Who are Astronomy Data And Computing Services (ADACS)?

ADACS is providing astronomy-focused training, support and expertise to help astronomers to maximise the scientific return from data and computing infrastructure. ADACS is an initiative of the Australian Government being conducted as part of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, administered by Astronomy Australia Ltd (AAL). The ADACS initiative is based on a recommendation from the Computing Infrastructure Planning Working Group (2016) and has two nodes: Swinburne University of Technology on the east coast and Curtin University and the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre on the west coast.


How is this hackathon different?

The challenges proposed in this hackathon are problems astronomers currently face. Therefore it is likely the winning solutions will be used by the astronomers to help with their everyday work.

As such the pitching session at the end will focus on the code developed and how well the challenge outcomes have been met.

Detailed outcome requirements will be given out with the data during the opening of the hackathon.


Who are we looking for?

We are looking for coders, technologists, scientists and enthusiasts from academia and industry, basically anyone who just loves to solve great data problems.


What if I’m not in a team?

Many people attend hackathons that aren’t already part of teams. At the start of the event we will hold a team building event to ensure everyone is part of a team.


Can the teams be remote?

Yes, however all participants (or a representative) will need to be present during the “pitching” so you will need to arrange a telecon connection with us. Please contact us before the event starts so we can discuss the logistics.


Can I be an observer?

Yes, everyone is welcome to attend this event, just remember to be polite when talking to teams and try not to be too disruptive.


If I am an observer and decide to participate can I?

Absolutely and it is encouraged. If you chose to do so you will need to make your intentions known by speaking with one of the organisers who will be present on the Friday night.


What do I need to bring to the event?

Please bring:

  • laptop
  • necessary adapters
  • Charger
  • Your imagination

The following items may also be useful (but are not essential)

  • mouse and mouse pad, USB thumb drives or external hard drives, headphones, phone and charger, bluetooth adapter, USB hub, ID, and a reusable water bottle.

Pawsey will be providing cloud computing and data infrastructure to assist you in developing your team’s solution.

Food and refreshments will be provided over the course of the event.


Will experts that know the challenges be available?

Yes, the astronomers who proposed the challenges will be available for questions. We are also hoping to have at least one astronomer per challenge taking part in the hackathon to support the teams tackling these problems.


Will the astronomers involved use the product I build?

Potentially… All the problems are current problems and need solutions. If your solution works and it meets the outcome requirements then there is nothing stopping them from adopting it.


How many problems can a person or team tackle?

You can tackle as many problems as you want. In some cases more than one challenge could be fixed with one solution. Remember the more you try to do that, the more you’ll have to deliver.


When will the datasets become available?

At the start of the event. The datasets will be available both online and on location. We will also have the lead astronomer on site so you can ask them questions about the challenges and the required outcomes.


Can I use datasets/code outside of what is made available?

Yes. Some challenges actually require you to collect the relevant data.

As long its legal or you have obtained the dataset or software legally you are free to use whatever solves the problem.


Who will be judging the challenges?

The challenge outcomes will be judged by the astronomers who proposed the challenges as well as a representative from Pawsey.

A grand prize of $2000 will be awarded to the best team and several smaller, runner up prizes will also be awarded.





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