US/World News

Jerusalem College women’s hackathon leads to important find

(JNS) More than 100 religious women students from Jerusalem College of Technology/Machon Tal worked around the clock two weeks ago as part of the second annual Hack@Tal, a 44-hour hackathon for the school’s Torah-observant women students. The winning team, consisting of five software engineering and computer science students, won a 3,000 shekel prize (more than $800) for their critical solution to a challenge presented by Intel and Alyn Hospital designed to more comfortably monitor oxygen levels in infants’ bloodstream. Instead of the uncomfortable common device clipped to a finger and attached with wires, the newly developed product allows for wireless monitoring attached to the infants’ toe and part of a comfortable sock. The second-place prize at the competition was awarded to a team of women who used machine learning to automatically detect the images of patients and then blur them, helping to enable organizations and hospitals to better protect the privacy of their patients. 

The women taking part in the hackathon came from a variety of disciplines, including software engineering, electrical engineering, industrial engineering and business. “Last year was our first hackathon for women at Tal, and the interest in participating was absolutely through the roof, so much so that we had to close registration early,” said Orlee Guttman, director of Strategic Partnerships at JCT/Tal. “It goes to prove what we’ve thought all along: As soon as you provide women from these communities with the chance to create and use their brains and their skills, they take the opportunity and run with it, above and beyond all expectations.”

CAP: The winning team hard at work at the Jerusalem College of Technology’s Second Annual Women’s Hackathon, June 2019. Photo by Michael Erenburg.

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