Hackathon at Georgia Tech 2020

Update: Hackathon at Georgia Tech 2020 (March 27-28) Postponed

Registrants will receive updates via their email address.

Brought to you by the Georgia Tech Center for Computing and Societies and the NewsQ Initiative

Building news ranking and recommendation systems can be tough. There’s a lot of opinion amid news articles out there. And maybe what seems important in one culture or language is not as important in another. So how should news algorithms work, especially amid the pitfalls of misinformation, disinformation and partisan bias? What is news, anyway? 

Teams will prototype a news ranking and recommendation algorithm/service that surfaces articles from existing news and information online from a country of their choice. Information can come from existing news sites, social media platforms (Twitter, YouTube, Reddit… you name it!), or a combination of both.

Parameters, such as defining what qualifies as news, and more about the challenge and factors for evaluation can be found here

Our judges (listed below) come from Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and The Carter Center.

When: March 27, 2020 from 6.30-9p and March 28, 2020 from 8.30a-5.30p

Where: Tech Square Research Square Banquet Hall at Georgia Tech

Who: Atlanta-area undergraduate and graduate students (registration required, bring your ID) 

Bring: Your computer and creativity!

Register to receive updates for event reschedulingRegistration Form

Questions? hello [at] newsq [dot] net

Our Judges

Avery Davis-Roberts has over 15 years experience in supporting electoral integrity internationally. She currently works at The Carter Center where she manages the Center’s efforts on rights-based approaches to election assessment and support, as well as several of the Democracy Program’s special projects.  She has worked on or managed Carter Center election observation missions in Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East, and has supported civil society capacity building efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Zambia. She has authored published articles and book chapters on election observation, and human rights and electoral integrity. Avery gained her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

Connie Moon Sehat is NewsQ Initiative Director and Research Community Lead of the Credibility Coalition. Her current roles allow her to address the challenges of perspectives and misinformation around news quality. Overall, Connie’s work has focused on the intersections of computing and democratic life, whether dissertating in German history, developing International Space Station software, or working on projects like the bibliographic Zotero (zotero.org), the New Orleans Research Collaborative (nolaresearch.org), ELMO (election, human rights, and health monitoring at getelmo.org) and most recently directing NewsFrames at Global Voices (newsframes.globalvoices.org).

Elizabeth Plachta works on the program’s Democratic Election Standards project and elections-focused efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She has been with the Center since 2010 and has supported election observation missions in Libya, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Sudan. Prior to joining the Carter Center, Plachta was a consultant for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, where her work included assisting with programming efforts on prison reform in southern Sudan, supporting a counter-piracy program in Kenya, and participating in prison and security-sector assessment missions in southern Sudan and Ghana. While in law school, Plachta focused primarily on international and human rights law and was involved in international law practica on women’s rights in Tanzania, rule of law in Liberia, and international criminal tribunals. Plachta earned a joint bachelor’s in international affairs and Spanish from Georgia Tech and a law degree from Washington and Lee University School of Law.

Ellen Zegura is the Fleming Professor in the School of Computer Science at Georgia Tech. She works in two primary areas, computer networking and computing for social good. In computer networking, she is known for her work on the GT-ITM suite of Internet topology tools, which remain in use 20 years after release. In mobile wireless networking, she and colleagues invented the concept of message ferries to facilitate communications in environments where network connectivity is unreliable and/or sparse. Her work in computing and social good includes work in Liberia, with Native Americans in Southern California, and with residents of the Westside of Atlanta. She is a Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the ACM, and an elected member of the Computing Research Association Board (CRA). Since Fall 2014 she has been on the Executive Board of the CRA.

Michael Best is associate professor with the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs and the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology where he directs the Technologies and International Development Lab. Dr. Best is Director of Research at Georgia Tech – Shenzhen, our campus in China.  He was founding director of the United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS) in Macau SAR, China. Professor Best is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of the widely read journal Information Technologies and International Development. He holds a Ph.D. from MIT and has served as director of Media Lab Asia in India and head of the eDevelopment group at the MIT Media Lab.

Tanushree (Tanu) Mitra is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech, where she leads the Social Computing research group. She and her students study and build large-scale social computing systems to understand the challenges associated with problematic information in social media platforms. Her recent endeavors include auditing online systems for misinformation and conspiratorial content, understanding digital misinformation in the context of the news ecosystem, unraveling narratives underlying online extremism, and building technology designs to foster critical thinking while consuming news and information online. Her work uses a range of interdisciplinary methods from the fields of human computer interaction, data mining, machine learning, and natural language processing. Her research has been recognized through multiple awards and honors, including an NSF-CRII award, an ICTAS Junior Faculty Award, an Honorable Mention at ACM SIGCHI, and GVU Center’s Foley Scholarship for research innovation and potential impact. Many of her academic contributions have received widespread press coverage by notable news outlets. 

Participation Policy Reminder

All attendees and participants are expected to adhere to Georgia Institute of Technology’s campus policies, such as those defining appropriate student conduct.  This includes the content submitted for the project: http://www.policylibrary.gatech.edu/student-life/student-conduct.

As with other hackathons, intellectual property for each project belongs to those who produce it, but note that as a hackathon, this doesn’t count for general idea sharing and pitching.  You also should submit your own work, as well as not introduce malware or include inappropriate content. See these examples of practices to get a sense of expectations:

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