Datathon FAQ

The ACE Datathon is a machine learning Hackathon at its core.. Together with your team you will choose one of the challenges (similar to a Kaggle format) that we offer and work on it for more than 24h. Your contribution consists of two components: on one hand you will compete against other teams with respect to the main (machine learning) challenge, on the other hand we offer you plenty of options to participate in fun side challenges, which allow you to meet new people and have lots of fun.
Yes. To all those attending, we will provide some food vouchers and deals throughout the weekend to ensure you can focus 100% on coding. In addition, in the supply box every team will receive will contain snacks and drinks to power you through the night.
Machine learning is at the heart of our vision and so is having fun. While other hackathons are excellent at providing the opportunity to design a product prototype, the Datathon focuses on the data science underneath. To complement it, we pride ourselves in many fun side challenges to keep spirits high throughout the entire event.
The main challenge winners will be rewarded for their efforts with cash prizes (split among all participants). Side challenges will have prizes such bluetooth speakers, cool mice or similar.
The registration will open on Monday, 04.04., at 6pm (noon) for 2 weeks until 19.04. at 12pm (noon).
No, there is no registration fee. It is completely free to participate in the Datathon.
No, unfortunately this is not possible since we want to make sure everyone gets to spend the event with someone else. You have to register at least with one other person (think of your flatmates, spouses, friends from class etc…).
Teams consist either of 3 or 4 persons. Either you register as a full team (3 or 4 persons) or you register with one other person and will be matched with another group of 2 people.
You only need to find other team mates in case you register with 2 people. We will organize a matching event prior to the Datathon to get you in contact with other pairs of 2 persons with whom you can form a team.
The Datathon will take place from Saturday, 08th of May 10am, to Sunday, 09th of May at 4:30pm. This means you may code throughout the night to come out on top by the submission deadline.
We will provide every pair or team with a “supply box” before the event. This will include goodies, snacks and other surprises to power you through the weekend. It will be delivered to the address you provide.
At the address that you provided during your registration. That is probably either your home or one of your teammates. The other teams will be joining you in a virtual world online, where you get to meet them, compete against each other for side challenges and otherwise enjoy the event together.
No, unfortunately not. Due to logistical reasons you can only participate if you live in or close to Zurich. We hope the next edition can be open to anyone again.
No, you don’t need to be enrolled at ETH Zurich. However, as this event is targeted at the student community centered in Zürich, we primarily encourage student teams to apply. We are more than happy to accommodate a mixed team or recent graduates. Applications with a majority of working professionals will be considered, although at a lower priority.
Due to the restrictions that the COVID-19 situation imposes on all of us, it is not reasonable and responsible to allow for a full in-person event. The hybrid format ensures that you either have parts of your team or even your full team around you. This allows for a fun atmosphere while respecting the necessary contact restrictions. We will ensure that interacting with other teams is as easy and fun as you would expect it in a pure in-person event. With many interactive side-challenges and a virtual world to meet other participants, we’re certain you will enjoy it.
No, the event will take place in a hybrid online/offline format. You can find more information under “Where does the event take place?” or “I participated in the last Datathon and really enjoyed the in-person atmosphere. How does the hybrid format differ from a pure in-person event?“
Yes, of course. You are not expected to be an experienced programmer, even though every little bit of skill that you bring to the event will give you an advantage towards scoring high in the main challenges. You can learn tons of things from your teammates or the expert sessions that we will organize. Furthermore, the side challenges do not require any coding skills at all. However, having some previous hands-on experience with machine learning will be incredibly helpful.
No, you are free to choose the tools that help you to master the challenge. There is no limitation on the tools that you use.
Yes. If your team is stuck, we offer various possibilities to get you back on track. First of all we have a “Tech corner” with organizers of the Datathon. Besides that we also have “experts” from companies and/or university that can give you valuable hints.
Yes, our sponsors will be available during certain time slots of the event. Feel free to reach out to them. You are even encouraged to do so.
The most important thing is a smile! Besides coding we want the event to be a fun occasion to get in touch with other people and have a pleasant weekend. Furthermore, you need a computer, power supply and a (stable) internet connection. That’s all you have to prepare. We will take care of the rest: all necessary information, main- and side-challenges, most food, drinks, snacks and everything else you might need.
Yes, the side challenges are not mandatory and can be skipped altogether. However, the side challenges greatly enrich the overall experience and we highly encourage participating in them.
Yes, the code is absolutely yours. However, we will be providing you with cool and non-public datasets, which you are NOT ALLOWED to share, and might have to confirm in writing by signing an NDA.
The winners of the final challenge will be decided in the following fashion: for each of the 2 machine learning (main) challenges, the top 3 teams are selected based on a private test set that only the organizers have access to. They then pitch their result to all participants and an expert jury, who will select 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize winners for each challenge. Side challenges are self-contained, and the winning requirements will be described for each challenge.