What is a hackweek?

The hackweek model has emerged in the data science community as a powerful tool for fostering exchange of ideas in research and computation by providing training in modern data analysis workflows. In contrast to conventional academic conferences or workshops, hackweeks are intensive and interactive, facilitated by three core components: tutorials on state-of-the-art methodologies, peer-learning, and on-site project work in a collaborative environment. Compared to hackathons typically focused on software development, hackweeks have a greater focus on learning and open-ended projects as informal education and peer learning opportunities. This setup is particularly powerful for sciences that require not only domain-specific knowledge but also effective computational workflows to foster rapid exchange of ideas and make discovery.

This is an excellent match with the nature of oceanographic research where data are large and complex and the community is diverse and collaborative. The hackweek model adopted by OceanHackWeek was spearheaded by the successful Astro-, Neuro-, and Geohackweek.

Mission Statement

Core objectives

The core objectives of OceanHackWeek are:

  1. Promote data and software proficiency in the ocean sciences community: Provide oceanographers with computational and data science skills to advance modern oceanographic research, which often requires the integration and manipulation of diverse sources of big data and models.

  2. Facilitate inclusive community building: Connect oceanographers across disciplines, career stages and trajectories, and diversity of experience and identity to cultivate an inclusive, open and sharing culture that catalyzes data-intensive research.

Training and education

We will share knowledge in modern software tools aimed at handling increasingly large and complex oceanographic datasets. Our approach will be to develop templates for best practices in solving common oceanographic data science challenges, built off a set of sample datasets provided during the hackathon. We will learn from leading experts in various fields, and use this knowledge to develop educational content that can be shared across disciplines long after the event. Our training will focus on software tools, but we will also explore challenges in successfully navigating complexity in project management and design.

Networking and community building

We will connect students, faculty, software developers and others across industry, government and academic settings. The connections we make during the hackathon will be maintained through an online user community. We hope our activities can foster the growth of an interdisciplinary network for solving Earth science challenges.

Software development

We will harness our collective talent assembled during the event to rapidly advance the development of software tools.