Sydney Hacky Hour

Sydney Informatics Hub are hosting their own Hacky Hour!

Hacky Hour is a regular meet-up where researchers can congregate to collaborate, and get research help in a social environment. Experts will be on hand to advise on problems related to coding, data analytics, or digital tools, with knowledgeable folk from SIH and other departments who can help you with your questions.

Hacky Hour has been successfully replicated at other universities such as UTS, Melbourne, Griffith Univeristy and The University of British Columbia.

Come to a session!

How do you get involved? Just show up. If you have a laptop or tablet, bring it along so you can show what you’re working on. We have bioinformaticians, computer scientists, data scientists, data strategists, research computing and digital tool specialists, and other mentors on call to give you a hand with your problems. Check who’s rostered this session.

Hacky Hour moves around campus and visits our satellite campuses too. Next session details:

Time and Date:

3-4pm, Thursday 15th March 2018


WIMR L2 Conference room C2.20 and C2.22, Westmead Institute for Medical Research, 176 Hawkesbury Rd, Westmead

Get in touch with us at if you would like to host a Hacky Hour at your research group!

People come to Hacky Hour for many reasons:

  • Get advice on how to best collect and manage your data
  • Have someone to show you the basics in R.
  • Learn the best way to show some spatial data on a map.
  • You recently attended an Intersect training course and want more help using tool ‘X’.
  • Your honours student is pestering you to use version control and need help getting started.
  • You need to get a huge dataset from a colleague overseas as quickly and easily as possible.
  • You’d like a friendly environment to hack away at your data-crunching scripts, and maybe pick up a collaborator.

Even if you don’t have any problems you want solved, come along to:

  • Network and chat with other like-minded researchers.
  • Help solve someone else’s problem.
  • Wrangle your data in the presence of others like-minded.
  • Run your own special-interest data or analytical groups nearby and reach a wider audience.
  • Help a colleague overcome their fears of using Git.
  • Show off a really useful tool you just discovered.

We will be running some mini-workshops in things like Jupyter Notebooks, ParaView, MATLAB, visualisation, and docker in the weeks to come. Stay tuned for more details.

If you’re interested in training in anything particular please let us know by filling out this survey.

Meet the mentors

Each Hacky Hour will be staffed by a variety of mentors and experts in different areas. Check below to see who’ll be around at the next session:

Next session: Thursday March 15, Westmead

Nathaniel Butterworth Nathaniel Butterworth – Research Computing

Visualisation · Python · Artemis HPC · Argus Research Desktops · Astrophysics · Geophysics

Rosemarie Sadsad Rosemarie Sadsad – Bioinformatics

Phylogenetics · long/short read DNA and RNA sequence analysis · GWAS · Metagenomics · Pipelines · Modelling & Simulation · Bioinformatics & Genomics · Infectious Diseases · Health Systems

Hayim Dar Hayim Dar – Research Computing

Modelling & Simulation · MATLAB · Artemis HPC · GPU computing · Computational neuroscience · Physics

Tracy Chew Tracy Chew – Bioinformatics

DNA/RNA sequence analysis · Association analysis · Animal genomics · Veterinary science

Nicholas Ho Nicholas Ho – Data Science

Machine learning · Transcriptomics · R · Bioinformatics · Health

Gordon McDonald Gordon McDonald – Data Science

Simulation · Machine learning · Bayesian statistics · Physics · Chemistry · R · Matlab

Daniele Vicari Daniele Vicari – Data management

Digital research tools · eNotebooks · Data capture and surveys · Biochemistry

Gene Melzack Gene Melzack – Digital Curation

Organising data & structuring data · File formats · Data documentation & dictionaries · Digital preservation & archiving · Computational science

Sonya Corcoran Sonya Corcoran – Coding / Digital Innovation

Creative coding · Data visualisation · Design thinking · Psychology · Educational Design · UX · Web development

Peter Thiem Peter Thiem – Data Science Engineering

Software Engineering · Data Science · Applications · Web development · Databases · Python · R · Scikit-Learn · SQL · Java · AWS · Hadoop · HTML · CSS · JavaScript · GIT · Jira · Web · Security · Accessibility

Aldo Saavedra Aldo Saavedra – Senior Research Scientist

Statistical Methods · Machine Learning · eHealth · Data Science · Physics

Christopher Howden Christopher Howden – Statitician

Statistical Methods · Statistical Design

Upcoming sessions: Thursday 19th April, Camperdown location TBD!

Kayla Maloney Kayla Maloney – Visualisation

Data visualisation & communication · Design · Geoscience

Madhura Killedar Madhura Killedar – Data Science: Statistics

Bayesian modeling · Simulation · Machine learning· R · Python · Astrophysics · Cosmology

Helena Lynn Helena Lynn – Data Management

Digital research tools · eNotebooks · Data capture and surveys · Molecular virology · Microscopy

Find contact details for Hacky Hour trainers or drop us a line at

Usyd Hacky Hour is brought to you by..