At each location, best projects will be awarded these prizes:

  • Best In Innovation, $1,000
  • Best in Potential, $1,000
  • Best in Insight, $1,000

One of the 6 winning projects will also receive a prize for Best Overall Project, $1,000



  • Emily Bell, Director, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia University
  • Matt Boggie,  Director of Technology Strategy, R&D, The New York Times
  • Sheila Coronel, Director, Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, Columbia University
  • Jake Hofman, Researcher, Microsoft Research
  • Michael Young, Chief Technology Officer,


  • Jim Bettinger, Director, John S. Knight Fellowships, Stanford University
  • Justin Ferrell, Director of Fellowships, Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, Stanford University
  • Bernd Girod, Senior Associate Dean, School of Engineering, and Director, Brown Institute for Media Innovation, Stanford University
  • Bill Guttentag, Lecturer, Organizational Behavior, Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • William McNulty, Director of Maps, National Geographic Magazine, Washington, D.C.
  • Balasubramanian Narasimhan, Senior Research Scientist, Department of Statistics, Stanford University


You are foregoing a weekend of leisure to work hard and contribute your expertise to a civic cause. We want to see the value of your work extend well beyond this weekend. This can be accomplished if resulting projects offer the following:

  • Interactivity. Allowing users to explore the data as they would like instead of presenting them with static graphics. 

  • Easy updates. Projects whose underlying datasets are easy to update as new information becomes available. 

  • User-friendliness. Interactive features that are intuitive to use. Analysis that is written in a language that is accessible to non-experts. 

It is wonderful to share your code and data and we would love it if you open-source it. Please upload your code to a repository such as GitHub or SourceForge where others can build on you work.

Generally, we would love to see a lot of great code that is focused on the needs of journalists, nonprofits and social scientists and which can be shared, forked and maybe even launched.


Best in Innovation - How innovative is your work? We would love to see the use of sophisticated algorithms for NLP, network analysis, machine learning and so on. At the same time, a novel method that uses common tools such as spreadsheets will also be valued. As will be a new approach to analysis. 

Best in Potential - Even if your prototype is not finished, its potential moving forward is important.

Best in Insight - We will look at the impact of your discovery, complexity of the analysis, and the scope of your finding.

In addition, each project will be evaluated with respect to its design. We will look at the interactivity, easy updates and user-friendliness described above.


  • Submitting your project on this wiki is a must. Please see Project Submission Guidelines below. Projects that are not submitted on this wiki will be disqualified.
  • All code must be original. You can use free tools, APIs and open source algorithms but all projects must be new.
  • Prizes may vary if there is an insufficient number of entries.

Project Submission Guidelines

By 6 pm EST/3 pm PST on Saturday, Feb 2, 2013:
Please create a page for your project on this wiki (the instructions are on Projects page). Please include the following information on your project's page:
  • Your project or team name.
  • Location (Columbia or Stanford). If you have a bicoastal team, choose the location where you wish your project to be judged. 
  • A brief description of what you are working on.
  • A list of people on the team.
  • What prize category you think your project fits in.
  • What you are starting with: existing codebase, libraries, etc.

By 3 pm EST/12 noon PST, Sunday, February 3, 2013:
This is the deadline for submitting your work. Please complete your page with the following information:
  • A summary of your work.
  • A step-by-step explanation of how you reached the result(s). Screenshots will be much appreciated.
  • Any links such as to a code repository, Google docs, etc.

All editing on the project pages will be disabled at 3 pm EST/12 noon PST on Sunday, February 3, 2013