Nature, Networks & Neurons!
A challenge to put it all together
As most of you might have noticed from our first two challenges, there is a vision that connects these challenges together.
The vision we are hoping to achieve from this competition is:
From Nature to Network to Neurons.
The first challenge is to get ‘Nature into the Network’ by taking data from nature (e.g. crystals) and getting machines to ‘understand’ the images of those crystals.
The second challenge is to take the information from the Network and get it into our Neurons. Visualisations & infographics being one of the best ways to move information through our eyes and back into our brains.
The third (and final) challenge is to try and connect all three of these together (Nature, Network, Neurons), by creating a thing that shows information moving through all three, i.e. how does a researcher get evidence from nature into their computational network, process it via the tools in their network, then put it out in such way that other researchers will absorb it into their neurons for future research?
In short, this third challenge is an open challenge where any idea goes, so long as you can show to the judges how your idea represents our theme of ‘Nature to Network to Neurons’.
To help you get stated on this challenge, I am pleased to announce seven scientific instruments will be available for your use in these challenges during the conference.
Instruments you can use to get from NATURE to NETWORK include:
- DNA Sequencing Machine (OpenPCR)
- Electroencephalogram (OpenEEG) for monitoring electrical activity in the brain
- Digital USB Microscopes
- Laser beamline
Instruments you can use to get from the NETWORK to NEURONS include:
- a 3D printer 
- a multiscreen platform 
- Arduino micro PCBs 
On the Sunday (28th) and Monday (29th) we’ll also have some scientists available to teach you how to use these instruments, so that you can invent the new things for the ‘show us the future of eResearch’ competition.
Of course, you don’t need to use any of the above instruments; instead you can just demonstrate your skills through your imaginative hacking. Create something cool that demonstrates ‘from nature to network to neurons’ and glory can be yours.
In short, we look forward to whatever you plan on creating. All challenges will be due on Wednesday morning where they will be presented to a panel of judges in five minute time slots. Awards will be given out at the end of the conference on Wednesday (Halloween) late afternoon.
Good luck and see you in the Developer Lounge:
For queries or information regarding the competition, please feel free to post comments here