Students try to predict potential collaborations at Hack Cambridge

Our first event of 2016 was attending Hack Cambridge, the University of Cambridge’s very own hackathon.

The popular music venue, the Corn Exchange, was repurposed to fit 400+ hackers along with 20+ sponsors.  This was the first event by this team of organisers. They did well to get so many sponsors and draw such a large crowd, including teams from Spain and Croatia. Such a large gathering of incredibly bright people from all over the UK and beyond. Seems that building apps is old school, rather a lot of the teams that I talked to were turning their hands to number crunching types of hacks. Got to admit, I didn’t understand what some people were telling me.  Felt like a bit of a wally.


Where’s Wally?

However, we fear these first-time organisers have bitten off more than they could chew with such a large event. The single biggest issue was down to poor (almost non-existent) WiFi which caused some teams to head home, almost defeating the purpose of the event in the first place. Admittedly, this was an issue with the location.  The whole event felt chaotic and over subscribed. Sorry guys. Learn and iterate.

The team that stood out the most and won the Mendeley challenge was team Leev. They used the Mendeley API to retrieve papers devoted to biomedical disciplines (e.g. genomics, drug discovery and development, chemical similarity). Data from PubMed was sourced to complement Mendeley data so they could create co-authorship networks – graphs where every node represents an author and edges show co-authorship between two individuals. Through analysing the network topology, they were able to predict individuals who are important in their field, are able to bridge fields, as well as get a glimpse of how tight-knit is the field in general. Based on link prediction, they were trying to predict potential collaborations, hoping to benefit the research community.

They applied a number of methods from network science to solve the problem:

  • Louvain method for community detection and network clustering
  • Adamic-Adar index for predicting how the network will evolve and to suggest potential collaborators
  • HITS algorithm for calculating the “importance” of each collaborator




Team Leev –  Dilyana Mincheva, Chi-Jui Wu and Aleksejs Sazonovs. 

Congratulations to team Leev and thanks to all the others who participated in this event. You can read about the other Mendeley hacks here:


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About Joyce-Stack - Developer Outreach

Joyce Stack completed a BSc. (Hons) Computer Science from The Open University while working in a startup in Co. Cork, Ireland. She moved to London in 2005 to join one of the City’s leading exponents of agile techniques at that time to work as a Java Developer. She is now working in the Developer Outreach role in Mendeley where her responsibilities are to meet and educate developers about the Mendeley API, attend conferences, meetups and hackathons and basically be the face of the API. She is passionate about providing an excellent developer experience and APIs. She likes biking, swimming and yoga but she hates potatoes despite being Irish.