Keep Geoscience Weird Winners


Studio X Team


October 25, 2023

Meet our top four Xeekers and learn about their winning submissions.

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We’re thrilled to share the winners of Xeek’s Keep Geoscience Weird challenge! Read on to learn about each winner, and get more insights into their solutions.

First Place: Guillaume Leclerc $8,000

Visualizing 3D geoscience data is flat-out hard: different data types, vintages, and the sheer complexity of Mother Nature make it a challenge. Guillaume Leclerc’s winning submission was  a simple, fast, and modern interface for viewing and mixing 3D data which allows a geoscientist to view data differently than they could with traditional tools.

We believe this new solution has the potential to help trigger new ideas by simply changing the way the data is presented. Guillaume’s work will inspire the next tool the Studio X team plans to build.

First Place Winner

This practicality was part of what drew Guillaume to Xeek. “This [challenge] appealed to me because it was different. I knew it could actually be useful in the sense that people can actually use [my solution] afterwards.”

And his advice for future Xeekers? “Have a plan and try to stick to it. It’s easy to overdo it and go through side roads that lead to nowhere. Feature creep is really easy to fall into.”

Second Place: Bastian Steffens and Quentin Corlay $4,000

Bastian Steffens’ and Quentin Corlay’s solution builds on top of their previously-winning submission for the Go With the Flow Xeek Challenge in 2020. This time around, the authors thought more about how the user would want to interact with the output of the Go With Flow models in order to iterate and improve their subsurface understanding. The new views include a clean 3D view and the ability to highlight key features in the model.

We love seeing past participants come back again and again! One of the reasons Bastian and Quentin continue to take part in Xeek challenges is that they enjoy getting to take their work into their own hands. “When we’re in our office, it’s on [the university] to share and broadcast the work that we are doing,” says Quentin. “Xeek is a great platform for sharing stuff [ourselves] and having people really have a look at the results we are producing and think about how they could use it in their everyday workflow.”

Second Place Winners

Plus, it’s a good change up to their day-to-day work. “It’s nice to work on things [with others] instead of doing it on your own,” says Bastian. “Working on a team is a very nice refreshment and completely different from normal PhD work [...] You’re working on something that’s not related to your work, so you have to dive into something completely new. That was definitely great.”

Third Place: Gleb Shishaev $2,500

It takes years to pick up all the clues that differentiate one piece of geoscience data from another. For example, samples from an ancient river deposit can look very different depending on whether they were collected from the middle of the channel or on the bank. This team built a solution that leverages an algorithm to sort through all different clues to uncover how related different data pieces are. At all levels now, geoscientists can quickly interrogate their data to help build the larger geological story.

Third Place Winners

“This was our first [Xeek] challenge,” says Gleb. "We wanted to try something different with this challenge compared to your usual data science competition, just because we did the kind of challenges [that always had] the same problems, the same kind of solutions. So we wanted to try something different, to find a different path and experiment with the data. It was freeing for the imagination, and you [can] do everything you want.”

Honorable Mention: Eric Beck, $500

With subsurface data being so complex, it is often nice to have a simple visualization that allows users to paw through the data with only their thoughts — not technology — to stop them along the way. This was the inspiration behind  Eric Beck’s solution.

Honorable Mention

Although Eric has already had a long, robust career, he still finds that Xeek challenges are a good way to continue to grow. “I looked back at some of the stuff I wrote for Go With the Flow,” he says, “and it’s like a C++ programmer programming in Python. I’m gradually learning [through these challenges] to think more ‘pythonically.’”

But what’s the best reason to join a Xeek challenge? Eric puts it succinctly: “Problems are interesting.”

Want to join our next Xeek challenge? Learn more about their experience in the video below and join Xeek today.