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Morgan Students Earn Hackathon Honors

When it comes to competing in hackathons, Morgan State students are no strangers to experiencing success. Recently, a team of undergraduates from Morgan’s Department of Computer Science took first place honors at the Google DC Hackathon 2016, an annual competition held at the tech company’s Washington, D.C., office. This was the first time that Morgan students participated in the event, which also included teams from HBCUs Howard University and Hampton University. Approximately 45 of the 150 competitors in attendance represented Morgan.

Guided and coached by Ujjwal Das Gupta, a Google engineer-in-residence at Morgan, the team competed in a 24-hour challenge to create a software product from scratch. To win the competition, the Morgan team created a game named Fiber HOPtics, which was based on an engaging and interesting approach to fundraising for campus network improvements. A second Morgan team, also from the Department of Computer Science, received an honorable mention for their submission.

Congratulations to the winning team: freshmen Joshua Olumese (computer science) and Chauncey Rogers (computer science), sophomore Trevon Wiggs (computer science) and junior Kurt Kennedy (physics).

In a separate hackathon competition held in Columbus, Ohio, at J.P. Morgan’s annual Code for Good event, Morgan senior Michael Shiferaw (electrical engineering) was a member of a four-person team that took top honors for their innovative, ready-to-publish app tool.

Code for Good brought in more than 50 engineering students from universities nationwide, breaking them up randomly into approximately 15 teams. Shiferaw was the only student from Morgan in attendance. Each team was then assigned to one of three non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at the event — Susan G. Komen, Feeding America, and Choices, a youth educational program — and then was given 24 hours to create a technological solution for the organizations, after hearing presentations on their challenges.

Shiferaw’s team took first place in the competition for not only creating an impressive app solution for Feeding America but also having enough time to create a second app for Susan G. Komen. To accomplish this feat, Shiferaw introduced his team to a key cross-platform app development tool that was created by students at Morgan State University. It turned out to be a difference-maker.

Each member of the winning team was awarded an Apple iPad Air 2 (128GB) as well as internships or opportunities to work full time for J.P. Morgan.

Congratulations to all of Morgan’s innovative students!

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