Looking to solve civic issues through ‘hackathon’

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Over 300 teams of students and professionals from different parts of the south India will assemble at Dr. GR Damodaran College of Science here this month end to develop codes that will address the city’s civic problems.

TiE Coimbatore will organise its second edition of Hackathon’18 on September 29 and 30 and Coimbatore Municipal Corporation is the eco system partner.

Unveiling the Hackathon poster on Saturday, Corporation Commissioner K. Vijay Karthikeyan said there are several civic issues that the citizens think can be addressed better. “We need to look at solutions and how to address problems using technology. We need to look at how to use technology for development of the city,” he said.

There are several instances where the civic body gave priority to solutions suggested by the public. For instance the installation of air quality monitoring systems and the Lanka Corner underpass. Under the Smart City initiatives, entrepreneurs have given suggestions and the Corporation has taken it forward. “We are in the era of smart cities. Such events are held for faster development and to address the problems of the city,” he said.

According to the president of TiE Coimbatore, G. Karthikeyan, the event looks at solving and creating awareness among the city’s residents on challenges faced by growing cities and urban settlements. These can be solved by harnessing technology.

TiE Coimbatore has organised the Hackathon to assist the Government and Corporation address these challenges. The event aims at “Decoding Urban Civic Challenges by Harnessing Code.”

Selva Kumar, the event chairman, said the participants can bring their own cases or solve one of the cases given by the organisers. A set of 10 to 12 questions will be put up on the website that the participants can choose to address. The potential problem areas are garbage, road, health, water quality, and pollution. They need to develop in 30 hours a solution with a working prototype / proof of concept. Every three hours experts will address the participants. Experienced professionals will monitor the teams and help them solve the challenges faster. Workshops will be held before the event to guide the participants on the technologies. So far nearly 60 teams have registered. Even school students can take part.

TiE Coimbatore organised a similar event in 2015 and it attracted 540 participants. Some of the solutions have been commercialised and several start-ups got a visibility because of the work they did during the Hackathon. “We expect a lot more interest now,” he said.

A press release from the organisers said the participants will use Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Data Analytics, Cognitive Computing, Internet of Things or Block Chain to find solutions to civic problems. Each team can have three members. The registration fee per team is ₹450 for students and ₹750 for corporates. To register, log on to bit.ly/tiehackathon2018 or call 9787555544

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