Me giving a lightning talk at #ScienceHackDay, Nov 12, 2016 This weekend I attended my first #ScienceHackDay ever! I really loved it. I actually didn’t know what to expect going into it. I assumed it was a thing oriented to kids, like a science outreach thing and teaching them about science experiments. Last week, I went to the first-ever EmojiCon and I snagged all the leftover #ACSChemoji decals to give out to the participants.
I brought them along with me and to my surprise, it was a room full of fellow adults (sidenote: it’s super welcoming to scientists of all ages, we did have some youngsters around too). I should admit, I was/still am completely ignorant to the history of Science Hack Day. Here in SF, it’s a gathering of scientists, engineers, software developers, designers, and interested folks.
We kicked it off with an intro from the organizers, then there was a fury of lightning talks, and then 42-second (with strict invigilation) lightning pitches. I gave the very first one of the morning and I pitched about OpenBCI (I’m like an unofficial evangelist) and MNE-Python. I’ve wanted to finish an outstanding pull request I made to add a real-time server for the hardware.
I found my teammate, Justin, and we set out on hacking together some code. It was a great vibe and a lot came up to me to ask questions about EEG, about the brain. I walked a lot of people through the history, its discovery, and the uses of EEG using my zine to help explain 🤓.
We broke for the evening and the next morning, we were greeted to a waffle bar! It was legit. Major kudos to the #sciencehackday team on the food selection for the entire weekend.
Justin managed to get OpenBCI and MNE to play nice and we began streaming data into our custom real-time client.
At the end of the hacking session, we had a show-and-tell presentation and we had a chance to see what everyone had been working on this week. There were tons of great things that were made in just 24 hours: from Augmented Reality Sandbox to Hula-hooping Robots.
I’m extremely pleased with #ScienceHackDay and I’m now a believer. Being new to the Bay Area, this hackathon connected me with lots of new people and I’ve made some new friends. Can’t wait til the next one :)