Helsinki Digital Humanities Hackathon – A research project in 10 days

Helsinki Digital Humanities Hackathon was organized for the ninth time in May as a CLARIN and DARIAH international summer school.

The Helsinki Digital Humanities Hackathon is a chance to experience an interdisciplinary research project from start to finish within the span of 10 days. For researchers and students from computer science and data science, the hackathon gives the opportunity to test their abstract knowledge against complex real-life problems. For people from the humanities and social sciences, it shows what is possible to achieve with such collaboration.

For both, the hackathon gives the experience of intensely working with people from different backgrounds as part of an interdisciplinary team, as, during the hackathon, each group develops a digital humanities research project from start to finish. Working together, they formulate research questions with respect to particular data sets, develop and apply methods and tools to answer them, and present the work at the end of the hackathon. For information on what the hackathon was like in previous years, see #DHH23, #DHH22#DHH21#DHH19#DHH18#DHH17#DHH16 and #DHH15.

In May 2024 the DHH Hackathon was arranged for the ninth time as a special Eurovision Song Contest Edition. Eurovision song contest was one of the four themes in this years Hackathon. The other themes were: luxury – Enlightening Illustrations: Analyzing the Role of Images in Enlightenment-Era Books, disc – Cultures of online discourse and parliament – Echoes of the Chambers: Studying Democracy through Parliamentary Speeches.

Four multidisciplinary teams tackled these themes during the 10-day period of the Hackathon producing a research project and presentation for the final day. This year’s presentations even included a smoke machine ­– courtesy of the eurovision team.

The participants of the hackathons over the years have enjoyed and benefited from working in an interdisciplinary project where computer and data scientists collaborate with people from the humanities and social sciences. The hackathon provides a perspective on the benefits and possible challenges of such collaboration.

As one of the participants put it: “The hackathon was a great experience, and I learned a lot from my group. I will certainly recommend the hackathon to other students in computer science and data science.”

A participant from a humanities background shared their favourite part of the hackathon: “Seeing in real life the uses of humanities and computer science collaborations and discovering what I can gain by expanding my knowledge in the digital humanities.”

The Helsinki Digital Humanities Hackathon will be arranged again in spring 2025. From HSSH Datafication Research Programme Director Eetu Mäkelä and University Researcher Jouni Tuominen from the Methodological Unit are part of the organising team of the hackathon.

More information about the hackathon:

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