Fruit Fly Brain Hackathon 2019

FFBH 2019

Wednesday, March 18, 2020


Center for Neural Engineering and Computation

Columbia University, New York, NY 10027


The 4th Fruit Fly brain Hackathon (FFBH 2019) will be held on Wednesday, March 20, 2019.
The goal of the hackathon is to bring together researchers interested in developing executable models of the fruit fly brain. In this year’s hackathon, we will focus on the FlyBrainLab (FBL), a newly developed interactive computing platform for studying the function of executable circuits constructed from fly brain data. The hackathon is aimed at three main groups of participants: neurobiologists, modelers and software engineers. We welcome researchers working on the fruit fly brain as well as those working on other model organisms to participate and broaden the discussion in the hackathon.

The Fruit Fly Brain Hackathon 2019 is organized in conjunction with the Columbia Workshop on Brain Circuit, Memory and Computation on March 21-22, 2019. Participants of the hackathon are welcome to attend the workshop.


Tingkai Liu, Department of Electrical Engineering, Columbia University
Mehmet Kerem Turkcan, Department of Electrical Engineering, Columbia University
Chung-Heng Yeh, Department of Electrical Engineering, Columbia University
Yiyin Zhou, Department of Electrical Engineering, Columbia University


Registration is free but all participants have to register. To help us better organize the event, please provide in the appropriate registration block a brief description of your background and what you would like to learn/achieve during the hackathon. Thank you!

Lodging and Directions to Venue

Please follow this link for lodging details and directions to the hotel and venue.


Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

09:00 AM - 09:10 AM: Introduction to the Fruit Fly Brain Hackathon (Chung-Heng Yeh, Columbia University, USA).

09:10 AM - 09:15 AM: Self-introductions by Participants.

09:15 AM - 09:30 AM: Talk: Introduction to FlyBrainLab (Mehmet K. Turkcan, Columbia University, USA).

09:30 AM - 12:30 PM: Hacking: Basic Features of FBL.

12:30 PM - 01:30 PM: Lunch Break.

01:30 PM - 01:45 AM: Talk: Building Models of Fly Brain Neuropils Using FBL (Yiyin Zhou, Columbia University, USA).

01:45 AM - 02:00 PM: Discussions and Summary of Project Ideas.

02:00 PM - 06:00 PM: Hacking.

Computing Resources

Participants only need to bring a laptop to the hackathon to fully explore the capacity of the FFBO. We will host the main FFBO service on an Amazon EC2 instance with limited capacity. For attendees interested in installing FFBO on their own machines, or developing new features, all service packages will be available in the form of Docker images. Instructions to install FBL will be provided by March 13, 2019. An Amazon Machine Image will also be provided. We encourage participants to try installing the FBL platform before the hackathon.

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