NAACCR 2018 Cancer Informatics Hackathon

NAACCR 2018 Cancer Informatics Hackathon

Cancer Informatics Hackathon:
Forging Solutions for Cancer Control

June 9-11th 2018, Pittsburgh, PA

Calling all Informatics professionals and students!

presented by:
North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR)

NAACCR invites you to this exciting 3-day software hackathon to develop innovative software tools and explore novel technological approaches to transform cancer control and prevention methods in a collaborative environment.

Our goals for the hackathon are:

    • Introduce informatics professionals and students to an exciting career in the rapidly evolving world of cancer control and data science
    • Recruit talented, motivated, innovative people into the cancer informatics workforce
    • Gather the brightest informatics minds in the Pittsburgh area for 3 days to hack out solutions to major cancer control problems fueled by great prizes, food, interesting projects, and fun collaborations

NAACCR will hold the hackathon in conjunction with its 2018 Annual NAACCR Conference, so you will have a great opportunity to network with a talented, dedicated, diverse group of professionals, united through the NAACCR organization to promote high-quality, population-based cancer registries across North America.

The deadline to register was May 31, 2018.

Teams will be invited to choose from several projects representing real-world challenges faced by cancer registries and cancer informatics professionals focused on cancer control. Project details will be described at the event, but some examples include:

  • Develop a software application for generating synthetic cancer data sets
  • Develop natural language processing methods to extract coded data items from clinical text
  • Develop a mobile application for collecting cancer data, including complex staging information
  • Develop a software application that can parse and display very large cancer data sets

After nearly 3 days of hacking, teams will present their solutions to a panel of NAACCR judges. Projects will be evaluated based on criteria including:

  • creativity
  • adherence to project guidelines
  • potential for real-world application to cancer control efforts

Project presentations and judging will be held on June 11, 2018 at 5:30 pm at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown, site of the 2018 NAACCR Annual Conference. All participants are encouraged to attend the final presentations and judging, however, only one team member is required to present for a team to be eligible for a hackathon prize.

All participants will also be invited to the NAACCR 2018 Annual Conference welcome reception at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown hotel starting at 7:00 pm, following presentations and judging, to meet and network with cancer informatics professionals and leaders in the NAACCR community.

Please email with any questions.

The top 3 teams will be awarded cash prizes. The amounts are as follows:
1st – $3,000   2nd – $1,500   3rd – $750

Competition will be tight, but friendly, as we hope to spur the next generation of cancer informatics professionals that can solve the most difficult problems in cancer prevention and control.

If you are interested in accommodations for the Hackathon we have reserved a block of rooms at our main conference venue. Click here for more information.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center will host the hackathon at the Herberman Conference Center on the UPMC Shadyside Campus, in the UPMC Cancer Pavilion. Plenty of food and beverages will be provided to participants during the day, while dinner excursions will be organized to extend the hacking and idea generation into the night.

Below, you can find a map of the event venue. Please contact us for any further details.

Note that once the Hackathon begins teams will be allowed to work on their projects at any time they choose including after hours up until they are presented. The schedule above is just a suggested outline and reflect when the Conference Center will be available.

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What is NAACCR? 

The North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, Inc. (NAACCR), is an association of more than 100 sponsoring, sustaining, and full members representing population-based central cancer registries and other cancer surveillance organizations in all U.S. states and Canadian provinces; leading federal agencies, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI); Canadian partner organizations, including the Canadian Council of Cancer Registries, Statistics Canada (StatsCan), Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC), national cancer organizations like the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Commission on Cancer (CoC), and the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA); as well as many other cancer surveillance entities. This diverse but dedicated group is united through NAACCR to ensure the development and promotion of high-quality, population-based cancer registries across North America.

Mission: The North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, Inc. (NAACCR, Inc.), is a professional organization that develops and promotes uniform data standards for cancer registration; provides education and training; certifies population-based registries; aggregates and publishes data from central cancer registries; and promotes the use of cancer surveillance data and systems for cancer control and epidemiologic research, public health programs, and patient care to reduce the burden of cancer in North America.

Where is the hackathon?

The NAACCR Cancer Informatics Hackathon will take place at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Herberman Cancer Center, an ideal location providing comfortable workspaces and excellent WiFi.

Who can participate?

Anyone that registers by May 15, 2018 and is able to contribute to a fun, fast-paced, software development hackathon.

Do I need experience?

You do not need experience with hackathons, but you should have some software development, user interface design, or data science experience.

Why should I participate?

It will be an educational experience offering teamwork, competition, an opportunity to help solve real-world cancer informatics issues, eat free food, and win fabulous prizes! Not to mention, an excellent opportunity to get noticed for an exciting cancer informatics job!

Do I need to be on a team?

We will encourage participants to work in teams of 3-4 people, but we welcome teams of all sizes, from 1-50 participants. We will help form ad-hoc teams at the start of the event, do not worry about getting a team together, this event will be a great way to collaborative on an informatics project with new people.

Will travel reimbursement be provided?

Travel reimbursement will not be provided.

What will be provided?

WiFi, power strips, whiteboards, markers, and plenty of refreshments.

Participants must bring their own laptops.

When is the deadline to apply?

May 15, 2018

Can we start projects before the event?

No, projects may not be started before the event. All work related to the project must be done during the hackathon onsite.

What is the policy on intellectual property?

Ideas and solutions generated through the NAACCR Cancer Informatics Hackathon will be shared freely, however, one of the datasets provided for a project has restrictions on its use outside the event.  The reality of cancer informatics work is that much of the data required to develop solutions is derived from real medical data from real cancer patients, so we must do everything we can to protect their privacy. Details about the protected dataset will be given at the event, but its restrictions on use will be a great introduction to the privacy and confidentiality issues common in cancer informatics.

Aside from the special dataset, any software, design documentation, or other artifacts generated during the hackathon will be released to the public domain.

Please email with any questions.

Thank you to our Hackathon Sponsors

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Please email Sponsor logos will be acknowledged on this website.

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