November 23, 2020

Hackathon to research some local COVID-19 risks using data science

A virtual Purdue hackathon using data science to gain insight into local COVID-19 risks will begin competition Sunday (Nov. 29) and continue through mid-December. The last day to join is Dec. 4. Participants can submit multiple times. Individuals age 18 or older, both students and others, can participate in this effort to strengthen the Protect Purdue initiative. Total prize money is $5,000. 

The Fall 2020 COVID-19 Data Science Challenge to Protect Purdue is powered by Purdue IronHacks, a cloud-based multiphase hacking program offering participants powerful data science tools including a Jupyter Lab, BIG datasets, dashboards and tutorials. As of today, more than 1000 hackers have completed the IronHacks program.

IronHacks was founded and managed by Purdue’s Research Center for Open Digital Innovation since 2016, with support from its partners. This year’s partners are Protect Purdue, the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, Purdue Policy Research Institute as well as the state of Indiana, the city of West Lafayette, and the data provider Safegraph.

The challenge sets the task of building a statistical model to predict and visualize social distancing behavior and foot traffic at thousands of places in Greater Lafayette — including gathering places such as restaurants where COVID-19 risk is high. The best models will be featured on the IronHacks website.

IronHacks is looking for data science enthusiasts with statistical skills across various disciplines, with at least minimum programming proficiency in Python and R. Participants will have the opportunity to work with highly granular and actual mobility data (collected via millions of mobile phones), COVID-19 incident data, along with other temporal datasets.

This challenge is the second installment of the COVID-19 Data Science Challenge series. The first was in August.

Registration for the challenge remains open. Info sessions will take place starting Monday (Nov. 23). More information is available at the Ironhacks website.

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