After the first hackathon at the Vatican

To begin with, the pope didn’t come to us to say “hi”. He gave a speech from a balcony instead and it was the first time he said “hackathon” in public. Moreover, it would be unfair to say that we were not welcome: the Vatican invested deeply in this event.


The hackathon went well, although our team didn’t win anything. It was a nice experience and since I didn’t expect to win a hackathon at the first attempt, I’m pretty happy about having being there. And as we actually did work a lot on our project, after coming back to KAUST I had an amazing 12-hours sleep.


What was really surprising is the dinner that we had in a private palace. This palace is called “Palazzo Taverna” and was built by Cardinal Giordano Orsini approximately in 1400. There is a short wikipedia page in Italian about it: link. Every room looks so fancy, there are so many paintings everywhere, it looks overwhelmingly luxurious. I bet everyone was impressed.


Konstantin Mishchenko
Konstantin Mishchenko
Research Scientist

I study optimization and its applications in machine learning.