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A summary of Science Hack Day San Francisco 11 – 12 November 2011 by NASA #opengov
“Hack days” oﬀer a unique opportunity to collaborate on focused tasks for a short period of Ame by a small groups of developers and are capable of producing remarkable results. The original concept of a hack day was popularized by Yahoo! in 2005 and soon aJer became a worldwide trend. Science Hack Day started in London in 2010 by a developer who wanted to apply the concept to the ﬁeld of science. Since then events had been planned in numerous ciAes around the world, bridging the gap between the science, technology and design industries and encouraging future collaboraAon, community building and general social awareness of one another. hNp://sciencehackday.com/
So what exactly can you expect from a Science Hack Day? Well, imagine a Venn diagram where the intersec1on is a mix of web developers and science geeks. A world where scienAsts, developers, designers, technologists, and visionaries, from all walks of life, come together for an intense weekend to build, create and make things in the name of science. If you’ve never experienced a hack day, it’s an exciAng all-‐night marathon experience, that ampliﬁes your creaAvity and challenges you to collaborate with others on projects that you’d normally not have a chance to tackle. It’s hard to explain in words, so we’ve created this presenta1on to share pictures from the event and a short descrip1on of each of the projects.
The 200+ scienAsts, developers, designers, technologists, and visionaries worked on a number of projects ranging from developing open source underwater rovers to the creaAon of a physical globe that uses a laser to show the real 1me posi1on of the interna1onal space sta1on! Many of the projects leveraged NASA data, some of the projects simply had fun with science. 25 projects were presented on Sunday aJernoon and we think the results speak for themselves. A brief summary of each is provided.
1. Science and Gender Wrote python scripts to hack gender and aNributed gender to ambiguous names. Data is on github and uses facebook, wikipedia and census data. hNp://github.com/cazdev/Science-‐and-‐Gender Creators: Alex Kudlick, MaN Senate, and others
2. IsoDrag TypeFace Type faces should be very well balanced, but does that mean jsut visually balanced? What about aerodynamically balanced? Took heleviAca type face and built a mini-‐wind tunnel to test the drag coeﬃcient for all the leNers of the alphabet. Ideally, all the leNers should have the same drag coeﬃcient. Took the leNers and changed the weights so they all balance out aerodynamically. hNp://twitpic.com/7dpbrd Creators: David Harris (@physicsdavid) Josh and Mia from Wellington
3. ISS Globe No1fy Using a laser mounted on the inside of a translucent globe and a couple of servos (one turning the globe and the other controlling the pitch of the laser. Tracks the real-‐Ame approximate posiAon of the InternaAonal Space StaAon over Earth. One servo provide longitude and the other servo provides laAtude. Used the MakerBot to print the main gear. For more informaAon visit hNp://github.com/natronics/ISS_Globe and hNp://open-‐noAfy.org/api-‐doc#iss-‐now Creators: Nathan Bergey email@example.com Steven Davis firstname.lastname@example.org Glenn LeBrasseur @glennlebrasseur Nicolas Weidinger @drweidinger Rachel Weidinger @rachelannyes
4. Visualize the South African Na1onal Budget A visualzazaAon of the the South African NaAonal Budget to demonstrate that the spending on science is very reasonable. How much does science and technology really cost? VisithNp://carolune.org/ZA_Budget/. All the budget data used in this visualizaAon comes from the South African Treasury website. The data comes from the consolidated expenditure esAmates 2010/2011. Creators: Carolina Ödman-‐Govender @carolune Brian Suda @briansuda
5. Single Point Perspec1ve Pulling recent photos from Flickr, shrinking small, pusng them on a map, to create a photo of Earth based on photos from Earth. hNp://jes5199.com/single_point_perspecAve.html Creators: Jesse Wolfe @jes5199
6. Syneseizure Umasking reality. Reality is far too complex because of the massive amounts of informaAon, so we set out to hack our senses by sending sensory input to the wrong sense with the goal of purposely confusing our brain (and it’s associated data ﬁltering algorithms). EssenAally, the mask takes in a visual input and outputs a signal to inﬂuence our sense of touch. Implemented using a web cam (visual input) that goes into an ardunio that drives sixty 60-‐cent mini speakers that aﬀect your sense of touch. Creators: Bala Ramamurthy, Watson Watson, Lillian Fritz-‐Laylin, Meredith Carpenter, Hamilton, Marissa Fessenden, Parker Imrie, Tymm Twillman, Greg Freidland, Fen Lipkowitz, and Liam Holt
7. Large Hadron Collider Data Hack One of the experiments from the Large Hadron Collider, the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment), has released a small amount of the data for educaAonal purposes. A parAcal physicist brought the data to see what they could hack with the data. The data is hard to access and even more diﬃcult to understand (both from the formats and physics), so it turned into a hack that tried to explain the data through data visualizaAon that will be ulAmately useful for physicists at CERN and Fermi Lab. For more informaAon:hNp://www.maNbellis.com/index.php?Atle=Science_Hack_Day_2011_(San_Francsico) and hNp://maNbellis.com/dimuons.html (needs about 60 seconds to load) Creators: MaN Bellis (@maN_bellis) Lynn Root (@roguelynn) Aaron Culich (@aculich) Morris Mwanga (Kenya ambassador) Tim Clem Kevin
8. HomeBrewMicroscope A microscope cable of sub-‐micron resoluAon using plumbing parts, an objecAve lens, and a digital camera. They were able to resolve objects as wide as one wave of green light. Total cost to implement the hack was around $35 of parts.Screenshots, photos and videos:hNp://pureﬁxion.com/AllTogether.jpg
9. HIV/AIDS: Meaningful indicators HIV/AIDS spread follows complex human network dynamics, the details of which are very diﬃcult to measure. The team explored a proof of concept hack using WEKA, a data mining soJware in JAVA, that explores the data sets to analyze various indicators in a meaningful way to determine risk of being HIV posiAve, without asking any personal quesAons. This could inform prevenAon and intervenAon policies.
10. Buckets of Tears bucketsoJears.com is a data visualizaAon and crowdsourcing project to provide a web interface to bring comfort to people who are experiencing sadness. The visualizaAon presents tweets from all over the world that contain the word “crying” in mulAple languages. While they are being streamed in real Ame, tear droplets show up on a world map to indicate their locaAon. The team conAnues to work on adding a “Comfort” buNon which which visitors can interact with the sad tweeters to cheer them up. Screenshots, photos and videos are available at www.bucketsoJears.com. Source code and links are available athNps://github.com/arfon/Tears. Creators: Arfon Smith: @arfon, Jarod Luebbert @jarodl, Julia Bossmann: @juliabossmann, Roman Gurovich: @romangurovich, Ryan Balfanz: @RyanBalfanz and Stuart Lynn: @stuart_lynn
11. EpiCell Disease is prevalent but healthcare is not universal. Fortunately, much of the world now has access to a cell phone. Technologies are being developed that can turn cell phones into diagnosAc devices. These devices can be used at the point of care and the informaAon can be transmiNed in real-‐Ame to experts and databases. If properly deployed and used, mobile diagnosAc devices could facilitate addressing the needs of individuals in impoverished areas and tracking the emergence of disease outbreaks. To determine where such devices should be deployed, we collected open source geospaAal data and created a map to idenAfy locaAons where healthcare was scarce, but cell phone coverage was readily available. The code is available at epicell.github.com Creators: Aaron Steele: @eightysteele * Andrew Hill: @andrewxhill * Arfon Smith: @arfon * Julia Bossmann: @juliabossmann * Nancy Burgess: NancyB * Roman Gurovich: @romangurovich * Ryan Balfanz: @RyanBalfanz * Stuart Lynn: @stuart_lynn
12. OpenROV Kinect-‐ivity Working the development of an OpenROV controllers, including iPhone & interwebs. Mounted geophysical exploraAon package to ROV. Successfully disassembled Kinect case and extracted key hardware, but failed to mount due to half-‐inch size diﬀerence. Future plans include further experimentaAon to include a re-‐aNempt with slightly larger ROV. More informaAon: hNp://openrov.com/proﬁles/blogs/6365107:BlogPost:14103 Creators: Eric Stackpole (@eerrp) David Lang (@davidlang) Mika McKinnon (@mikamckinnon) Tim Clem (@Amothyclem) Jay Freeman, original Jay Freeman, evil twin (@saurik)
13. DNAquiri Using a DNA extracAon protocol, the team created a product of which also happens to be a tasty cocktail. Fruit cells (strawberry and others) are lysed by freeze/thaw and heat cycles to eliminate the use of surfactants. Salt is minimized and sugar added in order to mask any salty ﬂavor. Bacardi 151 is layered over fruit purée to extract DNA into the ethanol phase. A Any umbrella completes the tropical vibe. Screenshots, photos and videos:hNp://twitpic.com/7dz2ah hNp://twitpic.com/7dz23m Creators: Patrik D’Haseleer, Bonnie Barrilleaux, Lily Lew, @sulfur_blue, Joseph, @codonAUG Michelle Peters
14. Urban Using radio telemetry, this draJ UI design turns animal tracking data into visual paNerns for display in public installaAon and through a mobile device. People viewing this data can help scienAsts monitor species habitat and migraAon. The hack URL is hNp://interacAonart.org/?page_id=483 Creators: Amber Didow, Vicki Moulder, Satoka
15. Thalamoid Using the Thalamoid pla}orm, the team connected an Android mobile device to analog ultrasonic scienAﬁc sensors to demonstrate the ‘s ability to serve as a data collecAon system. The system logs environmental data to an SD card in addiAon to displaying it on the screen for immediate feedback. The team aNached ultrasonic sensors to record real data using a mobile device and then pass the data to the cloud. The source code and links and available athNp://www.thalamoid.com. For more informaAon visithNp://phinominal.com/phinominalblog/ Creators: MaNeo Borri, Paul Mans, Akhsar Kharebov, Geoﬀrey Chu
16. Subjects A visualizaAon to display subjects in scienAﬁc papers using the PLoS search API. The code is available at hNp://mbostock.github.com/d3/. The hack can be viewed at hNp://10.0.1.38/~joe/plos/hack2/
17. vSculpt The team created a virtual sculpAng tool called vSculpt is a program which allows users to use gestures in front of a webcam to sculpt a 3d model and then print it on a 3d printer. The source code and links are available at hNp://github.com/laughinghan/opentld Creators: David Allen Han Wei Sabrina AAenza Luke Rast
18. OECD Threatened Species This project is designed to visualize some of the environmental data on threatened species published by the OECD, an internaAonal organisaAon helping governments tackle the economic, social and governance challenges of a globalised economy. The OECD produces reports on the state of the environment based on data from parAcipaAng countries. The aim of this project is to compile and visualize the informaAon on threatened (endangered, vulnerable, and criAcally endangered) species by country so that it is easily accessible. The current hack only includes the mammals data, but new pages for ﬁsh, birds, amphibians, invertebrates, plants, and repAles will be added soon. The project is built with the Google Chart apis for visualizing data. Currently in use are the geo chart and bar chart. The hack URL is hNp://www.erinjorichey.com/endangered/mammals-‐map.html Creators: Erin Richey @erinjo
19. NeckBeard Using a 22-‐line python script and a USB microscope, development an impressive applicaAon to quanAfy the length of beard hair through visualizaAon and data. The hack URL ishNp://labs.radiantmachines.com/beard Creators: Joshua Gourneau
20. Hack Your Genome The inspiraAon for this project came out of frustraAon of what’s available to analyize your own genome data. Many people have their own 23andMe genotype (hNps://www.23andme.com/), but there is not gene broswer to understand the variants. The team developed a basic genome browser to display SNP data from 23andMe, showing the rarity of each genotype, overlaid on the gene structure. The hack URL ishNp://j.mp/genomehack Creators: Mitch Skinner, @surrealize Jun Axup, @junnibug Patrik D’haeseleer, patrikd Will Reinhardt, @wreinhardt Mohammed Rahman, @8iteraAons, Eri Gentry, @erigentry
21. Self-‐Titled In scienAﬁc publicaAons, credibility is judged by the number of citaAons which is ulAmately a poor metric. With the rise of electronic publishing and the social web, there are exciAng new opportuniAes to look at a broader dimension of how a researcher inﬂuences his peers and is in turn inﬂuenced. Using the Open APIs provided by the open access publisher the Public Library of Science, the team analyzed research papers and gave them a score corresponding to how much conﬁdence an author of a paper expressed in his work. This allows us to tune into the signals expressed by the researcher about his own work, which gives us a much earlier signal of potenAal importance than we get by waiAng for a paper to get citaAons. It’s a good thing in some respects that science moves slow, but nothing’s fast enough for researchers pushing the leading edge of research in areas like cancer research, stem cell biology, and other criAcal rersearch areas. Screenshots, photos and videos: hNp://db.N/1OZnYaaT, hNp://db.N/tqV03M8G and hNp://db.N/cOxeLUKb The hack URL: hNp://github.com/williamgunn/SciSenAment Creators: William Gunn (@mrgunn) MaN Senate (@wrought) Jacob Schiach
22. Physical Compu1ng Physical objects have a sensory richness of meaning that screen-‐based elements do not. When we see, hear and feel real-‐world objects we are enabled to train both cogniAve and perceptual skills in combinaAon. Therefore, the team developed code that associates everyday 3-‐d objects as compuAng tools, by associates photos of objects taken from a mobile device with a database represenAng other objects. Creators: Henrik Brink, Lisa Ballard
23. Quake Canary “PEEPS” Using an accelerometer data from arduinos and mobile devices (iphones and geophones), the team created an app that provides an early-‐warning noAﬁcaAon of an earthquake. The app leverages publically-‐contributed seismic data and publishes it to a online map using openheatmap.com. The data is then compared with USGS and UC Berkeley Northern California Seismic data available to the public in real Ame, as well as visualizes it on a map. Users are noAﬁced of recent or pending earthquake using an iphone app. Creators: Ryan Anderson, Chris Swanson, Ariel Rokem, David McKeown, Jen Blank, Mika McKinnon, Rachel Weidinger, thanks to Pete Worden (openheatmap.com)
The NASA Open Government team was an acAve parAcipant in the event. Sean Herron kicked oﬀ the day with a standing-‐room only lightening talk on “the great universe of NASA data”. For a video of Sean’s presentaAon visit hNp://open.nasa.gov/blog/2011/11/13/science-‐hack-‐day-‐sf/
The OpenGov team also parAcipated in the event by developing on an online tool that uses NASA data in a new way. The 25. Space Ipsum project is perhaps NASA’s ﬁrst experiment in responsive design – the idea the content should not dictate the look and feel of the site. No maNer what type of pla}orm you view the website on, you’ll always be able to access it’s core features due to the use of CSS3 media queries. This is an evoluAon in web design and represents the future of how web design should act. The site also features some of NASA’s historic space images that load as the background randomly when a user visits the site. The side-‐project actually lays the foundaAon for a bigger project we are working on that mashes up historic NASA content in a new and useful way, but we’ll save the details on that project for another blog post in the near future. The tool is available at hNp://spaceipsum.com. More informaAon available at:hNp://open.nasa.gov/blog/2011/11/13/space-‐ipsum/ Creators: Sean Herron @seanherron, Nick Skytland @skytland, William Eshagh @eshagh
For a complete summary of the event, including descripAons of all the projects, visit: hNp://open.nasa.gov/blog/2011/11/13/science-‐hack-‐day-‐sf/
A summary of Science Hack Day San Francisco 11 – 12 November 2011