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Students, Entrepreneurs, Area Professionals to Compete in ‘Weather Hack’

UAlbany is Collaborating with Local, National Companies to Host the Three-Day Event Next Month 

The event begins at 5p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9.

ALBANY, N.Y. (Oct. 23, 2018) – The potential benefits of weather data for business and business development are the focus of next month’s ‘Weather Hack,’ which will draw UAlbany students, entrepreneurs and other business professionals Nov. 9-11.

The hackathon will begin at 5p.m., Friday, Nov. 9, at the Massry Center for Business.

The event is designed to help participants develop programming solutions for weather-related business problems, said Everette Joseph, director of the University’s Atmospheric Sciences Research Center.

“Participants in the hackathon will learn how to resolve business issues using cutting-edge weather data and climate research,” Joseph said. “Businesses that use weather data have a clear competitive advantage; our aim is to educate the ways in which this is possible.”

The NYS Mesonet, UAlbany Innovation Center, Weather & Climate Business-Analytics Research Center, Blackstone Launchpad and Innovate 518 are joining to organize and host the hackathon, according to Maria Pidgeon, associate director of community and economic development at UAlbany.

Covey Computer Software and NYSTEC will provide challenges for the event using data from the New York State Mesonet, according to Christopher Thorncroft, chair of the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences.

Weather data can predict where illness will spread, helping healthcare providers better prepare to offer treatment, Thorncroft said, to name just one application. Weather data challenges presented to participants at the event might also include those related to transportation, consumer products/services, renewable energy and utilities.

In addition to access to data from an advanced mesoscale weather network, ‘Weather Hack’ will offer competitors the opportunity to network with industry-leading professionals, according to Bob Manasier, UAlbany’s entrepreneur in residence and co-organizer for the event.

“One of the many hidden gems at UAlbany is the NYSTAR Center of Excellence in Atmospheric and Environmental Prediction and Innovation that houses the NYS Mesonet,” Manasier said. “This hackathon will showcase the incredible micro-weather data that we are collecting at UAlbany, and the powerful applications and solutions that will develop this data for industrial and societal use.”

Manasier said students from all colleges and universities in the Capital Region are invited to participate and that a background in computer science or programming is not required. Participants can compete individually or in teams.

Participation in the hackathon costs $10 for students and $15 for the general public.

Register for the event here.

Participating companies to date:

  • AccuWeather
  • Riskpulse
  • Climacell
  • TruWeather Solutions
  • IBM
  • Troy Web Consulting
  • NYSTEC
  • Covey Computer Software, Inc.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.