Machine Learning 4 SETI Hackathon!

Save the Date: June 10-11, 2017
Galvanize, San Francisco!

The SETI Institute invites all citizen data scientists and technologists to join us as collaborators in our mission to find radio signals from intelligence beyond our Solar System.

We are issuing a worldwide public code challenge and accompanying hackathon for the purpose of expanding our radio telescope signal classification tools, using the latest developments in machine- and deep learning. With help from our partners at IBM and Galvanize, we will be launching this code challenge and hackathon this summer.

The hackathon will last two full days at the Galvanize office in San Francisco. It will include presentations on SETI research and data analysis and hands-on help from SETI researchers, including Jill Tarter (, and IBM data scientists. Also, guests from the UC Berkeley SETI Research Center will present their work on the Breakthrough Listen project. 

As participants in the code challenge and hackathon, you will learn and work with technologies such as Apache Spark, OpenStack Object Storage, IBM Data Science Experience, and others. Your analysis is likely to use a wide range of technologies spanning basic digital signal processing, classification techniques and deep-learning neural nets. 

The code challenge and hackathon will focus on building a signal classification tool using a large set of simulated data. This will be, in essence, a supervised machine-learning problem. 

We are offering a unique prize for the winning code challenge team, one you will not find anywhere else. The winning team will be offered a tour of the Allen Telescope Array in northern California where we make our observations (up to 6 team members), co-publication with SETI Institute researchers in a scientific journal that describes the work, and assistance with presentations at a Bay Area SETI research conference or meetup. There will also be additional awards and prizes at the hackathon for various categories.  All participants will walk away with a t-shirt designed specifically for the hackathon to commemorate the event. 

If you’re interested in learning more, please submit your email address on the code challenge’s webpage: You will receive more information about details of the hackathon, event registration, and all future updates. 

We are really excited about this event, and are very much looking forward to working with you, meeting you online, and in person at Galvanize, San Francisco in June!