Hacky Hour

Drop in and say hello


Hacky Hour is a relaxed, informal weekly meetup where researchers (staff or students) from all disciplines can drop in to work on their research problems related to code, data, or digital tools in a friendly environment. Alongside your peers, there will be knowledgeable staff from the Research Technology Services team to help you with your questions.  You will even get the chance to meet other researchers working on cool projects.

Find us every Thursday at Penny Lane Cafe (Morven Brown, UNSW) from 3 till 4pm starting 7th February, 2019.

In addition to our weekly Hacky Hour meet up we host a Hacky Hour Talk the last Thursday of every month. See below for our scheduled talks for 2019.

Why Go to Hacky Hour?

Here are some reasons:

  • You want someone to show you the basics in Excel, Python, R or some other code.
  • You want to know the best way to visualise your data (e.g. map spatial data).
  • You need some help to share, store or manage that large (or small), highly sensitive (or not) dataset from a colleague (somewhere in this universe) and want to know the best way to do it.
  • Or you just want to hang out with like-minded people, share your knowledge and help someone else.

I’m Interested.  How Do I Get Involved?

Just show up! If you have a laptop or tablet, you might want to bring it along.

If you have any specific questions, just drop us a message beforehand and we’ll try to arrange some help for you on the day. We’re also happy to run specific sessions for your faculty, school or centre.

Looking forward to seeing you there!


We also take part in the yearly Research Bazaar (ResBaz): a three day hands-on research digital literacy festival run by, and for, the Sydney basin. ResBaz Sydney was hosted by Macquarie University, 3-5 July, 2018.

For more information please click on this link.


Check out our list of online and formal training courses, available free of charge to all UNSW researchers, including PhD students.

Schedule for ResTech Seminar Series in 2019

All talks held at UNSW Library (F21) Room 209 from 2 till 3pm

Date Theme Presenter
31st January SC18 - The most significant bits (Slides pdf) Martin Thompson
28th February    
28th March    
25th April ANZAC Day. No Hacky Hour talk.  
30th May    
27th June    
25th July    
29th August    
26th September    
31st October    
28th November    
2018 Hacky Hour Talk Slides

Find here all available presentation slides for Hacky Hour Talks given in 2018.

2018 Hacky Hour Talks Slides + Materials
Machine Learning in Material Science - Jianliang Yang Slide pack (pdf)
Optimising Matlab - John Zaitseff Slide pack (pdf) 
Using GPUs with Tensors in Matlab - Simon Yin Slide pack (pdf)
HPC Tips and Tricks - Duncan Smith Slide pack (pdf)
Machine Learning on NASA satellite images - Mark Broich Slide pack (pdf)
How can HPC and Bioinformatics help to cure infections and cancer? - Fabio Luciani Slide pack (pdf)
Deep Reinforcement Learning with Julia - Joel Mason, CSE Slide pack (pdf)
    (i) Discussion on merits of multiple dispatch, by one of Julia's co-creators Link
    (ii) Julia Observer - a good place to find Julia packages Link
    (ii) The notebook shown in the talk on the basics of using GPUs in Julia Link