This past weekend I was lucky enough to take part in the second annual Science Hack Day San Francisco. An all day, all night event in which you team up with others and try to develop a cool science related hack. I went in with pretty high expectations and was completely blown away by the event. To start the venue was at SF Brightworks an amazing school, breaking new ground in what K-12 education can be. If you have kids and live in SF send them there. The event kicked off with three sessions of llightning talks, I attended one by Sean Herron on the Open.NASA data, one on geophysics gadgets by this really explosive geophysicist named Mika Mckinnon and a primer on data visualization by Matt Biddulph. There were other cool talks as well on things like LHC data and underwater rovers but sadly physics doesn’t let me be in multiple places at once (yet!).
After the lightning talks, people mingled about a bit trying to decide what to build or who’s team to join. I was completely blown away with the skill level and excitement for science everyone had. By 1 most people had settled into groups and worked well into the night. I started working on a cancer scanner for the iphone but apparently there’s already an app for that and ended up starting an oakland based hackerspace called SudoRoom with @wrought instead (not sure how that happened o_O). Most people including myself had crashed around 4am; With one notable exception William aka @mrgunn from Mendeley, whom you can see in the time lapse below
After a few hours sleep on the floor, in chairs, or sprawled over a beanbag in my case, people awoke refreshed and hacked right up to the deadline at 13:37. Teams then had 5 minutes to present there hacks, and the best were awarded amazing science medals(see above).
Be sure to check out the full list of hacks demoed at the SHDSF Wiki or read other summaries of the event at…