Hacking Big Data and Open Data in San Diego #Hack4SD

Dates: Oct 8(Sat) & 15(Sat), 2022
Location: Storm Hall West (Rm 012: Charles Hoster Hall)
San Diego State University
Cost: FREE
Contact: Dr. Ming-Hsiang Tsou
Cathy Pucher (Executive Director)
Dr. Amy Schmitz Weiss
Dr. Atsushi Nara
Dr. Gabriela Fernandez
Github: Github
Sponsor: Sharp HealthCare
All participants of this SDSU Big Data Hackathon event MUST follow the most updated SDSU COVID-19 Campus Activities Policy:
See the link for details.

Registration HERE

Deadline to Register is Sept. 30 by 5 p.m.
Registrants will be contacted thereafter with details on teams and Hackathon logistics.

Organized by Human Dynamic at Mobile Age @ SDSU

2022 Theme

Tackling Real-world Challenges in Healthcare

(Subtitle: Addressing Real-world Problems in Healthcare using A.I. and Informatics)

The 2022 Big Data Hackathon for San Diego aims to promote Data Science and Big Data Analytics
for both students and educators in Southern California.

  • 1. Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning: How can we leverage AI/ML Algorithms to help support diagnostics, clinical decisions, and forecast staffing and hospital capacity?
  • 2. Mobile: Designing Mobile Apps to improve user experience before, during, and after a healthcare visit.
  • 3. Patient experience: How do you incorporate the patient perspective through the intersection of patient, provider, and community data into care plans.
  • 4. Health Disparities: What is the role of big data and analytics in addressing health disparities among vulnerable and minority populations in San Diego County.
  • 5. Privacy and Security: How can we increase data privacy and enhance cybersecurity measures in the release, exchange and use of healthcare data, both locally and nationally.


Teams will have an opportunity to win awards for the best overall project.
Just create an app, platform and/or technology that can tie into the smart living theme to win the prizes!

Award Prizes are taxable incomes for the awardees. The final checks will be issued to the individual team members
(the award prize is for one group per award and each member will share the award money together).

Total over $13K in Prizes


1st Prize


2nd Prize


3rd Prize


4th Prize

Special Prizes
Most innovative Proposal Idea: $500
Strongest Teamwork: $500
Imperial Valley Student Participation: $500
Qualified groups must have at least two students from the SDSU Imperial Valley Campus
Geocomputational Thinker Awards
Sponsored by NSF
Geocomputational Thinker - College Students
- 1st place: $500
- 2nd place: $250

All team members must be college-level students (Grades 13-14). One or two mentors are allowed if they are in a limited advisory role.
Geocomputational Thinker - High School Students or younger
- 1st place: $500
- 2nd place: $250

All team members must be high-school students or younger (Grades K-12). One or two mentors are allowed if they are in a limited advisory role.
Geocomputational Thinker - Honorable Mention
- $100 (Up to 5teams)

Criteria: The team must apply geographical and computational thinking (geo-computational) skills to their solution.
ZIP Launchpad Awards
Sponsored by SDSU ZIP Launchpad
WSTEM Most Innovative Solution
- 1st place: $1,000
- 2nd place: $500

*requires at least one SDSU WSTEM(Women in STEM) major on the team
Most Innovative Solution that solves a problem related to Aging Independently
- 1st place: $1,000
- 2nd place: $500

*requires at least one SDSU student on the team


No need to have all the skills—that’s what TEAMWORK is for!
We will help you to find team members with the skills you need.
Please join us if you have:

  • Journalistic, creative or innovative ideas
  • Business or marketing savvy
  • Data sense or math/statistics concepts
  • Domain Knowledge and Critical Thinking
  • Computational Linguistics or Digital Humanities skills
  • Mapping or programming skills

About Recruiting Team Members for the Hackathon
All participants need to register to participate in the Hackathon by Sep 30. If you have a team, you will need to register yourself and all team members.
If you don’t have a team yet, you will still register for the event. We will help place you into a team and you will get a chance
to meet them on Oct 4 via live Zoom meeting. If you have a team but are missing someone with specific expertise,
we will also help you to find a team member and you will also join the Oct 4 live Zoom meeting for a Team Meet n' Greet.
At that Zoom meeting, you will learn more about your team, the team formation process and logistics for the Hackathon.


Lots of free and open San Diego datasets!


We've compiled a list of resources, APIs, libraries, and ideas just for you.

1. Prezi 2. Emaze
3. Google Slides 4. Libre Office
5. Google Docs
1. Amazon EC2 2. Heroku
3. Backendless 4. Parse
File Sharing & Cloud Stores
1. Dropbox 2. Box
3. Google Drive 4. Amazon S3
5. FileZilla
Project Management
1. Github 2. Trello
3. ASANA 4. Slack
Text Editors
1. Sublime Text 2. Atom
3. Notepad++ 4. TextWrangler

2022 Agenda





08:30 – 09:00 am

Check-in (Coffee provided)

09:00 – 09:30 am

Opening Remarks and Orientation (How to use Github and Theme Introduction)

Dr. Amy Schmitz Weiss
Dr. Ming Tsou

09:30 – 10:15 am

Keynote Sessions by Sharp & SDSU

  • Opportunities and Challenges in Healthcare (Sharp HealthCare)
  • Challenge Delivering Healthcare attributed to Health Disparity (SDSU)

(Q&A after session and during coffee break)

Michael Reagin (Senior Vice President & Chief Information
and Innovation Officer,
Sharp HealthCare)
Dr. Hala Madanat (SDSU, Interim Vice President of Research, Division of Health Promotion and Behavioral Science Distinguished Professor)

10:15 – 10:30 am

Coffee Break

10:30 – 11:00 am

Team Formation and Group meeting
Brainstorming Exercise related to Hackathon theme
Each Team coordinator should have or create a Github account
Team members meet and discuss ideas
Review GitHub account and access

Dr. Atsushi Nara, SDSU
Dr. Ming-Hsiang Tsou, SDSU
Dr. Amy Schmitz Weiss, SDSU
Cathy Pucher, SDSU

11:00 – 12:00 pm

Domain Expert Presentations (10mins each)
Responsible reporting with health data

Jill Castellano & Jake Harper, inewsource

12:00 – 01:00 pm

Lunch (Pizza) and Team Finalized
Teams meet to discuss ideas and proposal

01:00 – 02:00 pm

Building Customer Empathy: Design Thinking Workshop

ZIP Idea Lab
Cathy Pucher (Executive Director)

02:15 – 02:30 pm

Coffee Break

02:15 – 02:30 pm

Introduction of Development Tools/Project plan basics
AWS (free credit $100 for the first 30 teams to apply – by emails to Dr. Tsou)
Introduce Tableau, Python, R (free student license), etc.
Access to ZIP Launchpad for mockups/prototypes

Cathy Pucher

02:30 pm

Introducing Mentors (each mentor will introduce themselves – 2 mins, and pick up their preferred proposals and teams)


02:30 – 04:00 pm

Prepare project plan/proposal (meeting with mentors/coaches)

04:00 – 04:30 pm

Project Proposal Submission deadline
Customize the Markdown submission form in your Team Github Repo

04:30 – 05:30 pm

Pitching Ideas based on the preliminary proposal/project plan
(individual presentations in PG 153 at a time)

05:30 pm

Exit and Dinner on your own





08:30 – 09:00 am

Check-in and Coffee

09:00 – 09:30 am

Overview + Q&A Session +
Introduction to the Hackathon Judge Criteria and the new Big Data Analytics Degree at SDSU

Dr. Amy Schmitz Weiss
Dr. Ming-Hsiang Tsou

09:30 – 10:00 am

Practice Pitch Time.
Check with Dr. Nara about the presentation slides and final project form on Github.

10:00 am

All teams MUST submit their final project subnmission form and presentation slides to Github BEFORE 10:00 am.

10:15 – 12:15 pm

First Session for the Team Presentations (16 Teams), Each Team will have 4 mins Presentation time + 1 min Q&A (5 mins total)

12:15 - 01:15 pm

Lunch (Pizza)

01:15 - 02:15 pm

Second Session for Team Presentations (all remaining teams 12)
Each Team will have 4 mins Presentation time + 1 min Q&A (5 mins total)

02:15 - 02:30 pm

Coffee Break

02:15 – 03:15 pm

Judge Deliberations & Hackathon Evaluation

02:30 – 02:55 pm

Entrepreneurship mindset & Where do I go from here?

Lavin Entrepreneurship Center
Alex DeNoble

03:00 – 03:10 pm

Incubation of your idea: SDSU ZIP Launchpad(5 mins)

ZIP Launchpad
Cathy Pucher

03:15 - 03:45 pm

Awards and Closing Ceremony
(Note: the Award Ceremony may start earlier such as 3:00pm if the Judge Deliberations finish earlier)
Team members must be present at the awards ceremony to receive prizes.

03:45 - 04:00 pm

Conclusion/Remarks and Thank you!


Dr. Ming-Hsiang (Ming) Tsou (Geography, SDSU)


Dr. Ming-Hsiang (Ming) Tsou is a Professor in the Department of Geography, San Diego State University (SDSU) and the Director of Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age (HDMA). His research interests are in Human Dynamics, Social Media, Big Data, Visualization, Internet Mapping, Web GIS, and Mobile GIS. http://map.sdsu.edu/tsou/

Dr. Arthur Santana (School of Journalism & Media Studies, SDSU)

Associate Professor

Dr. Arthur D. Santana is an associate professor in the School of Journalism & Media Studies whose research focuses on print and online journalism. He is particularly interested in participatory media, user-generated content and online anonymity and civility. He also explores the intersection of journalism and politics, social media and news coverage of Latinxs.

Dr. Tingting Tang (Mathematics and Statistics, SDSU)

Assistant Professor

Dr. Tingting Tang is an assistant professor with a joint appointment at both the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in San Diego State University and SDSU Imperial Valley. Her research interests are numerical methods for systems of differential equations arising from biology and discrete population models. She is also interested in understanding how the core of machine learning-deep neural nets-work and when they work.

Dr. Huan Qin (Mathematics, SDSU)

Assistant Professor

Dr. Huan Qin is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at San Diego State University-Imperial Valley. Her research interests include Analytic Number Theory, Automorphic Forms, Subconvexity Bound of L-functions, and Resonance Sums. She is also interested in doing works related to Time Series Analysis, Statistical Computing, and Statistical Consulting. Recently, her work falls into the computational number theory category, in which she develops and implements machine learning algorithms to apply to number-theoretic objects.

Jill Castellano (inewsource)

Investigative data coordinator

Jill Castellano is an investigative data coordinator for inewsource. Jill graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with degrees in psychology and criminology, although she likes to say she majored in the school newspaper, since she was editor-in-chief of the Daily Pennsylvanian. She has worked for The Salt Lake Tribune, The Desert Sun and USA TODAY, earning a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting in 2018 for her work on the deaths of undocumented border crossers. Her passion is shedding light on injustices and holding the powerful accountable.

Jake Harper (inewsource)

Investigative data reporter

Jake Harper is an investigative data reporter, focused on health. Before joining inewsource, Harper worked at Side Effects Public Media in Indiana, where he reported on addiction, Medicaid and access to health care. His investigations have covered medical industry influence in state and national government, barriers to evidence-based addiction treatment and failures to keep people healthy in Indiana’s prisons. His stories have been broadcast at stations across the country and nationally on NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Latino USA and Here & Now.


Amy Schmitz Weiss Professor,
Journalism, SDSU

Atsushi Nara Associate Professor,

Cathy Pucher Executive Director,
ZIP Launchpad, SDSU

Gabriela Fernandez Adjunct Faculty, Principal Investigator & Director, MOC-LLAB

Kelly J. Ko Director, Data Governance and Interoperability,
Sharp HealthCare

Eyal Oren Professor
Division of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, SDSU

Judge Criteria

  • Quality of the idea
  • Innovativeness / Creativity of the idea
  • Readiness of the idea to go to market
  • Impact of idea on Healthcare
  • The demonstration of teamwork/collaboration
  • The development and design of the idea (can include code but not required)


Sharp HealthCare



SDSU Coordinators

  • Ming-Hsiang (Ming) Tsou: Professor in Geography and Director of Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age
  • Cathy Pucher: Executive Director,
    ZIP Launchpad, SDSU
  • Amy Schmitz Weiss (lead): Professor in the School of Journalism and Media Studies, SDSU
  • Atsushi Nara: Associate Professor in Geography and the Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age, SDSU
  • Gabriela Fernandez: Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Geography, Principal Investigator at the Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age (HDMA), and Director of the Metabolism of Cities Living Lab (SDGs Knowledge Hub) at SDSU (Connection to the SDSU Imperial-Brawley Valley Campus and under representative communities and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in
    San Diego/Imperial County).