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NTU EEE students win 2nd place in Singapore India Hackathon 2019


NTU EEE students and ambassadors Duan Jiafei and Wong Jun Kaih recently travelled to Chennai, India to participate in the Singapore India Hackathon where they won the 2nd prize of $8000 for their efforts. They share their experience about this rare opportunity.

1. Why did you sign up for the SG India hackathon?

JF:        I was inspired by the problem statement which is in alignment UN sustainable development goal, hence i feel that these are important problems that we as the next generation will need to face, and I thought why not start solving it now.

JK:       I realised it was a wonderful opportunity to tackle a global challenge, experience a new culture and work together with students from a different geographical location on it.

2. What was your idea about?

Our idea is to install advanced sensors on an autonomous rover that will seek out volatile organic compounds and impurities in the air in public area. The concept can also be translated onto handheld voc detection device for household usage. All the data collected will be used to train our state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms to help predict VOC level in indoor via only mobile devices.

3. Who were in your team?

Other than the two of us who are NTU EEE students, we had Manan Anand, Abhay Sheel Anand and Harshita Diddee from India’s Bharati Vidyapeeth's College of Engineering and Samson Yu Bai Jian from SUTD, Singapore.

4. What support did you get for this from school/university or from iNTUitive?

Two mentors are attached to each team to help us with our idea formation, one mentor comes from NTUitive and the other one comes from the India organiser.

5. How many participants were there in total?

There was 20 Teams of 6 people, who were selected from 200,000 applications.

6. Which other teams you were impressed by?

The "Team-A" 3rd prize winner, their idea of a sustainable and safe solution to prevent accidental usage of used medical syringes, through an automated disposal system that crushes the syringe, and a colour-dye system that turns blue if the syringe had been used.

7. Who was the winning team and what was their idea?

Team 10 was the winning team, and their idea was to have cost-effective sensors installed in a potted plant that will detect volatile organic compounds in the air. Upon sensing high levels of impurities, small fans will automatically switch on to circulate clean air from the base of the plant.

8. What did you learn from this experience?

We learned to be collaborative as a team with our three Indian counterparts, and we also learned to lean on each other's strength and compensate each other's weakness.

9. How did your Education in EEE help?

JF:       The modules taught in EEE such as Microprocessor/ Intro to AI/ Data structure and algorithms help us better deploy our knowledge into practical application. Also some projects and workshops organised by MLDA@EEE also help to equipped me with the Machine learning skill.

JK:   For me, it was more of the skills that I picked up outside the curriculum that was  helpful, like my projects at EEE Garage and other self-initiated projects, granted that these opportunities were provided by the school. The hackathon further solidified my view that the curriculums ought to recognise development outside the classroom and incorporate that into the curriculum/grading system to encourage students to take on more projects and learn relevant skills. Students should not wait until 3/4th year to only start working on projects.



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