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HACKDATA 2017: INNOVATING THROUGH DATASETS AND AI

Written by Aditya Badola

7th-8th October, Library 2nd floor: Laptops clad with swag stickers swung open this October Saturday with SNU ACM’s first big event, HackData 2017. Universities from near and far registered in this event with a footfall of 70 participants and 7 members in the organizing team: Vijay Nandwani [President, ACM], Shubhang Aurora, Sheikh Araf, Shubhangi Kishore, Pallavi Gupta, Radhika and Raghu. The hackers were introduced to each other in an ice breaking session until lunch time on 7th October as the organizers efficiently warmed the crowd to the welcoming desk introducing the themes for the event. A few of these creative topics included scope for AI development, machine learning, data analytics and so on. For the benefit of the reader, a list of the themes is hereby mentioned:

  1. Rise Of Bots [Train an AI model]
  2. Mint [Innovate financial services and related technology]
  3. Doctor You [Health care services]
  4. Geek city [Crunch datasets to transform city technology]
  5. Juke Box [Entertainment for the next generation]

Since ACM had promised bountiful prizes to the winning teams, there was an ambitious fire to win in everybody’s eyes. Besides cash prizes, free licenses and merchandise there was a special prize for an all women team as well. After an extensive effort to rope in sponsors since the past two months, HackData boasted of 22 sponsors, led by TechGig. Naturally, the coders had a few perks in hand during the contest. This included access to datasets and API libraries provided by sponsors such as John Snow Labs or a chance to win premium membership for online accounts in Evernote or Balsamiq. The languages used by the coders ranged from Java to Python to JS to C, all the while extracting and analyzing datasets to serve the purpose of their code. The organizing team assisted by Paul George took an active role in evaluating and suggesting changes to developing codes all through the night. However, Sunday saw this 30 hour event coming to a quick end, which gave a robust boost to many teams to wrap up their codes efficiently. With the judging panel seated by Ankur Bansal (VP of Product TechGig), Dolly Sharma, Anuradha Ravi and Samant Sourabh (CS faculty), the teams quickly dived into preparing presentations and speeches for their respective projects. By 2pm, this whirlwind of an event began to filter the content of each project in front of the judges. Spear ended questions pierced each project at the vulnerable points, and had very soon generated a healthy debate between judges and teams defending their codes and utility. The runners up, Abstergo-a team from MAIT had created a Bitcoin value predictor. Second runners up, Enciphers from MSIT presented a voice search browser. The overall winner however, belonged to home team Bit-please (Mudit Saxena, Prakamya Mishra, Raman Dutt) from SNU who had creatively designed a biodegradable-waste-predictor application that could make use of robotics to automate waste segregation. Even though the mechanics of this project were not prepared, the judges were able to see the scope and effect of such a project in the future. Mr. Ankur took the stage to thank all the teams for presenting new ideas in such short time, and he was met with a polite applause. By the evening, HackData had concluded its run, but not quite as Anuradha ma’am aptly chimed in the mic, “Keep coding!”

About the author

Aditya Badola

My best friend said every person is an incomplete book; I write for the thrill of each page.

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