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President congratulates Taiwan's winning teams in NASA hackathon

2017/06/17 20:55:06

Taipei, June 17 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Saturday congratulated the three Taiwanese teams that performed well in the final round of the 2017 NASA International Space Apps Challenge, the world's largest hackathon.

"Proud of 3 Taiwan teams that competed in final round" of the NASA challenge, Tsai said on Twitter.

The president was referring to the three Taiwanese teams that qualified through a preliminary national competition to compete in the final round of this year's challenge.

Taiwan team Space Bar won first place in the category "Best Mission Concept," one of the five main categories in the final stage of global competition in the NASA hackathon, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) said in a statement on Friday.

"Space Bar's winning app is an easy-to-use tool to allow the public to obtain and understand landslide data by using NASA's open data, and to contribute their own observations for use by emergency managers," the AIT said.

Magic Conch, another Taiwanese team, was one of the five finalists in the "Best Use of Data" category.

Competing for the global People's Choice Award vote, which was decided based on global online voting, "CCIT-crazy Top" finished in the top 20, the AIT said.

The first round of the 2017 NASA International Space Apps Challenge was held around the world on April 29 and 30 in 187 different locations, and projects that won first and second place and the People's Choice Award from each location qualified to compete for global awards, said the AIT, which hosted the Taiwan part of the competition with several local co-organizers.

A total of 2,017 teams participated in the first round, including 57 in Taipei, where "Space Bar" won first place and "Magic Conch" took second, while "CCIT-crazy Top" grabbed the People's Choice Award to qualify for the global finals.

This year marked the first time Taipei has participated in the annual NASA challenge, which was launched in 2012.

The international hackathon is held over the course of 48 hours in cities around the world, inviting the participation of students, scientists, designers, makers, technologists and anyone enthusiastic about addressing Earth's challenges, said the AIT, which represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of bilateral diplomatic relations.

(By Sophia Yeh and Elaine Hou)
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