Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Hackathon Creates Sustainable Options for San Diego

SDSU hosted a hackathon for students and the community to use big data to create more sustainable options for San Diego

Hackathon Creates Sustainable Options for San Diego

March 29, 2019

By Sofia Bert

On March 9 and 16, the SDSU School of Journalism Media Studies, in collaboration with Dr. Ming Tsou of the Department of Geology, held a hackathon that involved the community and students working with big data to create more sustainable solutions in the San Diego area.

“A hackathon brings together people from different disciplines and they brainstorm ideas on creating an innovative platform or innovation of platform or service,” said Amy Schmitz Weiss, associate professor of journalism and co-founder of the hackathon.

The hackathon had over 200 participants from local high schools, college students, and other professionals.

“The hackathon aims to promote the development of data science and information technology

solutions for San Diego on important civic issues related to smart living: smart health, smart

transportation, smart environment, smart city, and smart education,” said Weiss.

“Big data can be considered the opportunity to look at data from multiple sources, as well as how to aggregate and analyze, and identify patterns, and identify connections and potential layers of what might be going on in a community,” said Schmitz Weiss.

Over $3000 was given out by local sponsors said Schmitz Weiss. “Several teams are in the early stage and the money will hopefully get their idea out into the market,” said Schmitz Weiss.

One of the ideas that came forward was an environmentally friendly face wash, said public relations and political science senior Kemi Giwa. Giwa said that a lot of the entrepreneurs used big data within their business plans.

“Big data is so important because it establishes your credibility,” said Giwa.

Schmitz Weiss said that journalism schools across the country have been doing hackathons. “They have been focusing on doing a lot more with data, and newsrooms are hiring more people who know how to work with big data,” said Weiss.

Giwa said that she thinks big data is really important for journalism because it gives a new level of transparency. “It establishes the fact that you know what you’re talking about and you have the numbers to back it up too,” said Giwa.

“People can claim whatever they want but when you have the numbers and can provide the evidence, then the fake news claim doesn’t really stand,” said Giwa.

This was the university’s third hackathon, the next one will be in 2021.

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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