Alberta Innovates announces results from COVID-19 Data Science Hackathon

Edmonton, Alberta – The COVID-19 Data Science Hackathon (hackathon), a partnership between CYBERA and Alberta Innovates, has wrapped up. 120 individuals and teams participated in the hackathon. 20 final submissions were made giving their best ideas on how to flatten the COVID-19 curve or promote economic recovery. Participants used data to create new insights and understandings of the health crisis, and how businesses are responding.

The online competition ended May 18, 2020. The intent of the hackathon was to examine the scale and spread of COVID-19, comparing data from different communities. Participants collected and curated worldwide open data, and then refined, transformed and linked that data to create visualizations, utilizing the Alberta Data Institute’s data analytics platform: These visualizations provided an understanding of how our efforts are working to flatten the curve and provide leaders with a data-driven context and comparisons for economic recovery for Alberta and Canada.

Hannah Godofsky created an interactive Google map that shows COVID-related supply shortages around the globe.

COVID-19 Data Science Hackathon Awards:


Prize Category:


Prize Amount:


Alberta Innovates:
Best Approach Award

Examining 311 reports in Calgary and Edmonton relating to COVID-19 social distancing to see how events and communication has impacted citizen behavior, and to see how this differs in two Alberta cities with the same provincial messaging.


Hannah Thoreson Godofsky

Elevate Consulting:
Economic Recovery
Analysis Award

A visual analysis of retail and grocery supply economics.


Visualization and Graphics Group

Health City:
Best Flatten the Curve Analysis Award

Short-term, data driven prediction model for COVID-19 in Alberta.


Youreka Data Science

Alberta Innovates:
Post-Secondary Student Award

Development of a tool to better understand the impacts of age, poverty, income and population density on the spread of the virus.


Evan Saltman

ThinkData Works:
Best Individual Effort Award

Using artificial intelligence to analyze Albertans’ social media posts on COVID-19 to gather opinions on topics like the economy, public health measures like social distancing, COVID-19 symptoms, and more.

3D Printer

The Visualization and Graphics Group team created a short-term, data driven prediction model for COVID infections in Alberta.


“We saw some really interesting projects and collaborations. Some projects looked at employing machine learning and artificial intelligence to predict COVID-19 growth based on different models in different jurisdictions. Other projects examined human behaviours and reactions to public messaging to flatten the COVID-19 curve. One team looked at social media posts, while another looked at 311 interactions. The breadth of the work was astounding. The judging process was exceedingly difficult due to all the high-calibre projects that were submitted.”
– Mark Diner, Director, Open Data Institute, Alberta Innovates

“We were happy to partner with the Alberta Data Institute to coordinate the COVID-19 data science hackathon. The quality of the proposals from both individuals and teams was astounding, which made judging a very difficult task. We appreciate the time and effort that all candidates put in to making the hackathon such a success, and congratulate the winners!”
– Barb Carra, PhD, President & CEO of Cybera, Alberta’s not-for-profit technology accelerator

“The COVID-19 crisis has presented people working with data with what is hopefully a once-in-a-lifetime chance to understand the impact of pandemics on the economy. Working with the Alberta Data Institute was a great opportunity to do this in a way that upholds our societies’ shared values of transparency, openness, and innovation.”
– Hannah Thoreson Godofsky, winner of the Elevate Consulting: Economic Recovery Analysis Award


Alberta Innovates and Cybera have partnered with agencies including Elevate Consulting, Edmonton Health City, and ThinkDataWorks, to provide prizes for the best ideas.

The Alberta Data Institute acknowledges the judges who committed time and effort to select the winning projects.

  • Nav Dhunay, ATB Financial
  • Chris Carvalho, Health City
  • Jae Cooper, Elevate Consulting
  • Ulli Wolfaardt, Alberta Innovates

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