First ever 30-hour Data Science Hackathon in Pakistan held at IBA, Karachi



Karahi: The Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi hosted Data Science Hackathon sponsored by a New York-based Data Analytics startup – Inqline at the IBA, Main Campus. The 30-hour long Hackathon is a first of its kind in Pakistan in which 28 teams comprising of over 100 students from 12 universities across Pakistan competed to promote the use of machine learning to bring social innovation.

The students got a hands-on experience with real-life data from Husaini Blood Bank which partnered in the Hackathon by providing blood donors’ data as the data set that was analyzed by the competing students to predict the prevalence of various diseases that are typically found in the donated data.

The event began with keynote speaker sessions by Associate Dean, Faculty of Computer Science, IBA, Dr. Sayeed Ghani, followed by Chief Executive Officer and founder of Inqline, Muhammad Atif. The Data Science hackathon consisted of two rounds; the first round was seven hours long, where the students were given a descriptive real-world problem, which they had to address, along with a data set which had to be cleansed and classified with Data Sciences and Machine Learning algorithms.

The students had to come up with an optimum solution to predict the presence of various diseases in donors’ data at the end of the hackathon. A Kaggle leaderboard was maintained where all the teams had to upload their data. The structure, grading, and design flow had been kept competitive to ensure that the students put their best foot forward.

The next round was 23 hours long where the participants were required to stay on campus, overnight, as is typical in international hackathons. All of the participants kept evaluating, predicting models, analyzing and coding through the night, and were also required to present their business cases for application of machine learning to blood banks to the panel of judges right after the second round ended.

The judges’ panel consisted of notable Data Science experts and university professors. After the presentations, the judges announced the results and declared Data Squad from NED University as the winners and F.A.S.T from Habib University as the runners-up. The winning team was awarded an amount of Rs. 100,000 along with a paid internship for one of the team members at Inqline’s headquarter in New York City and the runners-up were given a cash reward of Rs. 60,000.