25 May 2018

Time Session title Speaker
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM IST Hackable Fashion - The roots of the Sari Nikaytaa
12 PM - 12:30 PM IST Unfolding Origami Anish TP
5 PM - 5:30 PM IST Peer Learning - The Warm Body Effect Akshay Kanthi
6 PM - 6:30 PM IST F.U.C.K everywhere miriamino
7 PM - 8 PM IST Hacking technical education in India Deepak Prince

26 May 2018

Time Session title Speaker
11 AM - 11:30 PM IST Updates from the privacy and surveillance systems in India Srinivias Kodali
11:45 PM - 12:15 PM IST Sound and Structure Natasha Singh
2 PM - 4 PM IST Hillhacks Badge Distribution and basic KiCad workshop for circuit designing Nitesh Kadyan
2 PM - 3 PM IST Art Therapy & Zendoodling Ishu Gandhi
3 - 3:30 PM IST Flash talks Various
3:45 PM - 4:15 PM IST Markov Chain Models for NLP Matt Ziegler
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM IST On consent miriamino & Stephanie
5:45 - 6:15 PM IST Flash talks Various
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM IST hillhacks past, present and future Konarak
10 PM IST Wearable Electronics - Fashion 2.0 Ayan Pahwa
10:30 PM IST hillhacks quiz Nemo

27 May 2018

Time Session title Speaker
11 AM - 11:30 AM IST Information Architecture for Everyone Souvik Das Gupta
12 PM - 12:30 PM IST Market information systems for vegetable farmers in rural Bihar Matt Ziegler
2 PM - 4 PM IST Remote Control - Aeromodelling Ayan Pahwa
5 PM - 5:30 PM IST Beyond Little Green Locks Dhananjay Balan
6 PM - 6:30 PM IST GDPR Amelia Andersdotter (via a remote link)


Hackable Fashion - The roots of the Sari

Speaker: Nikaytaa

The Sari, at its basic, is an unstitched fabric that can be draped into any garment of choice using just knots and pleats. It can become a pair of pants like the dancers of Odisha or a pair of shorts like the Goan fisherwomen. Or one could take inspiration from the farmlands of West Bengal and wear the Sari as a short gown or one could imitate the agricultural women of Andhra Pradesh who wear their Sari as functional, aesthetic dresses. Rta Kapur Chishti, a renowned Sari historian and a textile scholar, has documented a 108 ways to wear a Sari in her book “Saris of India” that was put together after a decade of travelling across thirteen states in India.

Apart from women, men in the Indian sub-continent have also been wearing the unstitched since centuries. Dhotis have been ubiquitous all through hot and humid India. In this one hour seminar, we will delve into the gender-neutral and gender-fluid Sari as a garment of choice for men, womxn and people.

The audience will learn how to harness the fluidity of the Sari to express themselves and their individuality. I will be taking inspiration from the ancient wisdom of our ancestors to imagine the Sari in a contemporary context. Together, we will hack the Sari to extend its capabilities beyond the popular NiVi and Gujarati drapes to realize the power and energy of the Sari.

The intense and interactive session will also include conversations on colonization, fluid gender, minimalism and sustainability whose narratives are intrinsically interwoven with the Sari. The seminar will be followed by draping a few members from the audience.

Intended audience: Art, science, history, fashion, handloom researchers and enthusiasts, intersectional feminists, and gender activists, fashion nerds.

Unfolding Origami

Speaker: Anish TP

The practice of folding paper and cloth into abstract shapes and designs has existed for many centuries in Europe and Asia. However, in the 1960’s this practice acquired a new language.

First came the system of encoding a form in a crease pattern- a set of lines drawn on a square to represent the folds required to make a form. Following this came a system of communicating folding sequences using arrows and symbols which led to a further expansion of this language. The result of this was an explosion of new origami designs and ideas.

In this sessions I will talk about a brief history of origami and how learning its language unlocked my interest in it. I will demo all the basic folds and bases used in origami and also discuss the preliminary concepts involved in designing your own origami. This session is intended for beginners.

Peer Learning - The Warm Body Effect

Speaker: Akshay Kanthi

In an era where information is literally at your fingertips:

  • What still drives learning?
  • What do peer to peer learning communities look like?
  • What learning pedagogies are most effective?

In this talk I would like to share my learnings from participating in different learning environments over the last 5 years.

Jaaga Study

  • A fully p2p learning environment residency on a farm outside Bangalore. This was a completely self-driven learning environment. Learners painstakingly had to find out what they needed to learn, chart their own learning path with very minimal guidance. All this while living in a village and sharing limited 4G Bandwidth. My role at Jaaga was that of a Program Cooridnator / Operations Manager. This environment inspired me to learn programming.


  • A free programmer school in Bangalore. GeekSkooolers spend all day at the GeekHouse exploring a multitude of programming languages and projects. Right from writing their own JSON parser to Booting their own OS. All this with the guidance of just one mentor! I was part of the first cohort at GeekSkool learning JavaScript.


  • MountBlue is an intensive programming bootcamp. MountBlue invests in trainees’ skills and finds startups for them to work at. Leveraging mostly open resources, a co-working space and peers MountBlue puts people to work in 9 weeks! I currently work as a mentor at MountBlue.

F.U.C.K everywhere

Speaker: miriamino

F.U.C.K. München - FNTI* und Computer Kram - Frauen (frauen/nicht-binär/trans/inter —> women/non-binary/trans/inter*) Und (And) Computer Kram (Stuff)

The German hacker community is very active yet very much dominated by cis men. Inspired by the women* only hackerspace “Heart of Code” we started a regular meetup (exclusively) for women, non-binary, trans* and inter* people in Munich this year. Since then people in 6 (and counting) other cities started their own initiative under that label.

While differing in their concepts all of them are spaces where people come together for hacking, making, exchanging experiences, mentoring, learning and much more. Overwhelmed with the positive response our next goal is to build a community/network and share knowledge.

In this session I’ll talk about our motivations, approaches and hope to have a discussion about it with those who are interested.

Hacking technical education in India

Speaker: Deepak Prince

Earlier this year, Steve Wozniak caused much controversy over his claim that Indians do not have creative technical ideas. Without putting it in as many words, he seems to say Indian engineers are boring. While much has been said in favour of and in opposition to this, I am interested in a strange paradox - 1)Indian engineering is several decades old. Yet in this time, there has been not a single iconic Indian technical idea that can stand up and be counted along with the likes of Japan’s Walkman or Germany’s cars (People like the ones that come to hillhacks are a minority, I’m interested in structural problems here). In the same time (Post independence), arts have flourished - Indian music and cinema for eg., rank among the world’s best. 2)India has one of the largest thriving second-hand or refurbishment markets (electronics and various hardware for eg.) and it has its own cultural form of technical bricolage - Jugaad - a putting together of diverse objects gathered from what is at hand, to solve a problem that immediately confronts the jugaadu. Most of the people engaged in these practices are not college educated, not even school-educated in many cases. Yet they know what a AA battery is, which unfortunately, is something a lot of engineering students in the country don’t know about. Over and above all this, we have politicians who claim the internet was invented in Indic pre-history, during the days of the mahabharatha!!

Between these impasses, I would like to ask the question - is there a distinctly indian form of technical education or practice that will help to bridge this divide. Towards this end, I would like to propose a group activity .

The session will begin with a 15 minute presentation where I try to outline the problem in a little more detail and lay out particular symptoms of interest. Following this, we split into teams and try to analyse the issue and configure strategies for intervention. The intention is not to transform education policy or redesign course syllabi, but to find effective, efficient ways of creating nucleii of transformative action in local spaces that helps to concatenate existing creative channels.

Updates from the privacy and surveillance systems in India

Speaker: Srinivias Kodali

Sound and Structure

Speaker: Natasha Singh

Hi, I am a Digital Artist and would like to present to the audience of Hillhacks one of our tools called as Sound and Structure. Its an interactive web tool where anyone can make music by drawing simple to complex shapes. The Generative music that you’ll hear will be a result of some simple rules to map parameters of the shapes (like angle, x axis or y axis) to the parameters of music (like note, note duration, velocity). Sound and Structure has an element of surprise, and unexpectedness as a small change in the shape generates a new astounding sound. With these simple rules and edits to the shape, we can generate a lot of interesting soundscapes and we will explore more of that in the one hour workshop with you all.

Anybody who is interested in Generative sound, Web applications, Interactive tools, Data Sonification, Future of Sound and Performance, Music Experiments, Pure data, Live performance, Computation art, Creative coding, Digital music, Sound Design, Algorithmic Music can join us in this workshop.

Please carry your laptop or tablet to make your own generative art using our tool on your web browser

Some interesting links on Generative Music for you

If you like to learn more on Sound and Structure, you can click on this: http://timeblur.io/monumental-orchestra/

Hillhacks Badge Distribution and basic KiCad workshop for circuit designing

Speaker: Nitesh Kadyan

The goal of this workshop will be to walk you through KiCad basics so that you are able to get started. This will involve designing a simple design from sketch to gerber. We will cover following topics:

  • Schematic design
  • Netlist
  • PCB layout
  • Library Management
  • Gerber generation

I haven’t finalised the circuit which we will design. Interested people are welcome to propose a basic circuit. People can propose it via mailing list or on twitter by tagging me in their post (@Nitesh_Kadyan)

This session will also be used for giving away the HillHacks electronic badge for people who backed for it. Thee badge will be provided with a set of lapel pins and a hillhacks lanyard. I will also share some personal motivation behind making the badge.

People who haven’t backed for the badge can still do it here. It costs 2200 INR or approx $33.

Art Therapy & Zendoodling

Speaker: Ishu Gandhi

Art therapy is a practice that involves drawing and craft work. Research has shown that indulging in art improves individual’s physical, mental and emotional well-being. Since, art is a tool of expression - by involving in art, one can align oneself to his/her creative side and reap benefits in professional and personal lives. Zendoodling is specialised art of designs which involves using structured patterns.

This may be seen as intricate drawing. One can fill their drawing with as many designs as they want - whatever comes to mind in flow. Zendoodling helps in calming down our mind and provides relaxation. Being in Bir, amongst mountains and pleasant weather, for Hillhacks is itself a rejuvenating experience. Indulging oneself in art will further help to enhance the effect. The aim of this workshop is to bring out our creative side and enhance our physiological well-being.

Flash talks

Speaker: Various

Markov Chain Models for NLP

Speaker: Matt Ziegler

Markov Chains Models are the foundation of many Natural Language Processing algorithms. They ask ‘given the previous X number of items in a sequence, what is likely to come next?’ You can see Markov Models in action by playing with the word-suggestions when you’re typing on your phone.

The workshop will cover:

  • The basics: what is a markov model, and how do they work? We’ll do a short exercise diagramming out a model on paper, and calculating the probabilities.

  • Some variants: Hidden-state Markov Models (HMM’s), interpolated markov models, sequence generation, and Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC)

  • Some MCM applications for NLP and bioinformatics: like voice recognition, sentence parsing, fuzzy-matching, language detection, forensic stylometry, gene-finding, and protein structure analysis

  • If time permits, maybe the Virterbi algorithm for finding highest-probability paths through a markov model

Speaker: miriamino & Stephanie

Complete description pending.

Flash talks

Speaker: Various

hillhacks past, present and future

Speaker: Konarak

Wearable Electronics - Fashion 2.0

Speaker: Ayan Pahwa

Wear your code and lighten up your dresses.

In this talk am going to show few of my projects I’ve been doing lately such as:

  1. FireWalkers - LED Shows
  2. Tron Hoodie - EL Wire Hoodie
  3. iBow-T - OLED based BOW tie
  4. Desk Jewel - Programmable custom LED Paper Weight and many more

All this things are programmed and requires few basic skills of electronics, soldering, stitching and power management.


My Website: https://iayanpahwa.github.io Project Website: http://sdiot.in/products/codewear/ Project Links: https://iayanpahwa.github.io/iBowT/

hillhacks quiz

Speaker: Nemo

The annual hillhacks quiz, hosted by your friendly QM Nemo. The format of the quiz will depend on the number of registrations, but will likely involve the following:

  1. Science/Tech focused
  2. 4-5 Rounds
  3. Teams of 2-3
  4. Mostly written-rounds

For reference, you can look at the previous hillhacks quizes I hosted:

Information Architecture for Everyone

Speaker: Souvik Das Gupta

This talk makes an attempt to broadly answer the question “What is Information Architecture?” through examples from various spheres of life. It further outlines the foundational ways of organising information and includes a participatory activity to understand the practice of IA. I have previously presented this talk at World IA Day, and I plan to refine it further. Slides from the previous talk can be viewed here.

Market information systems for vegetable farmers in rural Bihar

Speaker: Matt Ziegler

The wide adoption of mobile phones over the past 3-4 years has changed the landscape of vegetable markets in rural Bihar. Farmers can call to check prices at different markets before deciding where to bring their vegetables; more long-distance traders shuttle vegetables between markets, stabilizing the prices; and an increasing number of farm-gate traders bypass the markets all together, arranging deals over the phone to pick up vegetables directly from the villages. Many of the farmers we interviewed reported getting better prices in recent years, with fewer price crashes.

In development circles, market information systems have been a favorite example of the potential for information technologies to improve rural livelihoods. The idea is simple: once farmers know the prices for all the nearby markets, they can increase their incomes by simply going to the market that has the best prices.

Research on market information systems have shown mixed results, however. Many evaluations have not been able to show that market information systems lead to a significant increase in farmer income, or a change in market choice behavior. (See section 3.4 of this paper: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jid.3314 ).

Even when farmers know that prices are better at a different market, there are many reasons why they often choose not to go:

  • Risk: vegetable prices can fluxuate wildly, even within a single day. Farmers often worry that prices will crash, and don’t trust that they’ll actually get the prices reported by a market informaiton service.

  • Personal relationships: farmers sometimes don’t want to take their vegetables to other markets, in fear of hurting their relationships with gaddidars (commission agents) at their local markets. It’s fairly common for farmers to get credit from gaddidars, requiring them to sell vegetables through them.

  • Time, maybe the most important reason: Farmers and busy, and it takes too long to go to a distant market.

  • Volume: Farmers often have a large-enough quantity of vegetables to cover the expenses of going to distant markets by themselves.

  • Market capacity: Small markets can only handle so many vegetables until prices crash. If prices are good, too many farmers might send vegetables there.

  • Unfamiliarity: Farmers’ are sometimes hesitant to go to new markets where they don’t have any connections and don’t know who to trust.

I’ve spent the past few months as an intern for Digital Green, a global NGO that works to improve farmers’ incomes and livelihoods.

In this talk, I’ll present insights from farmer interviews about market choice, and some UX design work for a market information system that hopes to address some of these barriers.

Remote Control - Aeromodelling

Speaker: Ayan Pahwa

Build your own RC Airplane learning and applying all the concepts of Aerodynamics and control surfaces and glide it along or put up an electric motor and control system with Radio receiver to for more fun.

About: I’ve been doing RC Aeromodelling since past 5 years and currently flying FPV(First Person View) Racing drones, fortunate to be among few racing drone pilots in the country.

What’s its all about? Having Fun

How does it look? https://youtube.com/c/TeamSDIoT

What will we make? A Simple Airplane from foam board.

Reference Links? My article from instructables: All about RC Hobby + DiY Transmitter

Required items: Projector and camera connected Hot Glue Gun

Beyond Little Green Locks

Speaker: Dhananjay Balan

There is a general consensus to trust a web page when there is a little green lock present in the browser when we visit the page, There is a significant population still believes that this represents a shopping bag and hence a secure portal to do financial transactions.

Lets talk about how this lock works under the hood and mainly what it does and doesn’t guarantee. The talk is moderately technical due to the nature of the problem, but we will cover the basics so its open to everyone interested in web security and privacy.


Speaker: Amelia Andersdotter (via a remote link)

Description pending.