A team from the American University of Sharjah (AUS) took first place in the UAE Data for Happiness Hackathon.
The Hackathon, which was held as part of UAE Innovation Month in February, was the country's biggest data analytics-focused competition, which aimed to use data to develop innovative solutions and ideas that contribute to the happiness of the community.
The team of computer science and engineering students from AUS developed a mobile application that utilized electricity consumption data to not only compare individual usage with other consumers but also to create competition between the app's users, with rewards for those who reduce their energy consumption the most.
Dr Fadi Ahmad Aloul, Head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, expressed pride in his students and said: "The Department of Computer Science and Engineering at AUS plays a big role in our day to day lives and in helping us make smart decisions, such as improving sustainability. We aim to help students focus on developing their technical and soft skills and making them independent and successful problem solvers, especially in today's challenging world. They made us proud and we are very happy at their achievement."
Commenting on the win, Mumtaz Ummar, a member of the winning team, said: "A misconception about hackathons among students is that to participate or even win one, you need to be a coding genius. However, I learnt that you do not even have to be the smartest of students. Hackathons depend on your creativity and the presentation of your idea. So everyone out there shouldn't give up as it is a great experience that may end up being rewarding as well!"
The winning team comprised AUS students Mumtaz Ummar, Arwa Ibrahim Alblooshi, Donthi Sankalpa, Karam Ahfid, Ahmad Mohammad Khater, Labeeba Begum and Hassan Al Ali.