COVID-19 Hackathon

COVID-19 Hackathon

Have you found yourself wondering how you can play a part in combating COVID-19 recently, all from the comforts of your home? Ponder no more! In response to the current events, the University of Washington’s MSDS students and alumni proudly present the first ever online Data Science Hackathon, sponsored by UW MSDS. Come join us and help the efforts of the open source community and ongoing research by putting your Data Science caps on!

When and where?

June 13th and 14th, 2020.
This is a virtual event. Teams will work together throughout the 2-day event using tools such as Github, Zoom, and Slack.

Online zoom meeting ID: 940 8345 1381
Zoom link:

Steps to participate in the hackathon

  • Register here
  • You will receive an email to join the hackathon’s slack workspace. Teams will be formed organically through conversations in this workspace.

Registrations open until 5:00 pm PST on 12th June.


In the spirit of open ended research and creativity, you may bring datasets of your interest as long as they are publicly available. Here are a few that we think might be interesting -


  • Intro to NLP by Grishma Jena, Data Scientist at IBM
  • Intro to Time-series by Stanislav Panev, Project Scientist at CMU

Awards categories

  • Best Data-Science Process/Storytelling
  • Best Prediction Model
  • Best Interactive Visualization/Dashboard

Prizes upto $1500 to be won!!


  • Anna Talman Rapp, Program Officer at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Duncan Wadsworth, Data Scientist at Microsoft
  • Tim Randolph, Associate Member at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • Ying Li, Chief Scientist at Giving Tech Labs


  • You can participate either individually or in teams of 2-4 members.
  • One person cannot participate in more than one team.
  • Each team can only make one submission as a single github link. All contents of submission should be within the repository.

Submission Details

Submissions should be in the form of a link to the github repository containing all submission files including a README and a short presentation focussing on insights and take-aways of the project.

Judging criteria

Best Data-Science Process/Storytelling

Criteria Points
Clear hypotheses and assumptions 20
Exploratory Data Analysis 20
Problem Solving 20
Comprehensive take-aways 20
Reproducibility 20

Best Prediction Model

Criteria Points
Problem setup and metric definition 20
Quality of features 20
Explanation of choice of model 20
Model evaluation 20
Explainability and model interpretation 20

Best Interactive Visualization/Dashboard

Criteria Points
Simplicity and ease of navigation 20
Choice of encodings and colors 20
Ease of understanding 20
Impact and take-aways 20
Documentation 20


Day 1 (Saturday June 13th):

  • 10:00 am - 11:00 am: Event kickoff
  • 11:00 am - 12:00 pm: Intro to NLP (optional)
  • 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm: Intro to Time-Series (optional)
  • 5:00 pm: Virtual dinner and dialogue

Day 2 (Sunday June 14th):

  • 10.30 am: Check-in
  • 1:30 pm: Submission deadline
  • 5:30 pm: Award ceremony and closing

All times are Pacific Standard Time

Organizers contact

Sepideh(Sepi) Dibay:
Deepthi Hegde:

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this event.

Hackathon Project Repositories