Professor uses cutting-edge statistics to unravel the complexity of brain disorders

When Alan Evans was starting out in the 1970s, researchers didn’t ask the boss to foot their bar tab. But that’s exactly what some of the coders in his Montreal Neurological Institute lab recently proposed: a 9-to-5 Saturday hackathon, held in an Irish pub a few blocks from the McGill University campus. “Bleeding-edge coding technology and beer,” Professor Evans says with a wry laugh. “What could possibly go wrong?” Still, he agreed to the idea. When he stopped in at the pub in the afternoon, he half-expected to find a bacchanal. Instead, fingers furiously tapped on laptops as the coders raced to meet their self-imposed deadline to solve some research problem. Come five o’clock, each team presented their work – and sometimes even working prototypes of apps – and talked…


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