The winners of the Civic Data Hackathon: Syracuse Roads Challenge were announced today in a ceremony held at Syracuse City Hall. 

The hackathon, organized by the School of Information Studies (iSchool) and the City of Syracuse, and supported by AT&T, brought together nearly 30 participants across 13 teams who worked on road quality datasets provided by the City. Participants included community members as well as Syracuse University students and faculty. 

Infrastructure issues have been a significant priority for Syracuse City Mayor Stephanie Miner, and the City’s innovation team has led efforts to use new technologies to improve how the City addresses maintenance issues. 

“This Hackathon was a great example of what could be accomplished with open data and I appreciate the hard work of all our partners and entrants,” said Miner. “This is the type of innovative thinking that will challenge the way cities tackle historic problems with creative new solutions”

The winners of the hackathon are:

  • First Place: Stephen Shaffer – A chat platform for community data gathering through Facebook messenger. The platform provides a simple method to collect pothole information, centrally store and visually display the results.
  • Second Place: Reuben Pereira, Roman Temchenko, and Oleksandr Dzyuba – A dashboard to visualize the quality of streets and prioritizes where repairs are most urgent based on road rating and number of potholes.
  • Third Place: iSchool graduate students in the M.S. in Information Management program: Ishani Jariwala, Pankaj Bathija, Soham Khare, Shrutik Katchhi, Manas Sikri, and Gauri Komawar – A dashboard that includes descriptive and predictive analyses of road data.

The first place winner received $2,500, the second place team received $1,000, and the third place team received $500.

“The quality of the innovative solutions developed through this unique challenge demonstrates the vibrancy and talent of the Central New York’s technology, entrepreneurial and student communities,” said Marissa Shorenstein, New York president for AT&T. “We applaud Mayor Miner and Syracuse University for embracing the benefits of technology and data, while having the foresight to utilize these remarkable tools for civic and social good. AT&T is proud to have been part of this visionary challenge and looks forward to collaborating with the City of Syracuse and Syracuse University on future innovative initiatives in the region.”

“We’re pleased that we could partner with AT&T and the City of Syracuse to make this challenge happen, and we are glad that we had the opportunity to apply the concepts we teach our students here at the iSchool for the benefit of the community. I am thrilled that many of our students took part in the hackathon, and that our faculty took the time to serve as mentors to participating teams,” said iSchool Dean Elizabeth D. Liddy.

iSchool alumnus and City of Syracuse Chief Data Officer Sam Edelstein was involved in the Hackathon planning as a member of the City’s Innovation Team.

“We are thrilled with the way the Syracuse Roads Challenge went,” said Edelstein. “To get such interesting submissions from people at my alma mater and others from the community in which I live, working on problems I care about, shows the potential when there is collaboration, data, and a good question to tackle.”