For a small but dedicated band of students in our new MDSI program, Spring Semester has been shaped around one constant: hackathons! Data challenges ( or data slams as we like to call them) are growing in popularity as ways to put ‘fast-fail’ approaches into practice on small but instrumental bursts.
Our students have participated in GovHack, UnearthedSydney, AusDM and NSWDAC. At every turn they have had impressive results – culminating in their most recent success at an invitation-only challenge organised as part of the NSW Government’s Data Analytic Centre (NSWDAC) where our students took gold and silver in a data challenge examining transport data to help planning for the expansion of Parramatta CBD. The winning team (Team Gosling) was a model example of doing data science, MDSI-style – taking a transdisciplinary and creative approach to the challenge that impressed the client and the panel of judges with the team’s capacity to meet the needs of the client and the commuters of Parramatta. Impressive end to the first year of our degree program.