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Computer Science for Life

Let's hack genomics and win up to $5,000 in prizes!

The HudsonAlpha Tech Challenge is a unique event to engage the development community and take on challenges in life sciences using business strategy, software development and technology. 
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Save the date! #HATCH2021 will take place April 16-25
2020 Tech Challenge Recap  

What is the HudsonAlpha Tech Challenge?

Presented by HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Urban Engine and Acclinate Genetics

Virtually (Online)

The event will be held virtually this year and more information will be coming soon.

April 16-25, 2021

More information will be available as soon as our team has confirmed the event timeline.

HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology

HudsonAlpha is passionately exploring and growing the knowledge and possibilities of genomics to generate new discoveries.

Tech Challenge

An event in which a large number of people meet to engage in collaborative computer programming, visualizations and more.

Challenges

Are you up to the challenge?

Have a question about one of the challenges or the hackathon in general? Join our Discord channel!

JUDGING CRITERIA

Impact - How much impact (quality and quantity) can this solution have? Does this solution address the problem in a highly significant way?
Creativity - How creative is the team’s approach? Is the solution new? Does the solution represent something that isn’t being addressed by the market?
Complexity - How much progress did the team make during the event? Did they start from scratch or build on an existing solution?
Product - How user friendly is the technology? How fully formed/mature is the idea?
Presentation - Did the team effectively communicate their solution? Did they tell the story of the project and why it is important in a compelling way? How well did they respond to questions from judges?

SCHEDULE

Friday, April 16
4pm - 5:30pm - Opening Ceremony/Intro to Challenges
5:30pm - 6pm - Team Matchmaking
Wednesday, April 21
5pm - 5:30pm - Challenge Check-in/Mid-week update
Sunday, April 25
5pm - CODE FREEZE/Submissions Due
5pm - 5:30pm - Closing Ceremony
Sunday, April 25 - Sunday, May 2
Judging
Sunday, May 2
5pm - 5:30pm - Winners Announced!

Tech Challenge Workshops

March 31st, 2021

Workshop Time Instructor
Introduction to Firebase 6:00PM Josh Reinoehl
Introduction to C# 7:00PM Patrick Phillips
Introduction to GitHub 8:00PM Daniel Heater

April 7th, 2021

Workshop Time Instructor
AI / Machine Learning Workshop 6:00PM J. Langley
Python 101 7:00PM Marcia DeFiore
Introduction to Blender 8:00PM Leon Kennedy

April 14th, 2021

Workshop Time Instructor
Scientific Python 6:00PM Scotty Pate
How to create a winning presentation 7:00PM TBD
Blockchain Development Workshop 8:00PM Matt Brooks

How to prepare for the Tech Challenge

Follow the steps outlined below to get ready for the event ahead of time.

1

Fill out forms

Click here to review agreements and download the legal forms you must fill out to participate.

2

Register for event

The early bird gets the worm, click here to signup for the event now.

3

Show Up

We can't wait to see you at the event, don't forget your laptop!

Need help? Check out our HATCH 2021 Workshops and Training Resources

GENERAL TECH CHALLENGE RULES

* Teams are limited to 5 participants.
* Participants must sign up for the event in Eventbrite and sign all of the waivers in order to to participate.
* All code must be created during the event. Use of open source libraries are allowed as long as the project is publicly available. Use of commercial software is also allowed.
* Use of design mocks or wireframes will not be allowed during the presentation. We want real working software and apps.
* Judging will be based off of a 5 minute video submission with demo of the technology.
* Participants must provide their own laptops, and mobile/tablet devices for use during the event.
* Come on your own or create a team. We also want to encourage collaboration among attendees so if you find a team or person with a valuable asset to support your idea/concept, feel free to team up when you arrive.
* Cash prize eligibility open to US residents only*

Frequently Asked Questions

If these FAQs don't answer your question, please reach out.

1. What is the HudsonAlpha Tech Challenge??

The HudsonAlpha Tech Challenge is a hackathon hosted by the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. During this ten-day event, teams take on exciting challenges in biotech and attempt to solve those challenges through innovation and creativity. Participants will have the opportunity to learn more about some of the new frontiers in biotech, and work collaboratively to create solutions.

2. Who can participate?

High school students, college students, and adults interested in taking on challenges are welcome! There are two categories of teams: high school and college/adult. You don’t have to be a member of a team to sign up. We’ll make sure to get you on one!

3. I don’t have a team. Now what?

It is not necessary to be a part of a team entering the HudsonAlpha Tech Challenge. At the beginning of the event, we will host a team-building exercise in which you can identify the best “fit” for your interests and skills. You also can choose to work independently - but hackathon participants say half the fun is the collaboration and creativity that occurs within a team dynamic.

4. Where will it take place?

The HudsonAlpha Tech Challenge will take place virtually! Participants will have access to multiple digital resources to help them complete the challenges.

5. Why are you hosting this event?

Good science comes from a combination of a solid background of knowledge, a creative idea, and the ability to work with data. Increasingly, science problems are being solved through the application and manipulation of big data. The HudsonAlpha Tech Challenge is a great opportunity to introduce the coding community – and students – to genomics, genetics and the future of biotechnology.

6. Does it cost money?

We are charging $10/person to participate. This holds your spot and includes a t-shirt + swag box.

7. What is genomics and biotech?

At it’s core, biotechnology uses biological processes (organisms, proteins, enzymes, genes) to create or enhance products that impact life. Modern biotechnology is powered by our understanding of DNA: specifically how genetic instructions create the building blocks of life and that changes in those DNA instructions alter physical characteristics associated with human health, agriculturally important plants and livestock and bio-based sources of energy. Today’s technologies generate enormous amounts of genetic information, requiring new tools to organize, analyze, and visualize this data.

8. What if I don’t know anything about biotech and genetics, or writing code? Can I still come?

Absolutely! Learning is a big component of the HudsonAlpha Tech Challenge. We will offer workshops on the science to get you up to speed. Also, mentors will be available on and off throughout the two days to offer advice and answer your questions. The challenges will require a variety of skillsets, so if writing code isn’t one of them, don’t worry.

9. Who will be there?

Students, professionals, scientists, software developers, and more.

10. What is Urban Engine?

Urban Engine, formerly New Leaf Digital, propels the growth of North Alabama’s economy and accelerates STEAM innovation by connecting aspiring entrepreneurs and established business leadership to educational resources, talent, and community. Urban Engine is the Huntsville-based nonprofit organization that facilitates CoWorking Night, 32/10, community hackathons, and OpenHuntsville.com)

11. What can I win?

Win up to $5,000 in prizes! Cash prize eligibility open to US residents only*

12. What should my HATCH team look like?

Below is a recommended team makeup, but obviously this is more of a suggestion than a rule!

MOCK TEAM MAKEUP
2x Developers/Programers
1x Front End Designer/Graphics Person
1x In Charge of Marketing Pitch / Presentation

We recommend every team has a dedicated team lead/project manager identified from the members listed above. For additional team members beyond the initial four, we recommend including additional Developers/Programmers.

13. I still have a question. Who can I contact?

Please email: techchallenge@hudsonalpha.org

We hope to see you at our 2021 Tech Challenge.
2021 HudsonAlpha Tech Challenge

HudsonAlpha wants to inspire creativity through collaboration, and energize the current and next generation of problem-solvers to conceive and construct innovative solutions to biotech challenges.

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