Hackathon Propels Students into “generation-defining” Technology

NYU Abu Dhabi’s International Hackathon for Social Good will focus on quantum computing technology set to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.

More than 160 participants from over 20 countries have gathered on NYU Abu Dhabi’s campus to work on the nascent technology of quantum computing to solve some of humanity’s biggest challenges. 

The tenth annual NYUAD International Hackathon for Social Good has kicked off the three-day marathon. The tenth anniversary marks the inaugural edition of Quantum Computing and has brought participants from all over the world to work in teams with quantum-based technology.

This year, Clinical Professor of Computer Science Sana Odeh, the organizer, founder, and chair for the annual NYUAD International Hackathon, said the decennial hackathon focuses on the “promise of using the technology of our lifetime.”

“Quantum computing is the technology that will revolutionize our world as we know it. We’re here to learn and work to produce solutions for social good,” she said. “Quantum computing brings the computational power to solve problems that we were never able to tackle, from finding cures for diseases, to providing tools for chemistry, math, gaming, or just science in general.”

Industry experts from Amazon Web Services, G42 Cloud, SandboxAQ, qBraid, TII, The Microsoft Garage, and other leading technology companies serve as mentors, speakers, and judges to the participants working with the new technology.

Students are given access to these thought leaders to engage in solution-driven work and use quantum-based technology to make a positive impact on the future of society.

As a keynote speaker at the event, Mike Pell, the director of The Microsoft Garage, framed the importance of Hackathons and their impact on some of the greatest challenges facing humanity.

“Hackathons are that one time where you can do whatever you want and make it real,” Pell said. “I’ve always loved the idea of quantum computing, because it’s going to unlock a tremendous amount of things, we just can’t even imagine.”

In three days, participants will work on a challenge and pitch an idea on how to solve it using the technology to a panel of judges. 

Along with being composed of a diverse and representative group of students, the interdisciplinary nature of NYUAD International Hackathon for Social Good separates it from others in the field and makes it a unique opportunity for students to catapult their learning and academic careers.

Over the last ten years the Annual NYUAD International Hackathon has resulted in the creation of multiple innovations that have contributed successfully to the region’s business operation. NYUAD remains committed to providing a thought-provoking platform that enhances innovation for the benefit of social good in the Arab World, as well as supporting the higher education sector in the UAE. The University’s focus on innovation, entrepreneurship and advanced industries supports the UAE’s 2071 Centennial Plan to diversify and shift to a skills-based knowledge economy.

Previous innovations resulting from the Annual NYUAD International Hackathon include applications that connect grocery stores with food shoppers to minimize food waste; locate missing refugees; tackle counterfeit medicine; offer affordable translations of texts and increase employment in the Arab World, among others.

Further information on previous NYUAD International Hackathon including profiles on the hackers, mentors, and judges, can be found on the website.

Further information on previous NYUAD International Hackathon including profiles on the hackers, mentors, and judges, can be found on the website.