Category Archives: News

WANTED: Big Data Hackers

hack/reduce opens membership application process

Cambridge, MA – October 9, 2012 – Membership applications are now live for hack/reduce, Boston’s big data hacker space.  hack/reduce is a non-profit 501 c3 community space whose mission is to help Boston create the talent and technologies that will shape Boston’s future in a big data-driven economy.  In addition to providing workshops and events to the community, hack/reduce will be making their big data cluster, data sets, and work space available, free of charge, to a select set of members.

To apply, teams and individuals should complete the membership application on the hack/reduce website.  Those submitting applications by Sunday, October 14, 2012 will get a chance to attend the special hack/reduce preview night to get a sneak peek at the space and meet other applicants.

hack/reduce’s membership goal is to be inclusive of all subject areas important to Boston:  from biotech and medical device to consumer web, energy, information technology, telecommunication, music, art and more.

hack/reduce membership will be a meritocracy based on people’s ability to innovate and to help build the hack/reduce community. Applications are now being accepted for Resident Hackers and Contributors:

  • Resident Hackers are individuals or teams working on hack/reduce spotlighted projects. In exchange for working on something incredibly cool at hack/reduce, Resident Hackers will have free access to workspace and resources during hack/reduce office hours. If accepted, you and your team will be made resident hackers for the month (with a follow-on option to extend to 3 or 6 months). Projects will be highlighted on the hack/reduce website and Resident Hackers will be asked to give back in some way (e.g. teaching, mentoring, helping with the space).
  • Contributors are individuals who want to learn and collaborate with others on big data projects while helping build out the hack/reduce community. In exchange for helping to make Boston number one in Big Data, Contributors will have access to workspace and resources during hack/reduce office hours.

In addition to Resident Hackers and Contributors, hack/reduce will be inviting Fellows to join as members.  Fellows are known experts in Boston’s big data community and will contribute by teaching workshops, providing domain expertise at industry-specific hackathons and bringing guidance and wisdom.

About hack/reduce

hack/reduce is Boston’s big data hacker space. A 501 c3 non-profit, hack/reduce provides  the community space and the resources – intense compute power, large data sets, and subject matter experts – that are critical for working with big data.  Supported by Boston’s venture capital and technology leaders, and the State of Massachusetts, the goal is to cultivate a community in Boston that creates big data experts.  Visit

Membership Applications Now Live!

In addition to our community workshops and events, hack/reduce will be making our big data cluster, data sets and work space available to our members.

hack/reduce membership will be a meritocracy based around community and innovation. You can become a member by either being among the best at what you do (Fellows), because you’re working on a project with the potential to make a big impact (Resident Hackers), or because you’re passionate about big data innovation and want to help us build the hack/reduce community (Contributors).

We value diversity at hack/reduce. We’re not interested in just having a bunch of data hackers sitting around (fun! but not interesting). Instead, we want to bring in all of the disciplines that make Boston great: life sciences, bio tech, energy, education, music, art… if it’s something that can make an impact on our world, we want it here. And so our members will be a combination of developers, data geeks, and experts across disciplines.

» If you’re interested in joining us, sign up today!

Below are our 3 Member Levels – Membership will begin when we launch this Fall!

Fellows are known experts we’ll invite to become part of the hack/reduce community. They’ll help us out by teaching workshops, providing their domain expertise at industry-specific hackathons, and hanging out from time to time to impart their wisdom or to just join us for some beer & pizza (you can’t have a hacker space without beer & pizza).

Resident Hackers
Resident Hackers are individuals or teams working on hack/reduce spotlighted projects. In exchange for working on something incredibly cool at hack/reduce, we’ll give you free access to our space and resources during hack/reduce office hours. If accepted, you and your team will be made resident hackers for the month (with a follow-on option to extend to 3 or 6 months).

In exchange, we’ll highlight your project on the hack/reduce website and ask each member of your team to give back to the hack/reduce community in some way (e.g., teaching a workshop, mentoring at a hackathon, helping us set up our infrastructure, or lining up the cups for flip cup).
» Apply to become a Resident Hacker

Contributors are individuals who want to learn and collaborate with others on big data projects while helping us to build out the hack/reduce community. In exchange for helping us make Boston kick-ass in Big Data, we’ll welcome you into the family and provide you with free access to our space and resources during hack/reduce office hours. We might, on occasion, feed you beer & pizza as well.
» Apply to become a Contributor

Hack/Reduce to receive funding from the state of Massachusetts

On May 30th, Governor Patrick announced the Massachusetts Big Data Initiative, as a part of which the state will contribute $50,000 over two years to Hack/Reduce. Here is the official press release from Governor Patrick’s office.

This Xconomy article from May 29th goes into more detail about Hack/Reduce, and its future home in Kendall Square, Cambridge.

Hack/Reduce was also mentioned in articles by SiliconAngleThe Boston GlobeMass High TechData Informed and Bostonese.

Heartbeat of a Cycling City: Bixi data at Hack/Reduce

The recent Hack/Reduce hackathon in Montreal was a tonne of fun. Our team tackled a data set of consisting of Bixi (Montreal’s bicycle share system) station states at one minute temporal resolution. We used Hadoop and mapreduce to pull out some features of user behaviours. One of the things we extracted was the flux at each station, which we defined as the number of bikes arriving and departing from a given station per unit time…

continue reading at

Christopher Lynch joins Hack/Reduce Board of Directors

We’re really excited to announce that Christopher Lynch has joined the Board of Directors of Hack/Reduce. Chris is the former CEO of Vertica, the big-data analytics company acquired by Hewlett-Packard a year ago. A remarkably successful serial entrepreneur, Chris’s resume includes executive leadership positions at Arrowpoint, Cisco, Acopia Networks, F5 Networks, Vertica Systems, and most recently Senior VP of HP’s Data Analytics Business Unit.

Chris recently pledged to “assist in starting-up or otherwise supporting no less than 20 Big Data start-ups in the Boston area over the next five years.”

Hack/Reduce Ottawa: Shopping & Dating Hacks

We had an excellent Hack/Reduce event again this weekend in Ottawa. Our knowledge has been expanded again, we now know how desperate daters can get and at what time people do their online shopping among other things.

In order to get all the tech to work and keep the clusters humming a lot of coffee and pizza was consumed. I would be afraid to calculate how much. Continue reading

The Boston Hack/Reductions

On June 25th Hack/Reduce coders took over the NERD center in Cambridge. It was the biggest Hack/Reduce yet with 90 coders hacking on big data projects on a total of 600 nodes provided by Hopper and Cloudant.

As always, many were humbled by crashing bits of code but that was quickly forgotten while frantically reloading a white screen with some percentages representing your job being processed. An admittedly weird way to spend your Saturday, but you just can’t say no to the opportunity of having the power of hundreds of machines at your fingertips to serve your hastily crafted code. Continue reading

Hack/Reduce Toronto Presentations

All videos from the presentations: Hack/Reduce Vimeo

Hi everyone, this is coming a bit late now since Hack/Reduce Toronto was already over a week ago, but we were too busy setting up for Boston to write about the presentations we saw in Toronto… Anyways, we had an amazing time in Toronto. Thanks to all of the participants who were working hard the whole day! Seeing people working hard, learning and enjoying Hack/Reduce is what makes it all worth while for us!

The day started off with coffee, a short introduction to using the cluster and pitches by the participants. The Hopper team then gave a short tutorial on Hadoop and Map/Reduce. Continue reading