HCC students win top national prize at Intel AI competition

Oct 3, 2023

HCC Southwest students, from left, Sumesh Surendran, Muskaan Shahzad and Ruben Treviño, are the winning team for the top national prize at the Intel AI Global Impact Festival competition this year. 

A three-student team from Houston Community College Southwest has won the top national prize at the 2023 Intel AI Global Impact Festival competition.

The annual festival gathers next-generation technologists, future developers, teachers and policymakers to learn and share innovations and impacts of artificial intelligence, according to Intel Corporation, an education partner of HCC’s AI program. The event includes AI competitions drawing contestants from around the world.

The HCC team of AI students Sumesh Surendran, Ruben Treviño and Muskaan Shahzad won the top award among the Unites States contestants in the 18-and-older age group with their project, “MedINtel: Automated Triage Machine (ATM).”

The entry seeks to create a kiosk-like ATM to collect data at patient intake using AI technologies including language processing and computer vision to accelerate and help with patient triage.

“Our focus was to bridge the gap between cutting-edge technology and the pressing needs of the health care industry,” said Shahzad, who is enrolled in the college’s new AI and Robotics Bachelor of Technology degree program. “We wanted to develop an AI-powered solution that could streamline triage processes, especially during critical situations.”

The winners are among three HCC teams that made it to the finals in the competition.

During the Intel AI festival last year, another three-student team from HCC Southwest took home the top global prize in the 18-and-older age group while another HCC team won the national prize.

HCC Southwest President Madeline Burillo-Hopkins called the latest win “a testament to the top-quality education offered at HCC in AI and Robotics.

“This group of students has demonstrated their exceptional talents on a national and global stage in a rapidly growing field that continues to transform all industry sectors,” said Burillo-Hopkins, also HCC vice chancellor for workforce instruction. “Their innovative project shows why Houston is a city where companies can find the best qualified, competent and creative tech talent.”

Samir Saber, dean of the Digital and Information Technology Center of Excellence, attributed the 2023 team’s win to HCC’s quality of AI education and a strong, nurturing academic environment.

“Our students have often told me how grateful they are to our faculty and staff for their support and commitment to their success,” he said. “We’re all proud of bringing home a top award back-to-back from an international competition of this caliber.”

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