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Science Hack Day Dublin 2012

Posted by Dominic Byrne on Fri, 09 Mar 2012 12:51:13 GMT

Inspirational Projects created at Science Hack Day Dublin 2012

Science Hack Day Dublin 2012 was held on the weekend of 3rd-4th March 2012 in Dublin City University. This was the first Science Hack Day to be held in Ireland and with it Dublin became the sixth city in the world to host such an event.  It took place as part of the Dublin City of Science 2012 programme of events.  The objectives of the event are closely aligned to those of Fingal Open Data and we were proud to be among the event sponsors.

Science Hack Day Dublin brought together scientists, engineers, programmers and designers to find solutions to problems over a brief but intense period of collaboration.  The event took place over a 36 hour period with some of the participants staying overnight and hacking into the early hours of the morning.

The event was opened by the President of DCU, Professor Brian MacCraith.  Then there were three rounds of lightning talks where those with project ideas pitched them to the other participants.  Fingal Open Data presented a lightning talk on “Using Public Data feeds in Hacks”.  With the lightning talks complete, the participants formed into multi-disciplinary teams around various project ideas and got hacking – coming up with clever solutions for the project ideas presented.

On Sunday afternoon, after an exhausting but exhilarating 36 hours, the project teams presented the work that they had completed.  Details of the projects can be seen on the Event Wiki and the project presentations can be seen on Ustream.  Congratulations to all the participants for creating such great projects.

Science Hack Day Dublin was an inspirational event and the projects that were created demonstrated the kind of innovation that is possible when you bring together people with lots of different skills from lots of different disciplines.  Thanks to David McKeown, Alan Armstrong and Ellen Byrne for all their hard work in organising such a successful event.  We’re looking forward to many more great events during Dublin City of Science 2012 and of course, to the next Irish Science Hack Day.

Science Hack Day Organisers 
Organisers of Science Hack Day Dublin 2012 - David McKeown, Alan Armstrong and Ellen Byrne

The prize winners were –

Best In Show
Project:  The Elements Trail
Creators: @brian9 & @emma_wade
Description: An augmented reality trail based on the Periodic Table of the Elements.

Government Data Award
Project:  Youth Physical Activity Towards Health (Y-PATH) Online Progress Report Tool
Creators:  Wesley O’ Brien and Alan Rice @alanmrice
Description: The purpose of this hack was to create an online tool for students to record how much physical activity they do on a daily or weekly basis. While many of these types online physical activity trackers do exist, there does not appear to be any school based online resources particularly for physical education. This tool is designed to be rolled out in the Irish education system in time.

Data Award
Project:  Financial Market Sonification
Creators: Daniel Hartnett, Jack Higgins, Arijit Das
Description: Presenting live financial market data in an audio format to alert a trader to different market conditions

Hardware Award
Project:  Aurora Lamp
Creators: Robert Fitzsimons @PartFusion Connor David Laura and others
Description: As inspired by the Aurora Orrery project on the event wiki Robert undertook to create a device that would try and recreate an Aurora on a globe using RGB LEDs.

Design Award
Project:  Open Stats Wiki
Creators: Joseph McCarthy @tetsujin1979, Kevin Sexton @sextonireland and James Keane @level71
Description: Recording events from a game to be used later in statistical analysis to show, for example, when each pass, shot, booking, etc was made, and then making the data available for public to use, and edit to correct

People’s Choice Award
Project:  Aurora Orrery
Creators: David Pérez-Suárez, Connor Upton, Neil Kelly, Marisa llorens, Colin McSwiggen
Description: The Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights are a natural light display in the sky particularly in the high latitude regions, caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere. Because the sun is now entering a more active part of its solar cycle, the next few months and years are expected to see more frequent solar storms. Recent storms have had higher intensity making it possible to see this phenomenon from lower latitudes, even from Ireland.

- ‘We’d like to build an Aurora Map that can be used to show when solar storms are intense enough to be seen from Northern Ireland. If we can we’d like to integrate weather and moon data to help me decide whether to travel or not. we’d also like this to be an ambient display in the form of a physical map or globe with integrated lighting so that it’s entertaining’

1. Get the data into google maps as a series of animated polygons
2. Build a flat map of the arctic with an underlay of LEDs
3. Build a 3D global model with LEDs

Dominic Byrne presenting the Government Data Award to Wesley O’ Brien and Alan Rice for the Y-PATH project

Dominic Byrne,
Fingal County Council.

8th March, 2012 


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