CS Student Vien Yadavongsy and Team Win First Place at CGIU Codeathon

Vien Yadavongsy (CS 5th Year), founder of the Illinois Institute of Technology Association of Computing Machinery-Women, was on a six-person team that won first prize in the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) Codeathon held last month at the University of Chicago.

The two-day coding challenge, hosted by former President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton, invited undergraduate and graduate students with a background in technology and design to develop unique digital prototypes and tools that could increase the effectiveness of response and recovery efforts following natural disasters. Students were assigned to teams at random upon arrival.

Yadavongsy along with a team of students from Asheshi University in Ghana, Northwestern University, Swarthmore College, the University of Chicago, and the University of Georgia created digital prototype “Basic Aid Outreach” (BOA), which provides preparation, response, and recovery resources to victims of natural disasters in Southeast Asia. BOA leverages social media networks, the power of AI, and crowd-sourcing to coordinate these relief efforts.

Yadavongsy’s team was chosen as the winner after each team presented its idea to a panel of expert judges working in the fields of climate change, technology, and social innovation. The winning team was honored at a ceremony at the CGI annual conference and received one year of cloud storage and continued mentorship from IBM.

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