Individual Page

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Two interdisciplinary student teams won cash prizes for their submissions in the Tech to Protect San Francisco hackathon.

The Tech to Protect Challenge is an in-person coding contest that invites participants to create technology solutions to aid emergency responders in serving and protecting communities across the country. Participants also heard from User Experience Keynoye and San Francisco State alumnus James Getomer, a designer and researcher at the intersection of technology and human behavior. Getomer spent nine years at Google working to deliver design thinking insights and was awarded for his UX work for student mental health.  

Entries in the challenge were submitted by teams from a wide range of backgrounds, from 911 operators and firefighters to developers and students. "Being in Northern California, we have an amazing and diverse community addressing complex problems," says Julio Feliciano, San Francisco State Information Technology Consultant and User Experience Design Lead. "Events like these provide SF State students the opportunity to showcase their coding skills while working on problems that will improve public safety." This year, two teams of San Francisco State students were ranked in the top three projects.

Read more about the winning student teams:



Making the Case: Proactive Image Protection

Aitor Elvira Monsalve (Management & Computer Science), Jesus Aguas (Computer Science), Marta Taulet, and Elizabeth Gravitt (International Relations) created SafeCam, a mobile app for iOS devices that analyzes harsh code to determine if photos have been modified or tampered with. The team was awarded a total of $8,500 for their SafeCam app, earning Top Overall #2 and Best in Class for Contest 9.



Voice to Commands to Virtual Assistants: Hands Free Device Control

Mukul Pathak (MSBA), Shradda Upadthyay (MSBA), Kunal Shah (MS in Computer Science), and Jugal Bhatt (MS in Computer Science) created Simba, a hands-free system that uses Interactive Voice Response (IVR) to assist first responders and save valuable seconds in emergencies. "Simba's purpose is to help first responders in getting active support from the control room, navigation, call for emergency, send mail, SMS, and make calls through a virtual assistant," says Pathak. The team won Top Overall #3 and Best in Class for Contest 9, and left with a $6,000 prize.