Nov. 1, 2022
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Hackathon puts machine learning in the driver’s seat

Holly Auten/LLNL

After 10 years, the “try something new” spirit of LLNL Computing’s seasonal hackathon is alive and well. The fall 2022 event featured an Amazon Web Services (AWS) DeepRacer machine learning (ML) competition, in which participants used a cloud-based racing simulator to train an autonomous race car with reinforcement learning algorithms. Working in teams or individually, drivers trained their cars for a time trial—the fastest car wins—and submitted their models ahead of race day. Since the event, Valerie Noble, LLNL’s deputy CIO for cloud transformation, has received numerous messages from participants about their experiences. “Many expressed that having a focus area for the hackathon was a welcome addition to the traditional hackathon format and hoped other topics, such as cyber security and virtual reality, would be incorporated in future hackathons. Another participant sent an email stating it was the best and most memorable hackathon ever and will be one of the highlights of her career,” she said. Read more at LLNL Computing.