Hackers sleep out in DCU

By Frances Mulraney

Coders, designers, scientists, hackers, statisticians and enthusiasts flocked to DCU to express their interest in science and technology during the 36 hours of Science Hack Day Dublin 2012, which took place in the Hub last weekend.

The day’s aim was to encourage anybody involved with, or simply interested in, science and technology to meet and collaborate in an all day, all night problem solving session.

Participants had the option to sleep overnight at the event as they worked from 9am on Saturday to 6pm on Sunday to find a quick solution, or hack, to questions and problem of the present day. The event started with rounds of ‘lightning talks’, where ideas were pitched to attendees before they began work on projects.

The event meant Dublin was the sixth city in the world to hold a hack day with 24 others planned to take place worldwide throughout the rest of 2012. The days have become an international success as a platform on which to bring some of the brightest minds together.

Hack days are reported to achieve amazing results from intensive focus on specific issues. Previously, there have been other successful days focusing on music and the government.

Ideas explored during the day and a half at the Hub included toilet tagging (rating of a public toilet using a phone app), aurora orrary (predicting when and where the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, will be visible), rehabilitation of stroke victims’ coordination using interactive gaming, an open statistics Wiki, and Youth Physical Activity Towards Health, an online progress report tool which allows children to log their physical activity online.

Dublin Science Hack Day is part of the programme for Dublin City of Science 2012. It was a part of Engineering Week, which ran nationwide last week.

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