FAQ

What is the challenge, and how does it work?

An online hackathon is a virtual event where participants collaborate and compete from different locations, usually using video conferencing tools, chat platforms, and cloud collaboration tools. It allows for wider participation without geographical constraints. 

AI for Life Sciences is a series of online hackathons.

An AI hackathon specifically focuses on projects and challenges related to artificial intelligence. Participants may be tasked with developing AI models, creating AI-powered applications, or solving problems using AI techniques.

The first AI for Life Sciences hackathon is focused on the field of life sciences. The aim of the virtual challenge is to develop an innovative solution applying AI to a life sciences use case. More details to follow.

While some AI hackathons may require prior knowledge of AI, many are open to all skill levels, including beginners. However, to participate in AI for Life Sciences, it is recommended to have at least minimal coding experience and some level of understanding of machine learning. 

Absolutely! Hackathons are a great learning experience. You can network, collaborate with diverse teams, learn from mentors, and gain hands-on experience in a short time.

Participation rules

We welcome all individuals who are at least 18 years old. If you are younger, stay tuned, we are planning to hold many more hackathons in the future!

Each team can have a maximum of 5 team members. In general, teams should have at least 2 members to participate in a challenge. However, if you would like to tackle the challenge as an individual, you are welcome to do so. With that said, we strongly encourage that you participate in the challenge as a team!

Yes, we will provide support with matching individual participants to build teams.

Participants are only allowed to be part of one team per hackathon to ensure fairness and integrity.

Although our hackathons are sponsored by companies or organizations that offer cash prizes or other incentives, our hackathons are completely free for participants.

Hackathon rules, judging criteria, prizes and more

There are cash prizes for the winning teams. 

  • 1st place: $10,000
  • 2nd place: $4,000
  • 3rd place: $1,000

Submissions will be judged based on 4 criteria: technical execution, impact and feasibility, innovativeness of the approach, presentation and communication of the solution.

The first challenge will run for approximately one month (November 15 – December 13, 2023).

Typically a central communication channel is in place, like a Slack workspace or email newsletters, to update participants on schedules, announcements, and other essential information. At AI for Life Sciences we use Discord.

 

To ensure fairness, it is forbidden to submit a project you worked on prior to the hackathon.

 

In general, hackathon participants usually use collaboration tools like Slack, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams. For AI projects, platforms like Jupyter Notebooks, GitHub, Google Colab, and various AI libraries and frameworks might be used.

Tools for our AI for Life Sciences challenges vary from challenge to challenge. Stay tuned for more information.

General questions and recommendations

Our first challenge will last between November 15 and December 13. We aim to host several AI hackathons each year, therefore, in order not to miss new announcements, we advise you to subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated!

Basic programming knowledge is essential, preferably in languages like Python. Familiarity with AI libraries such as TensorFlow or PyTorch can also be beneficial. However, many hackathons welcome all skill levels and may even offer workshops for beginners.

For the AI for Life Sciences challenges, prior programming experience is a plus.

Start by familiarizing yourself with common AI tools and platforms. Engage in online AI courses, participate in AI forums, and try solving AI challenges on platforms like Kaggle. It also helps to understand the hackathon’s theme or objectives in advance, if provided.

 

Focus on understanding the problem statement, effective teamwork, and time management. Ensure that your solution is both innovative and feasible. Prepare a clear presentation that showcases the value and technical soundness of your project.

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