It was another success to be proud of for a group of students from HYPERLINK “https://utar.edu.my/home.php” UTAR Faculty of Information and Communication Technology (FICT) when they won the third runner-up in “Build On, Malaysia 2020 – Empowering Your Future”.
Held via a virtual platform on 17 September 2020, the “Build On, Malaysia 2020” virtual hackathon was organised by Amazon Web Services (AWS), together with their esteemed partners, namely MDEC, Smart Selangor Delivery Unit and Smart Selangor.
“Build On, Malaysia 2020 – Empowering Your Future” is an annual competition that focuses on cloud computing technology innovations led by AWS for students across Malaysia. The competition was also supported by organisations such as Fintech Academy, Healthcare Fintech Alliance and DreamCatcher.
The winning team, named Brain Hacks was comprised of Bachelor of Information Technology (Honours) Communications and Networking students How Wei Jiat, Derrick Teh Zhi Xian, Chen Yu Xuan; Bachelor of Information Systems (Honours) Information Systems Engineering student Yap Wen Song; and Bachelor of Computer Science (Honours) student Tan Jing Jie.
Supervised by FICT lecturer Ts Dr Cheng Wai Khuen, the team won a cash prize worth USD750, a trophy and a silver medal each for their project titled “An Interactive Dashboard for People with Disability (PWD) Analytic”.
Focusing on the public transport accessibility for people with disabilities, the team leader of Brain Hacks, How explained, “From the statistics, the number of People with Disability (PWD) in the workforce is increasing every year. Thus, the need for public transport for PWD has increased. One of the main mobility barriers experienced by users with disabilities is the public transport, in terms of urban and architectural design, as well as information communication, like information that allows them to know where to board and alight. Given the importance of urban planning and duration needed to effect change, it may also be critical for governments to understand the population distribution of people with disabilities in the community to identify critical areas to improve accessibility.”
He added, “Therefore, we aimed to create an application that would help the PWD board on public transport. The ultimate aim for this application is to gather all PWD information such as trajectory movement and PWD distribution. With this information, we can do some analytics to help urban planners make decisions in urban planning.”
When asked the reasons why they joined the competition, How enthused, “By joining the competition we were able to improve our knowledge in cloud computing and real-life scenarios where we can actually take part in a project and come out with a solution that is beneficial to the society. Thanks to Dr Cheng in sharing out the information about this hackathon, and also coaching us throughout the two-month participation during the Movement Control Order period. We will take this round as a pre-match preparation, and work harder for next year’s competition.”
He further added, “In FICT, all we learn to do is coding, configuring and learning the basic ideas of Information Communication Technology (ICT). But in fact, the technology is changing fast, we can get ahead on knowing what is the latest technology and ideas on creating an application or solutions. In addition, we only knew how to code, but did not know how to actually apply it in real life, so it is a great experience to actually have a hands-on project to improve our mindset of the state-of-the-art.”
Meanwhile, as the team supervisor, Dr Cheng clarified, “The hackathon provided students with a platform to compete their problem-solving skills with cloud technologies. In the past two months, students have been having their discussion, system development and presentations fully online. This new phenomenon brought them a new experience in competition during the Covid-19 pandemic. I am elated with their achievement because students took their own initiative in finishing all the assignments, from proposal writing to system development. This team is the top five finalists from the selected top 50 proposals. Their persistence in finishing the two months preparations should be given a credit.” He added, “Cloud Technology is one of the most disruptive technologies in the present era. At FICT, we have always introduced and embedded these in-demand ICT skills into our curriculum. The AWS “Build On, Malaysia 2020” hackathon allows students to practice the relevant skills.”
The competition saw a total of 40 teams comprising students from the field of ICT. The participation of students in the competition had a positive impact and it cultivated technological innovation among students.
Online Education Fair 线上教育展
Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)