Sydney Hacky Hour

Do you code or analyse data for your research?

Come to Hacky Hour to swap notes, get help, or learn new techniques in programming and data science.

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.

If you have a specific question you’d like to discuss, let us know before the session so we can find an appropriate mentor.

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

Time and Date:

Friday December 6th 2019

1:30 pm - 3:00 pm


Wallace Freeborn Lecture Theatre and Kerry Goulston Room

As part of SIH’s day at the Kolling

Kolling Building Level 7,

Royal North Shore Hospital,

Reserve Road,

St Leonards NSW 2065

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.
  • Get hands on help to fix a frustrating bug.
  • 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.

Next sessions

Time and Date Location
1.30-3.00pm, December 6th 2019 Kolling
3.00-4.00pm, December 18th 2019 Merewether

BMC Hacky Hour

Meet the mentors

Each Hacky Hour will be staffed by a variety of mentors and experts in different areas. Check below to see our pool of experts:

Darya Vanichkina Darya Vanichkina – Data Science

Bioinformatics · Genomics & Transcriptomics · Machine learning · Health · Python · R · Founding Mother

Nathaniel Butterworth Nathaniel Butterworth – Research Computing

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

Christopher Howden Christopher Howden – Statistician

Statistical Methods · Statistical Design

Kayla Maloney Kayla Maloney – Visualisation

Data visualisation & communication · Design · Geoscience

Taylor Syme Taylor Syme – Data consulting

Digital research tools · eNotebooks · Data capture and surveys

Rosemarie Sadsad Rosemarie Sadsad – Bioinformatics

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

Tracy Chew Tracy Chew – Bioinformatics

DNA/RNA sequence analysis · Single Cell RNA-seq · Association analysis · Animal genomics · Veterinary science

Gordon McDonald Gordon McDonald – Data Science

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

The Hacky Hour collaboration

Usyd Hacky Hour is run in collaboration by….



Past sessions

Time and Date Location
February 15th 2018 Brain and Mind Centre
March 15th 2018 Westmead
April 18th 2018 ICT Techlab
May 23rd 2018 School of Physics
June 20th 2018 ThinkSpace
July 17th 2018 Brain and Mind Centre
August 15th 2018 Camden
September 19th 2018 School of IT
October 24th 2018 Business School
November 28th 2018 Brain and Mind Centre
February 28th 2019 Brain and Mind Centre
March 25h 2019 Westmead
April 11th 2019 ThinkSpace
May 23rd 2019 School of Physics
June 26th 2019 School of Geosciences
July 24th 2019 Sydney Informatics Hub
August 22nd 2019 School of Life and Environmental Sciences
September 25th 2019 ThinkSapce
October 23rd 2019 FEIT