NeurAlbertaTech (NAT) is thrilled to present natHACKS, Alberta’s inaugural brain-computer interface hackathon! natHACKs will inspire beginners to develop practical neurotech skills and challenge competent hackers to apply themselves in this growing and exciting field.

Spanning two weeks and culminating in a 64-hour hackathon weekend (commencing July 30), the event will combine workshops, challenges, and networking opportunities for anyone interested in neurotechnology. With three different paths related to cutting-edge brain-computer interface topics, and separate judging based on experience level, we’re thrilled to allow neurotech enthusiasts to get their hands dirty in a diverse selection of projects.

To learn more about the event, feel free to visit our event webpage as well!

 

To participate in natHACKS:

  1. The registration deadline has now passed. The following instructions are for those who have already registered as an individual for natHACKS.
  2. Form a team (if desired). Teams should be formed and declared through NeurAlbertaTech's team declaration form no later than July 30 at 17:00 MDT.
  3. Start hacking on July 30 at 19:00 MDT!
  4. Submit your project on Devpost by August 2 at 10:00 MDT.

 

Please see the Rules page for information on participant eligibility.

 

Tracks

All teams will have the chance to participate in a Track of their choice, with three Senior Tracks related to cutting-edge BCI topics, and a Junior Track for those new to the neurotech world. Project ideas and challenges for each Track will be provided closer to the event.

BCI Recreation
  • Projects related to entertainment and leisure.
BCI Rehabilitation
  • Projects related to assessing, diagnosing, and/or treating neurological disorders.
BCI Research
  • Projects related to novel methodologies in collecting, analyzing, and/or visualizing brain data.
Junior
  • A track tailor-made for those at the beginning of their neurotech journey!
  • Restricted to participants who both have not yet entered their third year of post-secondary education and who are not majoring in a field related to computing science.

 

Deadlines

All listed times are in Mountain Daylight Time (UTC - 6).

Individual Registration

July 5 (23:59) - Early Bird

July 15 (23:59) - Final

  • All participants must register for the event both on Devpost and using NAT's internal sign-up form.
  • Participants who register by July 5 will also receive a Hacker Survival Kit, which includes some bonus swag!
  • See the natHACKS rules for details on eligibility.

Hardware Application

July 9 (23:59)

  • Apply to receive brain-computer interface hardware to use during the event!
  • Hardware will be shipped to eligible participants upon the payment of a deposit to NeurAlbertaTech (deposit waivers are in place for those in financial need).
  • Note that hardware use is not mandatory to succeed at the event. See the Resources section for details on eligibility. 

Team Formation and Track Finalization

July 30 (17:00)

  • Meet potential teammates on Devpost, Discord, or the natHACKS Info Sessions!
  • Teams must have at least one member from Alberta and no more than 5 total members to be eligible for prizes.
  • All details on team members and track choices must be finalized before the hackathon begins.

 

 

Event Schedule

All listed times are in Mountain Daylight Time (UTC - 6). For a full schedule of events, see the event page on the NAT website.

Pre-Event Networking

June 16 - July 29

  • Participants will meet fellow neurotech innovators both on Discord and during formal Info Sessions, ensuring everyone can form a competitive team for the event.

Educational Sprint

July 16 - July 29

  • NAT will provide 20+ hours of free, high-quality workshops, allowing all participants to get up to speed on the BCI field.
  • Workshops will cover everything from the basics of Python programming for beginners, to analyzing signals from commercial EEG hardware, to putting together a successful pitch presentation.

Opening Day

July 30

  • Opening Ceremonies (18:00 - 19:00): remind yourself about how natHACKS is structured, listen to an exclusive keynote talk from Crystal Phillips, Director of the Branch Out Neurological Foundation and Health Lead at Thin Air Labs, and get excited for some hacking!

Hackathon

July 30 - August 2

  • 64 hours of hacking, beginning on July 30 at 19:00 and ending on August 2 at 10:00.
  • Need a break? NAT is excited to provide trivia, movie nights, and more fun events throughout the hackathon!

Closing Day

August 2

  • Project Evaluation (10:00 - 14:00): our judges will award prizes to the 1st and 2nd place teams in each of our 3 Senior Tracks as well as an additional prize for the winners of the Junior Track.
  • Closing Ceremonies (14:00 - 15:00): learn who came out on top, and hear a fantastic talk from Shirley Zhang, Director of Operations at OpenBCI to close out the event!

Hackathon Sponsors

Prizes

$CAD10,000 in prizes

1st Place - Senior Tracks (3)

Winning teams in each of the BCI Recreation, Rehabilitation, and Research tracks will earn up to to $2000 CAD in funding for the future development of their hackathon projects.

2nd Place - Senior Tracks (3)

Second place teams in each of the BCI Recreation, Rehabilitation, and Research tracks will earn up to to $1000 CAD in funding for the future development of their hackathon projects.

1st Place - Junior Track

The winning team in the Junior track will earn up to to $1000 CAD in funding for the future development of their hackathon project.

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

Requirements

All competitive submissions must include:

  1. A project code repository, with code developed solely during the hackathon time window.
  2. A video presentation explaining the project, which should not exceed 5 minutes.
  3. A brief written project summary, which should not exceed 250 words.

More details on submissions, and detailed project rubrics, will be provided closer to the event.

Note that prizes can only be offered to teams with at least one member from Alberta.

Judges

Eden Redman

Eden Redman
NAT

Ankur Pandit

Ankur Pandit
AltaML

Deepak Khatri

Deepak Khatri
Upside Down Labs

Kris Hans

Kris Hans
Campus Alberta Neuroscience

Noah Batiuk
NAT

Annette Lau
NAT

Cameron Hildebrandt
NAT

Giancarlo Pernudi Segura

Giancarlo Pernudi Segura
UAIS

Paul Saunders
UAIS

Dominique Beaupre
Aliud

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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Hackathon sponsors

Platinum Sponsors
Gold Sponsors
Silver Sponsors
Bronze Sponsors

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