Carnegie Mellon clinches the Premier's Award for the second year in a row at Unleashed 2016

Posted 26th September 2016

For the second year running, Carnegie Mellon University alumni have clinched one of the two Premier’s Awards at Unleashed 2016.

For the second year running, Carnegie Mellon University alumni have clinched one of the two Premier’s Awards at Unleashed 2016.

The team, composed of CMU alumni Brenda Kamangara (MSPPM), Guillermo Garcia Tranquilino (MSIT), Hanwei Shao (MSIT), Jane Huang (MSIT), and Sifei Liu who works at ASPECT studios, emerged from 54 eligible entries to win one of the two coveted Premier’s Awards. The Premier’s Awards were offered by the Department of the Premier and Cabinet in partnership with Microsoft, Business SA and Chiliad Consulting and valued at over $25,000. Winners need to successfully demonstrate originality, a good use of government Open Data and the potential to create social or economic value for the state.
Their winning entry, SPLASH, examined how the government could reduce graffiti vandalism, estimated to cost taxpayers $200 million annually, by introducing a web-based platform that brings the public, local and international artists, government and private sectors together to interact creatively. The store of art will be developed over time to become a digital library of art pieces and artists. The art may transform from digital to physical images by being applied to the "free walls" that local governments and private businesses advertise for artists to use as their canvasses.

Carnegie Mellon current students and alumni participated in Unleashed 2016

"Lessons learnt from our time in CMU were instrumental in helping us create SPLASH! We utilised knowledge from policy & financial analysis to better understand the problem of graffiti in South Australia and develop a solution that maximises public value while maintaining political feasibility and financial viability. Through our platform, we utilised our knowledge and experience in programming, web development, internet technologies and data analysis. We also had a vast amount of artistic input from Sifei who guided us on the latest trends in graffiti in the world as well as suitable sites to place upcoming art in Adelaide based on her work in landscape architecture. We could not have achieved any of this without the collective guidance and experience from CMU-A, our respective current workplaces, friends and family,” said the team.

Another Carnegie Mellon University’s team, The Walking Hackers, has won the Unleashed 2016 Supporting SA Economy themed prize.  

"Unleashed was just the event we were looking for to apply our learning on real world data."

The prize was awarded for the entry that has the most potential to create jobs, investment, international business, students to study in SA or visitors to SA. The group, consisting of CMU students Anuj Chopra (MSIT), Jai Girdhar (MSIT), Minseok Song (MSIT), Saurabh Tripathi (MSIT), and Aruna Dasaraju who is an IT graduate from JNTU in India. They examined the wifi usage patterns in Adelaide city and provided recommendations on how the Adelaide city council could optimise the network to achieve greater efficiency for businesses and individuals. They were also awarded with The Spirit of GovHack Award.

Team Walking Hackers

"Unleashed was just the event we were looking for to apply our learning on real world data. We were required to formulate useful solutions to government problems by using open datasets provided by the SA Government. We had to apply the data mining skills we acquired through Data Warehousing, Database Management and GIS courses. The skills which we learned in the Strategic Presentation Skills course has helped us present our ideas in an interesting way," said the team. 

Unleashed Supporting SA Economy 2016 award

"I would like to congratulate the CMU teams for a job well done.They have demonstrated the practical applications of what they have learned in the classroom," said Professor Emil Bolongaita, Executive Director of CMU-A.

Unleashed is South Australia’s annual Open Data competition, which is part of the GovHack competition held across Australia and New Zealand. The idea is for teams to make best use of more than 1,000 sets of open data made available by the South Australian Government. The premium is on creativity with 54 entries received from across the State.

The winners were announced and presented with their prizes at the Awards Night held at the Freemasons Hall on 16 September.

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