AEC Hackathon 2.1 Chicago

As I was writing in my earlier post, there was AEC Hackathon in Chicago over the weekend of March 6~8. This time, no snow, and I could make it (although it was still freezing cold when I arrived). It was a different story for Jaime who was flying from New York; New York was hit by yet another snow storm. After his flight was cancelled three times and taking detour, he ended up spending more than 24 hours to fly from NY to Chicago. Usually those things happen to me. (My manager always tells me that he will never ever travel with me.) Feels like Jaime kindly took the Jinx from me. Any way, we both arrived to the opening of the event on time. Two colleagues (one being soon-to-be an official colleague) were there as well: Colin McCrone from Computational Design team and Mohammad Rahmani Asl who just finished his Ph.D., and will be starting as a member of Energy Performance Analysis team in May.

For those who are interested in finding out about AEC Hackathon in Chicago, here are links:

It was the first AEC Hackathon in Chicago. It was hosted by BUILTWORLDS. There were more than 100 people gathered. According to the organizer, it was more than NY one. Other than colleagues from Autodesk, I did not know anybody. I was somewhat expecting that there would be some repeaters and see people I met before. But it wasn’t the case. Seemed like quite a few web programmers and computer science and engineering students from universities in the area were there as well. It was always fun talking with energetic students.

Forming a team to work together for the next two days with people who you just met for the first time is quite intimidating and felt awkward to start with. But sounds like it is common feeling at the beginning. By the next morning when the people who brought up problems to solve started to explain the problem in more detail, our focus quickly shifted to think what we can do to contribute to solve the problem.

Jaime and I decided to join different teams. At the end I participated the team who wanted to have a better view of Navisworks clash results. Tyler Davis, who brought up this problem explained that a model has more than 5000 clashes. It actually depends on how they are modeled in authoring software, too. How to analyse data to make them more manageable and efficiently is the challenge we had. If I use a buzzword, I gradually understood it’s a big data problem. By the end of two days, the team managed to implement a logic to group clashes based on the location. An instant team working together solving a problem – it was quite impressive. In particular, the team was relatively large for this type of event, 10 people. It needs a leader to make decision and keep everybody on track as well — excellent job to The Clash team. I learned from every one of them in those two days.

By the time I was leaving Chicago, the temperature was up and felt almost like spring – as if all the energy from the participant of hackthon has melted the snow in Chicago.

“The Clash” team presenting. Overall award winner.  

Jaime presenting View and Data API. 

Happy coding.



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