Hack for innovation to solve global challenges.

The IronHacks framework will solve your problem of where to start with documentation, by providing a basic explanation of how to do it easily.


IronHacks brings together a virtual hacking community who participate in high-energy IronHacks challenges. The IronHacks platform offers participants a no setup workspace and many powerful features. Participants get access to a Juypter Lab with GPU, BIG datasets, dashboards, tutorials so that they can excel in data exploration, prediction and visualization. The platform is accessible here


During an iterative multiphase process, the competing participants have access to GPUs, tutorials, standardized libraries and packages, and virtual help sessions. After each phase, submissions are evaluated within a few hours or days with the help of machine intelligence and human experts. Real-time and targeted feedback accelerate learning and facilitate participants in hacking complex problems.

  • Challenges - Easy access to past, current, and future challenges
  • Workspace - A workspace that integrates to Jupyter Lab and Big Query that allows you to hack in the cloud with no set-up time and costs
  • Feedback - A dashboard with real-time ratings about your submissions as well as access to your peer’s solutions.

Research: An Infrastructure for large-scale experiments

IronHacks aims to advance theories and practices of platform-enabled innovation organized via challenges and contests by affording researchers to set-up controlled randomized experiments. A researcher in the role of an admin can set-up different control and treatment groups within a particular challenge. Such groups are refer to as cohorts. The assignment to the cohorts happens is by default random. For each cohort, a researcher can specify disitinct tasks, submissions, and also scoring logic. Further they can vary the (1) degree of collaboration and (2) information sharing among the members. With respect to (1) degree of collaboration, researchers can specify if they want to allow cohort members to communicate via forum or not. Further they, can also change the what information they can see and access from other cohort members (e.g. seeing complete solutions in a Jupyter Notebooks versus just seeing textual summaries of others’ submission).

The platform offers research that other experimental platforms (O-tree, volunteer science etc) specifically designed for researchers typically: Research on data science in the cloud. On IronHacks, participants tackle data science tasks using a cloud-based editor and the platform allows scholars to track granular user interactions on the IronHacks platform and also in the workspace (the Juptyer Notebook). The task setting is comparable to commercial platforms like However, when using Kaggle researchers do not have access to granular trace data about users interactions on Kaggle (including the Notebooks). On IronHacks, researchers can also trace each behavioral interaction on the platform.

The IronHacks team is seeking contributions from other researchers to advance the platform’s feature for experimenting.


Since 2015, more than 1,000 participants have hacked in parallel virtually around the globe gaining valuable experience in coding as well as work for the chance to win internships, Amazon gift cards, cool swag, and certificates. In addition to the participation and learning, IronHacks provides the opportunity to do research on open innovation contest processes.


Participants developed novel and useful open data solutions in an interactive environment. The platform’s features helped them continuously improve their submissions while learning from real-time feedback and others participating in the hack.


As it encourages a more diverse audience, the virtual setting of our hacking platform has emerged at Purdue and beyond. Participants come from the US, Colombia, and China.


The scientific team at Purdue generated new knowledge and technology on the implications of machine-enabled feedback and transparency on participants’ productivity and innovation performance.


  • Research Center for Open Digital Innovation



If you are having technical issues, the best place to direct questions is the through the public issue tracker.

To get in touch directly you can reach the team at:

IronHacks is an initiative of the Research Center for Open Digital Innovation (RCODI). It is financially supported by the National Science Foundation (Award #1462044).



The project is licensed under the GNU General Public License v3.0 by Research Center for Open Digital Innovation (RCODI).