ADSN UN Datathon

ADSN hosts U.N. Datathon Event

Group photo at ADSN Opening Ceremony
Group photo at ADSN Opening Ceremony

What do you get when you throw a group of people together who don’t know each other, who come from different universities and disciplines, and give them a tight deadline to solve a difficult and challenging problem?

The answer: The U.N. Datathon, hosted by the Australian Data Science Network (ADSN).

The ADSN hosted seven U.N. Datathon teams over four days at the QUT Centre for Data Science in Brisbane. An eighth ADSN team competed together at the Melbourne Centre for Data Science.

Rather than having teams of people who already know each other enter the competition, the ADSN asked people to submit individual expressions of interest to take part in the event. The ADSN then took all those EOIs and put together teams of people from different universities and organisations, and with varying level of experience.

check out our photo gallery at the bottom of the page

One of the main aims of the ADSN is to get different centres and universities talking and working together. On a different scale, that was the goal for the ADSN in creating these teams of people who didn’t know each other – and it appeared to work brilliantly!  After just four days, they left with new friends and new connections, knowing they had come together in a short amount of time to tackle a challenging problem. Each of the teams tackled a different U.N. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).

Video recap of the ADSN UN Datathon

The ADSN would especially like to acknowledge the QUT Centre for Data Science and its Director, Distinguished Professor Kerrie Mengersen, for hosting and for financial support of this event. CDS provided travel grants to many of the participants and provided several meals, along with snacks for the whole weekend.

The ADSN hopes to continue doing U.N. Datathon events in the years to come with even more teams!

Highlights of the ADSN Event at the QUT Centre for Data Science in Brisbane

  • Friday evening Opening Ceremony and Networking Event at QUT
  • Three days of intense problem solving. The Centre was open from 6 am to 11 pm on Saturday, Sunday and Monday
  • Saturday and Sunday morning brekky BBQs
  • Sunday Pizza night
  • Hosting teams from all these different universities & organisations
    • QUT Centre for Data Science
    • Melbourne Centre for Data Science & The University of Melbourne
    • Monash Data Futures Institute & Monash University
    • Sydney Precision Data Science Centre & the University of Sydney
    • The University of Adelaide
    • UNSW Data Science Hub & UNSW
    • Western Sydney University
    • NSW Ministry of Health
    • University of Wollongong

Meet our teams:

Down Under Data Wizards

  • Sundance Zhihong Sun, The University of Melbourne
  • David Wu, Monash University
  • Jamie Hogg, QUT Centre for Data Science
  • Farhan Ameen, Sydney Precision Data Science Centre
  • Janith Chandula Wanniarachchi, Monash University

The Awesome Possums

  • Bernadette Hyland-Wood, QUT
  • Alex Qin, University of Sydney
  • Sherry Zhang, Monash University
  • Roben Delos Reyes, The University of Melbourne
  • John Lyons, QUT

Sustainable Data Roo

  • Hanif Bhuiyan, Monash Data Futures Institute
  • Indu Bala, University of Adelaide
  • Stefanie Mallow, The University of Melbourne
  • Bryce Polley, QUT
  • Scott Sang, The University of Melbourne

It’s Academic

  • Steefan Contractor, UNSW
  • Julie Vercelloni, QUT
  • Filip Reierson, Monash University
  • Kunal Patel, The University of Melbourne

The Imputers

  • Harry Robertson, Syndey University
  • Mithilesh Dronavalli, Western Sydney University
  • Wathsala Karunarathne, University of Adelaide
  • Xueying Long, Monash University
  • Phil Juricev, QUT


  • Dicky Sentosa, QUT
  • John Uesi, NSW Ministry of Health
  • Surekha Gaikwad, Monash University
  • Amarinder Singh Thind, University of Wollongong


  • Binuri Perera, QUT
  • Jamintha Samarakoon, QUT
  • Sithara Wijekoon, QUT
  • Navodya Abirami, QUT

Ocean Codes (Melbourne)

  • Rena Gao, University of Melbourne
  • Alex Borowiak, University of Melbourne
  • Phuong Dao Minh, University of Melbourne
  • Sunita Rani, University of Melbourne