Challenge Proposals: ADACS Hackastron, Sky Mining – Perth 3-5 November 2017

ADACS Hackastron is public hackathon taking place from 3rd – 5th November at Curtin University, WA.  At this event scientists, coders, technologists and enthusiasts from academia and industry are invited to come together to access Astronomy data and work with challenges Australian Astronomers face.

ADACS invites all Australian Astronomers to submit a challenge for Hackastron 2017 by completing the form by following the link below before the deadline of 18th October 2017. A panel will select the successful challenges which will be advertised on the ADACS website after the 23rd October.

Expected participants will include data scientists and computer programmers from many fields. The event runs over a weekend and participants will tackle real life astronomy challenges in collaboration with Australian Astronomers. Thus your challenge will need to have a demonstrable outcome within 48 hours.

Suggested challenges could include generating solutions to existing algorithms that are non-optimal, inefficient, or non-scalable, data visualisation challenges, or even a project you wanted to start but are not sure how. The following is an example suggested by Dr. Paul Hancock involving efficient catalogue cross-matching:
Variations in the brightness of objects in the sky over time can be the result of a range of exciting astronomical phenomena – from exploding stars to black holes. Identification of these events from their light curves means that we need to first form these light curves by joining many catalogues. This joining, or cross-matching, process presents a number of challenges – uncertainties in position, source confusion, missing data, and weird shaped sources. We currently have a few methods that work OK when the catalogues are very well behaved, but which are either very slow, or make many errors. Creating an effective, efficient, and scalable solution would greatly assist in the ongoing research into these objects. An ideal solution would be something that could run within a database and updated as new catalogues are added, but even a standalone script would be of great benefit.

Key Dates:


Description Date
Astronomy Challenge Submissions Open 8th September 2017
Astronomy Challenge Submissions Close 18th October 2017
Challenges Announced and Available Online 23rd October 2017
Registration Closes 28th October 2017
Hackastron, Sky Mining 2017 3rd-5th November 2017


Dates:  Opening 3rd November at 6:30pm – Closing 5th November at 6:00pm AWST

Location: B410:101, Curtin University, Hayman Road, Perth, Western Australia 6102




This workshop is sponsored by the Astronomy Data and Computing Services (ADACS) initiative. ADACS is funded under the Astronomy National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) Program via Astronomy Australia Ltd (AAL).

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