis will win a 🏆!
Data Analysis Track
Responsabile regionale FOCO, IUFFP
Owner - CTO and IT Superhero, Kiratech
Start-up Promotion Center (CP StartUp), USI
CEO & Co-Founder, WellD
Founder & CEO, Logol
Carlo Alberto Furia
Associate Professor at Software Institute, USI
AI Engineer & Lead Data Scientist, IBM Zurich Research Laboratory
Lecturer and researcher at Faculty of Economics, USI
Associate Professor at Software Institute, USI
Director at ISIN, SUPSI
Lugano Living Lab, Città di Lugano, and Lecturer, USI
Responsabile Servizio Statistica Urbana, Città di Lugano
Associate Professor at Faculty of Informatics, USI
Software Engineer, banana.ch
Lawyer, owner of Plastical and former organizer of Hack the City
Full Professor at Institute of Computational Science, USI
What is the primary goal of the hackathon?
The USI Hackathon represents a first experiment in Lugano of an open data approach to share city-related data, in particular regarding city mobility flows. To this aim, a number of datasets concerning the city of Lugano and, in particular, its mobility, will be given to the participants. The goal of the hackathon is twofold: on the one hand to find interesting facts and trends in the data; on the other hand, to leverage the data to build prototypes useful for citizens and tourists. Both outcomes (data analysis and prototypes) can then be object to additional discussion with the City of Lugano and/or the data providers for potential implementation of the ideas emerged and/or further exploration of the results.
Are there additional goals for the hackathon?
Yes! With the hackathon we offer an excellent context for networking between professionals and university students. With this event we aim at increasing the amount of innovation, partnerships and entrepreneurship.
Participants will also have the opportunity to learn technologies from our technical sponsors and to make an actual impact in future decisions of the city.
What would be an example of a potential prototype? And of a data analysis?
By integrating historical information about hourly parking occupancy with bike sharing usage data one could build a web or mobile app that, given a target location, suggests the best parking + bike sharing station, based on average occupancy on that day of the week/hour. One could even integrate weather forecast and public transport data to suggest a bus in case likelihood of rain is high.
In terms of data analysis, there are plenty of opportunities. Although datasets can be analyzed in isolation to find novel insights, we recommend to integrate multiple datasets in the analysis to discover interesting facts and correlation. For example, one could look at items sold by the city of Lugano related to parking viz-a-viz parking data. Another example would be to look at the distribution and correlation of payment types with demographics information.
Which data sources will be given to the hackathon participants?
The following data sources will be given to the participants:
From the City of Lugano and partners:
We collected some open source datasets from opendata.swiss which we believe would integrate nicely with the data provided by the City of Lugano and partners:
You are also more than welcome to integrate and use any other open source datasets (make sure to check their terms of usage). Here are a few links to get you started:
I read the hackathon is structured in 2 tracks: what does it mean?
Yes, the hackathon has two main tracks and one track for children (called mini-hackathon). The first track is the “code track” which is the traditional hackathon where participants write code to build tools and prototypes. The second track is the “data analysis track”, where coding skills are not necessary (although can be helpful) and the goal is to analyse the datasets provided in the hackathon (on traffic, parking, demographic data, etc.) and find interesting facts in it.
Is there a winner for the hackathon? Does the winner win a prize?
Yes and yes. The hackathon is a competition and the teams which - according to the jury — build the best prototype or provide the best analysis will win a prize. In particular the awards will be given as stated in the.
How are the projects and analyses evaluated?
At the end of the hackathon every team will have 3-5 minutes to present their project and give a demo of what they built (code track) or present the findings of their analysis (data analysis track). A jury of experts will evaluate the projects along different dimensions (e.g., novelty, business potential, social impact).
The jury might also look at the source code and commit history, as well as which frameworks / tools have been used.
I am neither a data scientist nor a developer, should I participate?
You totally should. A hackathon is all about getting creative and build something together, where a mixture of skills and experience is necessary, not limited to coding and analysis expertise. There are a number of ways to contribute, as for example a PM to make sure the team is progressing in the right direction, creation of sketches, UIs, graphics, and of course ideas.
I don’t know any participant, should I participate anyway?
Absolutely! This is your opportunity to meet awesome people and who knows, this might end up in a startup in the future. To help you find your teammates, we created a dedicated slack channel, where you can already look for potential teammates: usihackathon2019.slack.com (send us an email to get an invite)
Do I have to commit my code on GitHub?
It is requested that you version your code on a version control system, but it doesn’t need to be GitHub; other alternatives like GitLab or Bitbucket are totally fine. You should also grant access to the hackathon organizers so that they can look at the code and the commit history.
Can I participate to the hackathon with a tool I’ve been building in the last couple of years?
No. To have a common baseline, development should start at the beginning of the hackathon. To this aim, the jury will look at the codebase and commit history and the data will be provided to the participants only at the beginning of the hackathon and not before.
The teams can brainstorm before the start of the hackathon, but the production of any asset (code, design, media, etc.) should not start before the hackathon begins.
Can I use existing libraries / framework / tools?
Yes, please do not reinvent the wheel. That said, for fairness, the usage is limited to libraries/framework/tools that are available to all participants, i.e., you cannot use a library you created before that is not available to other hackathon participants.
Who retain the ownership of the code produced during the hackathon?
You!! The ownership of the code is of the team which produces the code itself. Be careful not to include some pieces of the data provided by the City of Lugano and partners in your code, because that data can only be used during the hackathon and is regulated by the terms of service.
Is it possible to win the competition with a brilliant idea and a superb slide deck?
No. The organizers and jury acknowledge the importance of the presentation and do value brilliant ideas; in fact, the better the idea/presentation the higher the chance of winning. That said, this is a hackathon, so there must be an implementation and such implementation must be done during the hackathon itself (not before).
Are there restrictions on the team size?
Team size should be between 2 and 6 people. Singleton team (of 1) are also allowed but not encouraged.
Do I need to be part of a team to participate?
No! If you don’t have a team already don’t worry. We will use the slack workspace (send us an email to get an invite) before the event to compose teams and let other participants know about your interests and skills. Teams composition will be finalized on Friday evening.
Can I participate with my friends/colleagues?
Absolutely: you and your friends/colleagues can participate as a team, but please note that the hackathon can be an excellent opportunity to meet, work, and learn from new peers.
How do I get logistic information during the event from the organizers?
You can use your favorite communication means. A dedicated slack workspace (send us an email to get an invite) is also provided: this workspace will also be used by the organizers to communicate with all participants.
How do I register?
Please register online using our partner swicket (opens Monday October 21). You will then complete your registration on-site at the check-in desk, where you’ll also receive your badge and the awesome hackathon swag. The registration fee is 20 CHF until November the 11th and 40 CHF after (50 CHF onsite).
I did not register online, can I still participate?
Yes, if you come on Friday the 15th evening you can register directly onsite at the check-in desk. In this case the registration fee is 50 CHF.
I have an important event on Saturday afternoon, can I still participate?
Of course. It is not mandatory that you participate to the hackathon for the entire 48 hours duration. Just make sure that (1) you coordinate with your team, and (2) someone from the team will give the presentation of your prototype/analysis on Sunday, otherwise you won't be able to win.
Can I sleep at the hackathon location?
What do you mean sleep? You’re supposed to be coding! Seriously, you can sleep onsite: bring your own sleeping bag/mat and all necessary equipment. Please make sure to have your hackathon badge with you all the time, as the security personnel might be there every now and then.
How is the location organized?
The hackathon location (USI Aula Magna) is organized in two main areas: the aula magna itself where the hacking and presentation will take place, and the entrance area where the aperos will take place and where you’ll find the stands of our awesome sponsors, food, and drinks. Make sure to check out the sponsors’ stand to find out information about them and to collect swags!
Is food provided or should I bring my own food?
In terms of food, the hackathon is organized as follows:
Water, soft drinks, redbull, and protein/power/energy bars will be available throughout the hackathon.
Can I bring my own food?
You are more than welcome to bring your own food. There will be a microwave oven in the room in case you need it.
To join as a sponsor learn more
To join as a sponsor, you can choose one of the following options:
Please get in touch! email@example.com