If you feel a ripple in the force this week, it may be because brain power from around the world is connecting during the Open Tree Of Life / hackathon on the Ann Arbor campus Sept. 15 - 19, 2014, hosted by the lab of Professor Stephen Smith.

Smith and postdoctoral fellows in his lab, Joseph Brown, Cody Hinchliff, and Jeet Sukumaran are the local participants from the University of Michigan Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Hinchliff is the local organizer of the event related to Smith’s Open Tree of Life grant.

The purpose the Hackathon is to quickly and cooperatively develop and build software. An impressive 35 on-site participants have signed up, in addition to remote participants (national and international). They range from students and postdoctoral fellows to professors and non-academic professionals, primarily in biological and computational fields.

“The software will be decided on while we are here,” said Smith. “But, in general the goal is to connect up resources to facilitate new questions using phylogenetic trees and other data.” 

Schedule, list of participants

Previous Michigan News press release (May 2012): U-M biologist plays key role in effort to create first comprehensive tree of life