The Data Intensive Research Initiative of South Africa (DIRISA) hosted its first annual Student Datathon Challenge at the CHPC National Meeting 2019 held at Birchwood Hotel in Kempton Park, from 01 December to 05 December 2019 The purpose of the challenge is to showcase how open research data can be used to come up with creative and innovative solutions to some of South Africa’s problems. The theme of the challenge was “The use of Open Data to solve South African Problems“.
This theme was chosen as it is important for South Africans to start identifying and finding their own solutions to their own problems. The use of Open Data in this aspect brings in the 4th Industrial Revolution that we are currently in and ties in well with all of South Africa’s socio-economic issues.
The challenge had 9 teams participtating:
- University of Pretoria (UP – Runtime Terror
- University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) – Qubit
- North-West University (NWU) – TeamNWU
- University of Johannesburg (UJ) – UjHonours_Team255
- Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) – TUTors
- University of Mpumalanga (UMP) – Eagles
- University of Limpopo (UL) – Phoenix
- Sol Plaatjie University (SPU) – DigitalAge
- Mixed Team (WITS, NWU, Tsako Thabo High School, Lethlabile High School) – Diversity.
The Winners were as follows:
1st Place - University of Johannesburg (UJ) - UJHonoursTeam255
- First Place Team – University of Johannesburg (UJHonours_Team255). This team’s solution was a mental health application used to identify and assist people with mental health issues.
- Second Place Team – North West University (TeamNWU). Solution – Object detection in video surveillance systems.
- Third Place Team – Sol Plaatjie University (DigitalAge). Solution – Uber for Emergency Medical Services in the North West Province.
- Best Team – Diversity Mixed Team (WITS, NWU, Tsako Thabo High School and Lethlabile High School). Solution – Understanding High School Performance in South African Schools.
- Best Female – Kayleigh Slogrove (UJ)
- Best Male – Karabo Manasoe (WITS)
Prizes for the datathon were generously sponsored by Altron Bytes and Redhat.