HAMR Hackathon


You’re invited to participate in HAMR 2020! It will take place October 16–17, virtually, across the globe.

HAMR (Hacking Audio and Music Research) is a series of hackathons that have often been scheduled as satellite events to ISMIR and NEMISIG. Participants are invited to propose and pursue any project that would fall under the ISMIR CfP, including but not limited to:

  • Music informatics
  • Audio, speech and music signal processing
  • Machine listening
  • Computer music
  • Computational auditory perception/cognition

HAMR is open to everyone. To participate:

  1. Use the ISMIR Registration Form. You can register for HAMR without registering for ISMIR, but please see the registration form for details on how to do that.
  2. Then, join the HAMR conversation on October 16 and 17 on the ISMIR 2020 Slack workspace. (Details to follow!)

What’s a Hackathon?

Hackathons are events where people gather to collaborate intensively on programming or design projects. A hackathon is a great chance to:

  • jump-start a new project;
  • get to know a new collaborator;
  • work on something silly or daring;
  • learn something!

The goal of HAMR\@vISMIR 2020 is to provide a (virtual) space for people from various institutions, backgrounds, and experience levels to test out novel ideas as opposed to finishing a polished project and paper.

When: HAMR 2020 will be right after ISMIR

In previous years, HAMR has taken place the weekend before ISMIR as a kind of warm-up. But after ISMIR, aren’t we all just overflowing with new ideas, exhausted from the week but longing to try something bold and new?

This year, HAMR will happen after ISMIR, making it an excellent chance to dive into a newly published dataset, test out a newly launched service, or work through a Jupyter notebook tutorial.

How: HAMR 2020 will be asynchronous (sort-of)

HAMR will run virtually and has to accommodate an audience stretching from Auckland (GMT+12) to Alaska (GMT-8). This makes it tricky to co-ordinate kick-off (where projects are pitched to the audience) and closing (where groups present their work, and the audience votes on what they liked). Our proposed solution: don’t!

Our plan is to run HAMR 2020 asynchronously, so that the main event will take place on October 16–17 in your local time. It will work like this:

  • Thursday, October 15 (wherever you are): post your project ideas to the HAMR brainstorming board.
  • Friday, October 16: in the morning, decide what project on the brainstorming board you’re interested in, and join that project’s Slack channel. Start hacking! You can video-chat with your colleagues using Slack too.
  • Saturday, October 17: by midday, your group should start putting together a demo presentation, and you should upload it as a video Saturday afternoon.
  • Sunday, October 18: by the time you wake up, all the videos will have been uploaded, and you can view them and vote for your favourite hacks.
  • Monday, October 19: the results of the vote will be announced to the ISMIR list.


Participants will be encouraged to vote in the following categories:

  • Best Code
  • Best Documentation
  • Best Hack/Research Direction

The awards come with bragging rights. Will there be physical prizes? No.

Non-2020 mailing list/contact

If you are interested in discussing HAMR generally (i.e., outside of the 2020 event), please join the hamr-discuss Google group.