engineering

How a hackathon can give you a cool project and ample of opportunities?

A Hackathon is a 24/48 hours competition in which you come up with an idea and a product(prototype). If you haven’t attended any hackathon yet let me tell you this thing you are missing out a whole lot of cool stuff.

Chaitanya Giri 10-12-2019
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So when I came to know that a hackathon is going to happen at our university. I was so excited and could not wait and went ahead to form a team. Since certain tracks were made available so I kind of knew what kind of product we were going to make. So accordingly I approached a guy who was learning about machine learning and stuff so he (Vibhas Bhairav Singh) became the second member of our team. Then we needed a person with amazing graphic designing skills so that our product does not suck at least visually. So we approached one of our junior batch guy(Samyak) as he was a good designer and was not been approached by anyone yet.
So I was responsible for the platform, Vibhas for machine learning and Samyak for designing.
We were ready and then in some days, we started brainstorming ideas so we came up with the idea of SAF-AI. It was our product for the hackathon let me introduce you what SAF-AI is and how we created it.

SAF-AI

  • As per a 2013 report from the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), only 73.9 percentage of the garbage generated is collected. That still looks like a good number. Isn’t it? Here’s a figure 1,840,000,000,000. This is the amount of waste generated in 2013 in kilograms and hence
    478,400,000,000 kgs of waste were not even collected. This was stats from 2013 and over all these years it has become even worse. So all these years have passed, lots and lots of technology advancement happened but still, we can’t even locate garbage in our locality.
  • SAF-AI is a web application that provides a platform for people all around the world to locate garbage and its severity level in their locality not only this the data provided goes to our server and our ML algorithm clusters data and then finds the shortest path from the locations for the garbage truck to travel upon so that we can now not only locate garbage but also provide an efficient way to collect it.

Something bad happened

  • So we were struggling with the algorithm part of the application. we spent about 6 hours figuring out how to implement Dijkstra’s algorithm over our collected dataset. No progress we were tired and exhausted. So we left the algorithm part and went on to submit only the part where we clustered data.
  • We didn’t even get evaluated I do not know what happened maybe it was the process of submission or anything. But after getting rejected we all went to sleep. When we woke up and some of my friends asked me to show my project I opened the database and boom it was empty. Not a single response. If the judges have opened the application we would have got some data in our database. People were trying to buck me up but yeah I was depressed for the fact that we did not even get evaluated for some silly mistake.

Something good happened

So, believe it or not, life’s a bitch it won’t let a single of mistake go uncounted and it won’t let a single of your effort go in vain.

  • I came across another bigger hackathon where you have to present your idea and they select you to come to their place and then make the product there. If you were selected all of your expenses(Food, accommodation, travel) will be paid by them. I unknowingly applied for the same.
  • Hurray! we got selected. Deep inside I knew It was a great idea and great things find a way to success. All we have to do is go there and make the product and all the expenses will be paid by them and the better part is more than 3000 people applied for it and only 170 were shortlisted.
    Can there be any reason why we would not go? YES, it's one word containing 5 alphabets. It’s called EXAMS. So the dates were clashing and hence we could not go but the fact that we got selected was enough for us.

Next, we will complete this project may be under the guidance of some faculty or alone who cares. What we care is that we learned a lot in these days. Hackathons are definitely fun!

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