Call for Participation: IEEE Brain Data Bank (BDB) Challenge – Los Angeles, California, USA

The IEEE Brain Initiative is partnering with the IEEE Big Data 2019 to host a Brain Data Bank (BDB) challenge in Los Angeles, CA. The Challenge provides an opportunity for graduate/post-doc researchers and other professionals to present and share their results regarding brain data analytics and usability with a chance to win cash awards.

IEEE Brain Data Bank Challenge at the Big Data Conference 2019
The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites, 404 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, California, USA
Email questions to:

Dr. Nan Chu

Dr. Michael Fahy

Bruce Hecht

Brent Lunceford

As a Big Data Conference participant, you are welcome to attend the Brain Data Bank Challenge as a team contestant, or in the audience. The team presentation will be judged by a distinguished panel. Audience is also invited to score which can be considered by the official judges at their discretion.Keynote topics are planned for inspiration and guidance toward early commercialization based on insightful new-technology development experience.

Agenda – December 10, 2019

Time Activity Room
8:30 Big Data Conference Opening and KeynoteSan Francisco/San Jose, Sacramento
9:45 Coffee Break
California Foyer
10:00 Brain Data Bank Challenge - Introduction and Ordering of Team PresentationsSan Fernando
11:00 Challenge Opening Keynote: “Emerging Capabilities in Accessing Brain Activity
& the Future of Brain Data” – Bruce A. Hecht, Analog Devices, and IEEE Sensors Council, Boston, MA, USA.
San Fernando
12:00 Conference LunchSan Francisco/San Jose, Sacramento
13:00 Challenge Team PresentationsSan Fernando
15:00 Keynote: Neuroscience-based Entrepreneurship – Brent Lunceford, Memstronics, Austin, TX, USA
• “Big Data and Neurotechnology – What could be ready for entrepreneur's undertaking?”
• Remarks for each team’s presentation from a start-up perspective.
San Fernando
16:00 Coffee Break California Foyer
16:20 Challenge Closing Remarks: "Brain Data vs. Artificial Intelligence" San Fernando

December 11, 2019

19:00Winners’ Awards Announced at the Conference Banquet in the San Francisco/San Jose, Sacramento rooms.

On this page

Pre-Event Webinar

Recording: Pre-Event Webinar for IEEE Brain Data Bank (BDB) Challenge

Want to participate but have questions? A Pre-Event Webinar was held for the IEEE Brain Data Bank (DBD) Challenge in Montreal on October 10, 2019, which has a similar format to the BDB Challenge in Los Angeles. View this presentation to learn more about the BDB Challenge.

You can view the recorded webinar or the slides below.

Want to be inspired! Watch recent coverage by 60 minutes on how scientists are using MRI scans to reveal the physical makeup of our thoughts and feelings.


The 2019 IEEE BDB Challenge in Los Angeles will help advance this exciting field of multi-disciplinary research and development. Your presentation may help:

  • Investigate non-invasive sensor activated brain signal measurements in conjunction with other physiological inputs
  • Explore Brain Signal Multi-modal System Methodology
  • Experiment Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning for user-centric brain signal and image data bank
  • Facilitate Brain Data Formatting Standardization

This Challenge seeks to address questions associated with EEG signal image data processing and analytics such as:

  • How do brain signals interact with various other physiological signals? i.e., what could be the multi-modal signal interaction among EEG, EKG, EMG, EOG, PPG, etc.?
  • What are the feature selection schemes for ease of storage, processing, and retrieval of brain datasets across the Internet? i.e., what is the best data pooling strategy for collective physiological signals impacting EEG?
  • How can data compression and analytics reduce the complexity of the brain dataset usability?
  • How do brain signals work with virtual reality, augmented reality in various applications, e.g., games, movies, autonomous vehicles, and other emerging digital intelligence in the consumer space?


We invite you to sign-up with your Team Name, Team Captain’s name, affiliation, email address, and project title/abstract.  Start planning and progressing!

  • Individual or Team (each up to 5 people per team), no age limitation
  • Maximum number of participants: 50 individuals/12 teams
  • IEEE members will be given priority.

Registration form for the IEEE BDB Challenge can be found here.

IEEE Big Data 2019 participants can attend the BDB Challenge free. Other participants require minimally one-day conference registration at IEEE Big Data 2019. Registration for IEEE Big Data 2019 can be found here.

Please let us know your intention to participate as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please contact


The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites
404 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, California 90071, USA

Date and Time

The final presentation and judging will take place during IEEE Big Data 2019, on 10 December 2019.


  • Nan Chu, CWLab International; IEEE Consumer Electronics Society Representative in Brain Initiative and Sensors Council.

Competition Datasets

Teams/individuals are expected to creatively demonstrate their value proposition based on open source brain data that they have selected. Multimodal brain imaging datasets are encouraged for experiencing impact of various physiological signals driven by brain.

Past competitions have used UCSF and UIUC brain EEG and fMRI datasets (accessed from the IEEE Dataport Competition page). Some have used their own EEG measurements. Although brain reactions are often assessed with visual or audio stimulus, motor reflexes, even ambient or social disturbances, limited multi-modal brain data interpretations have been demonstrated. We would like to see broadened  brain image data analytics linking to the neural network effect in this competition.

Published data with no privacy violation can be accepted for the BDB Challenge (all open sources or published, no privacy violation.) The Judge Panel reserves the right to reject datasets from questionable sources.

We are encouraging participants to use brain imaging data for the competition.


Judging criteria will be based on criteria as follows:

  1. Technical Approach – 40 points
  2. Novelty – 40 points
  3. Results – 20 points

The Judging Panel reserves the right for the final, in-disputable ranking decision.

An optional presentation template is now available for participants.  The template can be downloaded here: BDB Challenge_Report_Template.pptx


Cash awards of $1000.00 are planned for the winning teams. The final amount to be given will be based on the quality of the presentations and the number of teams participating in the Challenge.

Winning awards announced at the Big Data Conference Banquet, December 11, 2019.