Control the butterfly effect: First prize in the BASF hackathon
Anne-Kathrin Blume, Ph.D. student in the Department of Bioorganic Chemistry, won first prize in the Challenge Beyond big data-Control the butterfly effect at the CODING CHEMISTRY BASF Hackathon. Together with four other scientists, she and her team ButterPy developed an algorithm that combines heterogeneous data from different sources to solve problems in chemical process engineering. Factors were sought that had a statistically relevant influence on the quality of an industrially manufactured polymer. The team's expertise was mixed; Anne-Kathrin Blume, a biochemist and chemoinformatics specialist, joined forces with a biotechnologist, biomedical scientist, bioinformatician and even a social scientist to find a solution to this multi-parameter big-data problem. After a 24-hour hacker marathon, ButterPy convinced the jury with its solution approach and brought in the harvest, prize money of 5,000 euros.
Hackatons, as cooperative software development competitions, are increasingly being tendered by large technology-oriented companies in order to find solutions for complex problems in a limited time frame. The solution is often found in small teams with mixed expertise. At this year's first BASF hackathon, held in Mannheim on November 24 and 25, 2017, 50 selected participants demonstrated their skills in programming, web design, engineering and science and developed digital solutions for real questions at BASF in just 24 hours. Further cooperation is possible. The successful team was invited by BASF to meet again.