The world’s first cross-continent big data ‘hackathon’ competition took place over the weekend and was won by San Francisco entrant Ben Hamner.
The hackathon was organised by the community group Data Science London with support from US data competition setter Kaggle and sponsorship by EMC.
It saw teams in London, New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Melbourne, Canberra, Berlin and Turku compete against each other over a 24 hour period to try and come up with the best model for analysing data pollution. The teams were given a big data set to work with at the start of the competition.
Beginning at 1pm on Saturday and rolling through to the same time the next day, Some 50 data scientists across a dozen teams competed from the London base at Hub Westminster – a collaborative working environment near Trafalgar Square.
The winner, Ben Hamner, was working from the San Francisco base – however, as Hamner works for the organiser Kaggle he is not eligible to claim the £3,000 top prize. Instead, that will go to the second placed entrant - James Petterson, a PhD student at the Research School of Information Science and Engineering of the Australian National University, who entered remotely.
With 114 entrants in total, the top placed team from the London base were simply called ‘Londoners’, featuring Dan Harvey, Jose Miguel Hernandez Lobato, Ferenc Huszar and Jedidiah Francis. They won a local prize for being the UK’s top team.
Big Data Insight Group was present over the weekend to witness the event. Check back soon for pictures, quotes and video interviews with the organisers, contestants and sponsors.
Kaggle pitches data analytics competitions to its network of over 30,000 PhD level scientists on behalf of real organisations to find solutions to real problems. Companies that have used the service to find solutions include Deloitte, Dunnhumby and Ford.