Researchers and software developers will be writing code to analyze the ultimate computer — the brain — at the BrainIAK Hackathon, a three-day event beginning Sept. 26 for people who would like to use, build, or improve software related to neuroscience and machine learning.

The hackathon, hosted by the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute with additional support from Virginia Tech’s Advanced Research Computing unit, will involve students and faculty from Yale University, the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Virginia Tech, and Intel Corp. — the Silicon Valley technology company renowned for making computer processors.

Hackers will work with BrainIAK, short for the Brain Imaging Analysis Kit, which is an open source project that was originally created by researchers at Intel and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute. The collaboration has grown to include faculty, students, and postdoctoral associates at such institutions as Yale University and Virginia Tech, according to Stephen LaConte, an associate professor with the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute.

“The VTCRI’s ability to host this event with researchers from Princeton and Yale as well as the attendance of the Intel team holds great promise for creating an extremely dynamic and creative atmosphere,” said LaConte, who is also an associate professor with the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics in the Virginia Tech College of Engineering. “In data analysis intensive areas of research, hackathons are become an integral part of the collaborative and information sharing landscape. Our goals for this event are to continue collaborative efforts to improve BrainIAK, as well as to introduce more Hokies to Python programming and our own Advanced Research Computing resources.”

The BrainIAK Hackathon begins at noon Wednesday, Sept. 26, at the VTCRI, followed by a full day Thursday and a half day on Friday. Intel, Princeton, and Yale researchers and students will be on hand. Contact Doug Chan, a research assistant in the LaConte laboratory, for more information.

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