MRI4ALL Hackathon
Imaging the Unknown

16 - 21 October 2023, NYU Center for Biomedical Imaging

Can you find out what's inside the box?

About The Hackathon

Can you develop an MRI system from scratch?

Goal of the MRI4ALL hackathon is to engage the MR engineering community toward development of a novel open-source low-field MRI system. Over the course of four days, the participants will develop a fully-fledged MRI scanner, enabling new imaging approaches and dissemination of the know-how required for scanner development. Throughout this process, we aim to strengthen the understanding of MRI development, introduce novel ways for data acquisition, and improve collaboration in our community.

At the beginning of the hackathon, a box containing an unknown phantom will be presented. The goal is that, by the end of the four days, the participants will be able to use the developed scanner to look inside the box and image the phantom. The phantom will include various features, and points will be given for each identified feature (ranging from easily identifiable to difficult).


Center for Biomedical Imaging
Department of Radiology
NYU Langone Health
660 First Avenue
New York City


Monday to Saturday
16 - 21 October 2023


The hackathon will take place over four days, two days before and two days after the i2i Workshop at NYU School of Medicine.

Pre-Hackathon Get-Together: On Sunday evening, we will meet for food and drinks in one of the bars near the CBI (participation optional, location TBA).

Monday, October 16


Participants will arrive onsite for a launch meeting. The phantom box will be presented.

Hackathon Kick-Off

Each group will present the designs, required tools, and planned work packages (10 - 15 minutes). An open discussion will take place, allowing participants to voice opinions and suggestions.

Project Work Begins...

Groups will break to work on the individual designs for the rest of the day. Lunch will be ordered by the projects teams separately.

Daily Wrap-Up

Every day, there will be a 5-minute update from each group, presented by one trainee (to promote engagement of students & postdocs).


Following the wrap-up meeting, all participants will have dinner together.

Project Work Continues...

The teams can continue to work late into the night, or prepare for the next day.

Tuesday, October 17


Participants meet for breakfast and discuss work items for the day.

Project Work Continues...

The teams will continue working on their projects.

Daily Wrap-Up

Project teams will provide a brief 5-minute update and discuss what steps are still missing for the integration with designs of other groups.


Teams have dinner together.

Work Continues...

By the end of Tuesday night, each group is expected to have a final prototype available.

Friday, October 20


Participants meet for breakfast and reflect on the i2i Workshop.

Start of Scanner Integration...

Teams will start with the integration of the different pieces of the scanner and conduct testing. This is the day when everything will come together!


Participants have dinner together.

Integration Work Continues...

If needed, the project teams will focus on solving the residual problems discovered during scanner integration.

Saturday, October 21


Participants meet for breakfast and discuss the remaining work items.

Scanner Finalization...

Last modifications of the scanner hardware and software will be integrated.

Scanner Testing & Bug Fixing

Data acquisition will take place with the new system. Bug fixes will be implemented as needed.

Phantom Scanning

The box with the unknown phantom box will be imaged with the scanner.

Hackathon Summary

Each group will give a 10-minute summary of the work. The final product will be unveiled. All code and hardware designs will be made open-source and published in GitHub.

Closing Party

All participants celebrate with food and drinks at one of the bars near the venue (location TBA).

During the two days of the i2i Workshop, various fabrication activities will take place (e.g., 3D printing of scanner case).


The hackathon will take place in the facilities of NYU's Center for Biomedical Imaging in Manhattan, New York City.

660 First Avenue, 4th and 2nd Floors, New York, NY 10016

All food and non-alcoholic drinks will be provided for participants, including plenty of coffee and tea.

NYU Center for Biomedical Imaging, New York City

Located in the middle of Manhattan, the research center houses a state-of-the-art RF engineering laboratory equipped with precision circuit routers, network analyzers, 3D printers, workbenches, and other specialized equipment for design, prototyping, and construction of RF coils, electronics, enclosures, and phantoms. Multiple conference rooms will be available for meetings and team work.

Project Teams

To create the scanner, four main teams will be assembled: A magnet team, gradients & shimming team, RF team, and software team.

Each team will be led by experts in the field, who will coordinate the design & preparation for the hackathon and the team's deliverables. We strongly emphasize that diversity will be sought out, so that each group will include trainees as well as experts to foster training & education.

Magnet Design

Speaker 2

Leeor Alon

Hackathon Organization

Speaker 1

Clarissa Cooley

Magnet Design

Gradients & Shimming

Speaker 2

Jason Stockmann

Gradient Design

RF Hardware

Speaker 1

Ryan Brown

Coil Design

Software Platform

Speaker 2

Sairam Geethanath

Scanner Control

Speaker 1

Kai Tobias Block

User Interface


Accommodation can, unfortunately, not be provided. Here are several hotels in walkable distance from the venue.

Hotel 2

Hotel 31

0.7 mile from the venue

Hotel 1

Pod 39

0.4 mile from the venue

Hotel 3

The Shelburne Sonesta

0.4 mile from the venue

Frequently Asked Questions

  • No, we are interested in creating heterogeneous teams that include experts in the field and trainees without much experience. Don't be afraid to join the fun!

  • We have a quota for the maximum number of participants in the hackathon. Therefore, you will be required to register by completing a simple application form. After the registration period, we will review applications and assign applicants to the development teams. You will be informed by email about the assignment.

  • We anticipate that we will be able to develop a basic MRI system from scratch and use it for imaging the secret phantom at the end of the hackathon. During this process, we will improve the utilized open-source tools, and we will make all code and technical information available to the community. It is planned to summarize the hackathon experience in a manuscript and publish it in one of the peer-reviewed MRI journals after the hackathon.

  • Not at all! We encourage a broad and diverse number of researchers from around the world to pull their sleeves up and join the fun.

  • No, we require participants to attend every day of the hackathon.

  • We are planning to keep the scanner in operational state at the Center for Biomedical Imaging and use it during MRI lectures and for student experiments.

  • Participation in the hackathon is completely free. We will provide all materials, food, and drinks. Unfortunately, we do not have enough funding to provide housing for the participants. Therefore, participants need to cover accommodation expenses themselves. A list of recommended hotels in the proximity of the venue can be found here.

  • Yes, employees of commercial companies are welcome to join the hackathon. However, we require that you are or have been working in the area of MRI research and have basic knowledge about MRI.

  • We will post updates on our news page. Make sure to check this page regularly.


Participation in the MRI4ALL hackathon is free and open for everyone. However, we require that you have prior experience with MRI and are affiliated with an academic MRI research institution. Please use the button below to start the registration.

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