Gavel is a project expo judging system.
It was originally built for HackMIT and first used at HackMIT 2015. It's been used at a number of other events since then.
See the demo video here!
Gavel is based on the method of pairwise comparisons. Before you use Gavel, it's highly recommended that you read about the philosophy behind the implementation as well as hints on how to use it in practice. Read this blog post first, and then read this blog post.
Gavel is stable software. We've used it successfully at HackMIT, and a bunch of other hackathons and events have used it too.
Gavel is a pretty different way of doing judging. If you want to use this for your hackathon or event, we highly recommend that you:
- Deploy it and play around with it ahead of time to get a feel for how the system works
- Read the blog posts linked above to get an idea of how to structure the judging process
If you have any questions, feel free to email me.
If you're able to contribute to making Gavel better, that would be awesome! We'd really appreciate any kind of input, especially pull requests.
The latest stable version is the
master branch (and it's signed and tagged).
Development happens in the
The web application is written in Python 3 using Flask. It also uses NumPy
and SciPy for math stuff. Doing a
pip install -r requirements.txt should
install all the dependencies.
The application uses Postgres for the database, so you need to have that on
your server. You need to create a database, which you can do with
gavel (unless you're using a different database name). Before you use the app,
you need to initialize the database by running
python initialize.py. Note
that Gavel does not preserve database schema compatibility between versions.
When testing, you can run the app with
python runserver.py. In production,
you should use something like Gunicorn to serve this. You can run
the app with
gunicorn -b :<PORT> -w <number of workers> gavel:app.
Before starting the app, copy
config.yaml and set
all the required settings (the ones that don't have default values).
Most settings can either be set in
config.yaml or set as environment
variables. There's more detailed documentation in
If you don't want to use the config file and use only environment variables,
set the environment variable
To set up the system, use the admin interface on
/admin. Log in with the
admin and the password you set. Once you're logged in, you can input
information for all the projects and judges.
As you add judges, they'll automatically get emails with invitation links. After that, the judging and ranking process is fully automated - the judge will be able to read the welcome text, and then they'll be able to start judging.
The admin panel will rank projects in real time, ordered by their inferred quality (Mu).
Admin Panel Features
- If you want to (temporarily) close the judging system, click the "Close" button under "Global Settings"
- If you need to force re-send the invite email, use the "Email" button for the judge in the admin panel
- If you need to manually give a judge a login link, direct them to
- If you want to send the next available judge to a certain project, use the "Prioritize" button
- If you need to deactivate projects or judges at any point, use the "Disable" button
- If a project hasn't been judged yet, you can delete it using the "Delete" button
- If a judge hasn't started yet, you can delete them using the "Delete" button
- If you need to see details for a project or judge, click on the item ID in
the admin panel
- If you need to edit a project (name, location, or description), you can do so on the item detail page
- If you want to sort the items in the admin panel, click on the table headers
Interested in hacking on Gavel? Awesome. See DEVELOPMENT.md for a dev setup guide.
See here for a list of groups that have used Gavel in the past. If you use Gavel for anything, please add yourself to the list (anyone can edit it)!
If you do end up using this for your competition or hackathon, I would love to hear about how it goes.
If anyone has questions, feel free to email Anish (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Do you have a feature request, bug report, or patch? Great! See CONTRIBUTING.md for information on what you can do about that.
Copyright (c) 2015-2016 Anish Athalye. Released under AGPLv3. See LICENSE.txt for details.