Smart India Hackathon: Horrible experience
Background:- Our task was to do load forecasting for a given area. Hourly energy consumption data for past 5 years was given to us.

One government official asks the following questions:-
1. Why are you using deep learning for the project? Why are you not doing data analysis?
2. Which neural network "algorithm" you are using? He wanted to ask which model we are using, but he didn't have a single clue about Neural Networks.

3. Why are you using libraries? Why not your own code?

Here comes the biggest one,

4. Why haven't you developed your own "algorithm" (again, he meant model)? All you have done is used sone library. Where is "novelty" in your project?

I just want to say that if you don't know anything about ML/AI, then don't comment anything about it. And worst thing was, he was not ready to accept the fact that for capturing temporal dependencies where underlying probability distribution ia unknown, deep learning performs much better than traditional data analysis techniques.
After hearing his first question, second one was not a surprise for us. We were expecting something like that. For a few moments, we were speechless. Then one of us started by showing neural network architecture. But after some time, he rudely repeated the same question, "where is the algorithm". We told him every fucking thing used in the project, ranging from RMSprop optimizer to Backpropagation through time algorithm to mean squared loss error function.

Then very calmly, he asked third question, why are you using libraries? That moron wanted us to write a whole fucking optimized library. We were speechless at this question. Finally, one of us told him the "obvious" answer. We were completely demotivated. But it didnt end here. The real question was waiting. At the end, after listening to all of us, he dropped the final bomb, WHY HAVE YOU USED A NEURAL NETWORK "ALGORITHM" WHICH HAS ALREADY BEEN IMPLEMENTED? WHY DIDN'T YOU MAKE YOU OWN "ALGORITHM"? We again stated the obvious answer that it takes atleast an year or two of continuous hardwork to develop a state of art algorithm, that too when gou build it on top of some existing "algorithm". After listening to this, he left. His final response was "Try to make a new "algorithm"".

Needless to say, we were completely demotivated after this evaluation. We all had worked too hard for this. And we had ability to explain each and every part of the project intuitively and mathematically, but he was not even ready to listen.
Now, all of us are sitting aimlessly, waiting for Hackathon to end.😒😒😒😒😒

  • 18
    @irene There is only one problem. That dumbass is one of the judges of Smart India HackathonπŸ˜…πŸ˜…πŸ˜…πŸ˜….
  • 13
    Why are you mad about "algorithm" word?

    They are algorithms. You are using algorithms. Isn't the model the whole thing, combination of learning and other algorithms?

    But anyways that judge was unprofessional. You should say that the others who use traditional data science should also develop their own methods! And not just use old theorems!
  • 8
    @irene No, I dont want prize. But seeing your hardwork shattered even when you did your best is not easy. I didn't want prize, but the humiliation which we all faced when he said these guys haven't done anything was unbearable. We all worked very hard, I coded for straight 22 hours. We did deserve to be treated with respect.
  • 7
    Single word I can say: WTF
  • 4
    @irene guess you are right. Desires and expectations are root cause for pain and suffering. And you were right, I should focus on building something cool and productive.
  • 3
    @okkimus I have no (or a little) problem with using the word "algorithms". Problems was that he himself didn't knew anything about networks. As mentioned in the rant, we told him about every thing which was being used in the project, yet his question remained same "Where is the algorithms?".
  • 3
  • 6
    @Prakash bring your hackathon project to other countries' hackathons and showcases like in southeast Asia, I believe it will be a winner and other companies will sponsor it. Seriously, if your home country does not recognize your ingenuity, you might as well take it somewhere else where it will be appreciated and worked on to its max potential
  • 3
    @Prakash You guys know your stuff. He obviously does not, and he does not understand anything about the subject he is supposed to judge. Don't worry about it, other judges will be betrer.
  • 1
    @KyrePh Sad but true.
  • 2
    same shit, different Hackathon
  • 4
    The best thing to do in that situation is to simply answer his questions and move on.

    On the one hand, he seems to be an idiot with little grasp on the concepts at hand, he will get nothing from your answers.

    But, you never know, there could be someone in the room who actually does know their shit. They may see you calmly and intelligently answer this ass-hats questions and come up to you at the event.

    A good connection has always felt better to me than winning or recognition from people such as this guy.

    Cheers and keep doing you!
  • 2
    @irene i really like the way you're looking at things
  • 3
    Just make up some nice name "well we are of course using the Kauph-Wollman algorithm that we have put a block chain on" he will just nod impressed. Make sure you use words as of course and obviously then he will not dare to ask questions.
    Works for me every time.
  • 6
    @heyheni I strongly disagree with what you said. One can't judge a whole country based on 1 person.
  • 2
    @Prakash ok, I'm sorry, that was not the intention.
  • 4
    Hey man. Sorry for your experience. I participated in smart India hackathon last year and my experience was pretty good. The judges were smart ( yeah they actually had technical knowledge and gave us good advice ) . But I know my experience was a random chance. My friends had an experience similar to yours. It depends on the ministry you are in and the place. I was in Delhi so I guess that was an advantage. Also this was my only good hackathon experience πŸ˜‚. Others have been shit judges like this. Oh and not to brag but me and my friend coded for straight 30 freaking hours. Believe me the experience you just had you will remember this time with your friends.
  • 1
    @chaddhag yeah bro, experience which I got after this event was priceless.
  • 1
    @Prakash you just have to accept some people are never going to respect you even if your work is very good. And those people don’t matter. By the same token they judge may just be seeing how you respond to criticism. In a very dickish way, but he may still like your project but not want to give away clues to who is doing best so he’s a dick to all.
  • 1
    Never goto government hosted competitions in India. Only the judges’ friends, relatives and neighbours win the prize ^_^
  • 2
    "–Why are you using an existing operating system? Make your own with optimized algorithms."
  • 0
    @qwert does it help when I told you that I visited India and loved it?
  • 0
    even you make a small deep learning framework from scratch, I dont think judge will imoressed by that
  • 1
    I'll keep this in mind when I go to a smart India hackathon next time. Sorry for what happened to you. Some people just can't drop their ego
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