Held three times a year, Computation’s hackathon events—also known as ShipIt Days—are 24-hour opportunities to brainstorm, foster creativity, prototype, and explore. Participants work in groups or individually and often strive to learn new skills, programming languages, and tools in service to LLNL’s missions. Learn more about hackathon accomplishments in the news coverage below, in Science & Technology Review, and in an introductory video.
All hackathons at Lawrence Livermore have common elements—energized conversations; tangled laptop cords; plenty of food, horseplay, and hijinks—but each occasion is still unique. These triannual events pack a variety of projects and new ideas into a 24-hour period. The spring hackathon was sponsored by Computation’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) Computing and Enterprise Applications Services divisions.
Elsa Gonsiorowski is only a few minutes into Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL’s) Fall Hackathon, and she and her team are starting from square one. Most days, she is a systems software developer for Livermore Computing. Today, she’s planning to learn Rust, a relatively new open-source programming language, and hoping to explore some of its parallelism features before time runs out.
“We know zero about Rust,” she says.
Computation’s summer hackathon, part of a thrice-yearly series at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), kicked off on July 13 in the High Performance Computing Innovation Center (HPCIC). Participants ranged from summer students and new hires experiencing a longstanding LLNL tradition for the first time, to repeat hackers who attend the event each season.
Some hackathon projects require more equipment than just a laptop. At Computation’s recent 24-hour collaborative event, Huy Le, Lisa Belk, and Ryan Chen built a multiplayer augmented reality application for use with a mobile phone or an untethered Microsoft HoloLens headset. The team’s hackathon experience demonstrates the event’s value for generating new ideas relevant to Lawrence Livermore’s missions.
Computation’s 2017 hackathon series opened on April 27–28 with the spring event at Lawrence Livermore’s High Performance Computing Innovation Center. Thanks to a longstanding tradition of three hackathons scheduled each calendar year, the 24-hour event has become popular among many areas of the Laboratory. This spring, more than 80 participants signed up to tackle pet projects, new technologies, or tasks they find difficult to fit into daily workloads.
Following successful spring and summer events, Lawrence Livermore’s 2016 fall hackathon took place on November 3–4 at the High-Performance Computing Innovation Center (HPCIC) on the Livermore Valley Open Campus. The thrice-yearly hackathons are sponsored by Computation and organized by different groups within the directorate.
In the early hours of the morning on July 15, 2016, participants from around the Lab began to gather to continue their projects on the second day of Computation’s summer hackathon. With 128 individuals registered for a total of 55 teams, the hackathon blew away its previous record high of 79 people. Participants ranged from Lab (and hackathon) veterans to first-timers and summer students.
Sixty-eight people participated in Lawrence Livermore’s 2016 spring hackathon as part of 39 different projects. The event began on March 17 in the High-Performance Computing Innovation Center with opening remarks from John Fisher, the acting director of the NIF Computing Applications Division (NIFC), who highlighted the strong turnout.
On November 12 and 13, staff members from nearly every division of the Computation Directorate turned out for the fall hackathon, held at the High Performance Computing Innovation Center on the Livermore Valley Open Campus. The event’s organizers, Esteban Pauli and Thomas Stitt, noted that the latest session of this triannual codefest was among the best-attended non-summer hackathons, drawing about 70 participants; summer sessions generally draw the biggest crowds thanks to student attendees.
Livermore Computing’s latest hackathon, held on July 23 and 24, attracted 79 “hackers,” the event’s largest participant pool to date. In collaboration spaces on the Livermore Valley Open Campus (LVOC) and in Building 453, students and veteran participants worked on unique projects either collectively or individually. Some set out to generate solution guides for Code.org “Hour of Code” lessons and to write programs that debug others, among other notable tasks.
Computation held the latest hackathon on November 6 at the HPC Innovation Center on the Livermore Valley Open Campus. Approximately 60 people, comprising 30 teams, participated, working on projects ranging from Laptops on Foreign Travel (LOFT) service automation to packaging LLNL tools for SC14 to gesture recognition for the National Ignition Facility (NIF) status board.