Meeting Minutes for 2013-09-11

George Silvis | 14 Sep 2013 | | meeting-minutes

Notes recorded from BUILDS meeting Recorded 9/11/13

Meeting Minutes for 2013-09-04

George Silvis | 04 Sep 2013 | | meeting-minutes

Notes recorded from BUILDS meeting Recorded 9/04/13

Welcome to the New Site!

Chris Woodall | 14 Aug 2013 | | news

Welcome to the new static BUILDS website powered by [Bootstrap 2.3.2][bootstrap] and [Jekyll][jekyll]. This website was designed by [Chris Woodall][cwoodall] and will provide you with [event updates][events], project updates and more!

Tackle a Kaggle

buildscc | 27 Jul 2013 | | projects

Tackle a Kaggle with BUILDS! Kaggle is a machine learning competition platform


Our first competition:

   The sinking of the RMS Titanic is one of the most infamous shipwrecks in history.  On April 15, 1912, 
during her maiden voyage, the Titanic sank after colliding with an iceberg, killing 1502 out of 2224 
passengers and crew.  This sensational tragedy shocked the international community and led to better safety 
regulations for ships.
   One of the reasons that the shipwreck led to such loss of life was that there were not enough lifeboats 
for the passengers and crew.  Although there was some element of luck involved in surviving the sinking, 
some groups of people were more likely to survive than others, such as women, children, and the upper-class.
   In this contest, we ask you to complete the analysis of what sorts of people were likely to survive. In
particular, we ask you to apply the tools of machine learning to predict which passengers survived the tragedy.

Previous Meetings

Meeting Times: Saturdays at 1500 EST


  • Preliminary meeting
  • Gained familiarity with python


  • Tested homebrew code against sample code
  • Made multiple submissions
  • Discussed possibility of different models


  • Digits Recognizer competition
  • completed one-vs-rest linear SVM, which placed 1121/1176 (83% accuracy)
  • benchmark of KNN placed 350/1176 (96% accuracy)


  • implemented SVM with RBF kernel and tested (worse than benchmark)


  • had lots of fun


  • Started Linear Models with Amazon competition~


  • prepared for HAMR 2013 (logistics, etc)


  • HAMR 2013


  • no meeting


  • no meeting



  • Convolutional Neural Networks tutorial (takes a REALLY long time to run)
  • asked permission for csa servers to install necessary libraries because ^

Leaderboard Results

Titanic: 733/2734

Digits Recognizer: 350/1176


buildscc | 02 Jun 2013 | | sponsors

This document contains our old sponsors page from June 2, 2013 and before.

The creative research atmosphere at BUILDS is made possible by the kindness and generosity of many individuals. Below is a list of people whose continued support is vital to the success of this unique student space.

If you wish to make a donation to BUILDS you can contact us at, or call 617-358-1164.

Main Monetary Contributors

  • James Stone – Community Benefactor
  • Donations to date: $12,920

Boston University – Computer Science Administrative Benefactors

  • Stan Sclaroff – Department Chair
  • Ellen Grady – Department Administrator
  • Katelyn Daley – Financial Administrator
  • Jennifer Streubel – Graduate Program Coordinator
  • Charles Willis – Staff Coordinator
  • Paul Stauffer – Systems Administrator

Boston University – Computer Science Academic Benefactors

  • Margrit Betke – Associate Professor
  • Leo Reyzin – Associate Professor
  • Richard West – Associate Professor
  • Azer Bestavros – Professor
  • Peter Gacs – Professor

Boston University – Other Academic Benefactors

  • Anders Sandvik – Professor, Physics Department
  • Information Services & Technology

Community Benefactors

  • Daniel Clark – Founder, Freedom Included
  • Joshua Horowitz – Vagrant

Old BUILDS About

buildscc | 01 Jun 2013 | | about

The original BUILDS about page from 2013 and before.


Who We Are

We are a inclusive group of students, artists, hackers, and organizers that believe strongly in experimental learning and the Do-It-Yourself ethic. We facilitate student-led technology initiatives and encourage hands-on learning by maintaining an open workshop and creative space that is freely available to all students. We maintain an inclusive membership policy, and strive to apply the principles of the open-software and open-hardware movements within our design policies. In short, we are an immersive experiment into the hacker ethic.

Location & Hours

We are located in the basement of the Math and Computer Science building at Boston University, room B26. We are accessible 24/7 to cardholding members, and are available by appointment to non-members. Please e-mail to schedule a meeting with us.

Want to be a Member?

You can join us by e-mailing and expressing your interest. Please include your name, university affiliation (if any), and an e-mail address where we can reach you.

BUILDS Current Officers

  • President – Kyle Brogle
  • Vice President – John-Nicholas Furst
  • Treasurer – Valerie Young
  • Secretary – Brian Hepler
  • Lead Artist – Keisuke Nakayama

BUILDS Founders

  • Founding President: David House
  • Founding VP: Kyle Brogle
  • Founding Treasurer: Maggie Clemens
  • Founding Secretary: Robert Fera
  • Founding Artist: Elina Starobinets
  • Founding Support: John-Nicholas Furst
  • Founding Support: Valerie Young
  • Almighty Keeper of Time: Andy Kalenderian

about BUILDS

BUILDS is a student-run research lab and workshop that provides BU students with tools and resources for conducting collaborative student-led tech projects. Access is open to members 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us to set up a visit or swing by MCS B26 to check out this unique student-supported hackerspace.

Contact us

  • E-mail:
  • Address: 111 Cummington St Rm. B26, Boston MA 02215