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2014 Spring Hackathon Outcome

Matthew TaylorMatthew TaylorOpen Source Manager
2014 Spring Hackathon Outcome

We had a great hackathon event this past weekend. This was our third hackathon, and it resulted in the most hackers, the most hacks, and the most productive environment yet. Even if you could not attend, I hope the videos and photographs below help you to understand NuPIC better by example.

The hackathon brought in attendees from all over the world. We started at 10AM on Saturday with a kickoff presentation, helped people get NuPIC installed, then held several informational sessions throughout the day. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were served.

Big thanks to Pinger, who graciously donated their space to us for the event!


All Photos taken at the hackathon (on Flickr).


Everyone seemed to have a great time, and most people stuck around through the event (sans some sleep time!) to see the demos at the end.

“Another outstanding event! Thanks Numenta!”Jeff Fohl

“Learned a ton, great people, great numenta staff, matt++ :)”Wade Hought

“It was great to meet the community and to exchange ideas”Francisco Webber (CEPT)

"Comparing with the Fall 2013: 1. More people with serious interest in the NuPIC/Theory, 2. More hacks worked on and presented, 3. Previous “hacks" extended (CEPT!), 4. Theory has made progress towards deeper understanding of brain. Great to see the people from Numenta, the previous event, and new people with practical interest!”Azat

“Really great, even better than in the Fall. Thanks to everyone who worked really hard to make the hackathon go so smoothly, and to all who took part. It was a real pleasure to meet so many smart people, all interested in furthering Machine Intelligence.”Fergal Byrne


Where hackers are welcomed to the hackathon, protocol is reviewed, and ideas are brainstormed.


Just like last hackathon, we had several presentations from NuPIC engineers for hackathon participants to attend, if wanted. You can also view them all in this playlist.

NuPIC Beginner Guide

A detailed introduction to the components of NuPIC. Includes encoders, the spatial pooler, and swarming. Contains live code running in an iPython Notebook, which is included as a reference.

Anomaly Detection in CLA

Subutai talks about how anomaly detection works in NuPIC, as well as how Grok processes NuPIC’s anomaly scores to provide better “anomaly likelihood” values.

Temporal Pooling Fireside Chat

Jeff sits down for an up-close-and-personal discussion about his ideas about temporal pooling. Attendees ask him questions as he describes his theories on the whiteboard.

CLA as Implemented in NuPIC

Numenta engineer Chetan Surpur goes into great detail about the implementations of the spatial and temporal poolers in NuPIC.

State of NuPIC

Matt talks about how far we’ve come as an open source project in the past year, the current state of NuPIC, and plans for the future.


We had a lot of demos at this hackathon! In addition to the full playlist of all our hackathon demonstrations, I’ve broken out each hack below with further information about the participants and source code (if available).

NuPIC Critic

An attempt to get NuPIC to report anomalies when the characteristics of audio input changes.


Steve incorporated NuPIC into the TuxPuck program to help control a player against an AI adversary.


An attempt to configure NuPIC to predict the orbit of a satellite.

Angry Bots AI

Craig trains NuPIC to play a first person shooter.

Cerebro 2

A platform for showing visualizations of a CLA model, which includes a 3D display of both spatial pooler and sequence memory components.

NuPIC in the Cloud

An easy point-and-click solution to deploying NuPIC within AWS.

Predictive Web Browser

Julie hooks up NuPIC to analyze web browser history to predict which website domain you’ll be navigating to next.

Back Seat Driver

Explores the space of how NuPIC might help analyze events streams in client-based software. In this case he analyzes events coming from Internet Explorer.


Ian shows off some visualizations in JavaScript of the spatial pooler and applies it to the MNIST handwriting recognition data set.


The goal was to mix different types of data about the same concept (words) and feed them into the CLA.

Video: By: Paulin Andurand & Antoine Chkaiban

Say What?

Analyzing speech data (TIMIT), trying different experiments to try to use NuPIC to predict male vs female speakers. Also explored different representations of the audio signal to see what works best with NuPIC.


Trying to teach NuPIC to understand complex word associations with CEPT word SDRs.

Single-Entry Multifactor Authentication

Wade uses NuPIC to try help with authentication not only by the password entered, but also the characteristics of the keystrokes entered.


An interesting hack using NuPIC to identify anomalous behavior using Facebook check-ins.


This was our most successful hackathon yet. Thanks to everyone who participating in the event, helped out with the planning and execution, and even for those of you watching the videos now. I hope you’ll considering attending our next hackathon!

Comments on Reddit

By the way! You can see all the videos and photos taken at this hackathon on our YouTube channel and Flickr page.

Matthew TaylorMatthew TaylorOpen Source Manager