DS+AI Hackathon Logo Tight

UD’s Data Science + AI Summer Hackathon

Article by Pinar Kullu

The Data Science Institute (DSI) and AI Center of Excellence (AICoE) at the University of Delaware (UD) recently hosted a thrilling 3-day Hackathon, bringing together the UD community and local industry partners.

From Monday, July 17th to Wednesday, July 19th, the Ammon Pinizzotto Biopharmaceutical Innovation Center was full of excitement and enthusiasm as over 70 participants tackled 11 challenging case studies across various domains, including Data Science, AI, and High-Performance Computing (HPC).

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The event’s organization committee, led by Co-Chairs Sunita Chandrasekaran, Dept. of Computer and Information Sciences and Benjamin Bagozzi, Dept. of Political Science and International Relations along with members Pinar Kullu, Sam Smith, and Lynette Carney, did a fantastic job ensuring a seamless experience for all participants.

DSI + AICoE Hackathon 2023 served as a platform to empower creativity and innovation among participants. With 11 challenging case studies, the event aimed to encourage participants’ problem-solving and out-of-the-box thinking. The following table showcases the remarkable teams that took part in the Hackathon, each with their own distinctive area of focus.

Hackathon Case Studies

Team NameAffiliation of Domain ScientistArea of Focus
AI4SeafloorDept. of Computer and Information Sciences, UDUnderwater Analysis, AI, Machine Learning
Chat MastersDept. of Computer and Information Sciences, UDSocial, Human-Computer Interaction, AI
Chemours InnovatorsChemoursHydrogen Fuel Cell, Statistical Analysis
FMC Data GurusFMC CorporationChemistry, Machine Learning
Healthclaim HerosCommunity Health OptionsHealth, Machine Learning
Kendal TransformersKendal CorporationHealth Services, Data Visualization, Statistical Analysis
Medical MaraudersData Science Institute, UDHealth, Predictive Models
Mindset MinersDept. of Computer and Information Sciences, UDMental Health, Data Visualization/Formatting
Rain MakersDept. of Geography and Spatial Sciences, UDClimate, Hydrology, AI, Machine Learning
Bug BustersDept. of Computer and Information Sciences, UDNatural Language Processing, Deep Learning
The VisionariesDept. of Biological Sciences, UDBiology, Data Formatting/Linkage, Visualization

The first day started with an air of anticipation and excitement. AICoE co-Director Sunita Chandrasekaran delivered inspiring opening remarks, providing valuable information about the event and encouraging participants to embrace the spirit of innovation and collaboration  on their 3-day journey. 

The morning welcome remarks continued with a captivating talk by Cathy Wu, Director of the Data Science Institute. Cathy’s insights and experiences added depth to the participants’ understanding of the field.

As the day concluded, the Hackathon committee hosted an engaging evening reception, which welcomed numerous guests from both industry, including Kendal Corporation, Tech Impact, Delaware Bio Association, and the UD community. The reception, sponsored by UD Grad College and UD Career services, provided a delightful break from the intense problem-solving sessions, allowing everyone to connect, and share their initial experiences. Lou Rossi, Dean of Grad College at UD, delivered an inspiring story to the participants, kicking off the reception event.

Over the three days, participants engaged in a variety of activities. Each day, they gathered in dedicated rooms for break-out sessions led by experts for discussions, hands-on learning, and collaborative problem-solving. During lunch breaks and the afternoon snacks, generously sponsored by Kendal, participants had the chance to  recharge, and seize opportunities to network with participants from different teams. Additionally, UD’s Computer & Information Sciences Department and MathWorks provided swag that added to the excitement and motivation for the participants.

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On the final day, participants were excited as they prepared to showcase their remarkable projects. After days of hard work, and collaboration, they presented their innovative solutions to an esteemed panel of judges, Prof. Debra Yarrington (CIS), Dr. Chuming Chen (DSI), and Prof. Katie Wassil (CIS). All distinguished experts in their fields, evaluated each team’s work based on criteria such as creativity, impact, technical complexity, relevance, visualization, and presentation.

The judges faced a challenging task in selecting the winners, as the projects showcased remarkable creativity, technical complexity, and real-world impact. 

Among the awardees were 

  • “Kendal Transformers” recognized for their technical complexity; 
  • “Medical Marauders” celebrated for their remarkable impact; 
  • “Chemours Innovators” commended for their problem statement execution; and 
  • “Rain Makers” acknowledged for their creativity. 


However, it was evident that every participating team had put forth outstanding efforts, contributing to the event’s success.

The award-winning teams earned an opportunity to present their work in a special session at the Data Science Symposium, an event hosted by the Data Science Institute.  In addition to this invaluable opportunity, these teams will also receive cash prizes generously sponsored by Tech Impact. This event further motivates the participants to continue their contributions to the fields of data science and AI.

Congratulations to our DS+AI Hackathon 2023 Winners!


Kendal Transformers: Claudio Cesar, Mauricio Ferrato, Kurt Rahner, Nikhil Rao, Jason Eldridge


Chemours Innovators: Nihaal Chawdary Surpani, Lalith Teja Nagidi, Maria van Venrooy, Hang Chen, Emma Cao, Austin Plymill


Medical Marauders: Mina Ostovari, Shreya Pamulapati, Shaquana Smith, Andrew Kallai, Talha Mahmood


Rain Makers: Alyssa Zhang, Aman Singh, Amir Meydani, Christian Munley, Mahadev Maitri, Siamek Malakpour Estalaki

A Huge thank you to the DS+AI Hackathon Sponors!!

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