SPU students excel at AI Hackathon

A formidable team from Sol Plaatje University (SPU), consisting of five students, has achieved remarkable success at the recent AI Mashup Hackathon. Hosted by mLab at the Galeshewe SMME Village from 3 to 5 November 2023, the event was a showcase of the brightest minds in technology. The SPU team distinguished themselves by winning significant awards and securing an influential role in the national tech ecosystem.

The SPU team, known as the SoldierUP Hackers, includes students from the School of Natural and Applied Sciences:

  • Dimpho Maboee, a Computer Science Honours student and an intern at Student Affairs.
  • Mishi Makade, a Data Science Honours student.
  • Kitso Marake, an undergraduate Data Science student.
  • Malvin Rotondwa Heavy Maphosa, a Data Science Honours student.
  • Liyema Ngqezu, an ICT undergraduate student.

The hackathon served as a dynamic platform for the team, enabling them to demonstrate their skills and synergistic approach. Emphasising gender balance, with a majority of women on the team, they underscored the crucial role of women in technology.

The SoldierUP Hackers triumphed in the provincial challenge, winning R10 000, and subsequently won the national title, securing an additional R40 000. This totalled their prize money to an impressive R50 000. The team eagerly anticipates the mentoring programme part of the prize that will aid in refining and implementing their cutting-edge solution.

Their winning entry, a CV2Role matching system, uses artificial intelligence to offer inclusive solutions for employment-related challenges, addressing problem statements from Youth Employment Services and MTN.

Reflecting on their achievement, team members Kitso, Malvin and Mishi commented, “We were thrilled and nervous, but our cohesive teamwork and dedication were instrumental in our victory. We always believe that failure only occurs when one ceases to try.”

Dimpho, drawing inspiration from Buckminster Fuller’s quote, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete,” sees this triumph as a foundation for creating ground-breaking technological solutions.

The SoldierUP Hackers’ accomplishments at the AI Mashup Hackathon exemplify the high calibre of students at Sol Plaatje University. Their success a reflection of their individual talents, as well as a testament to the university’s dedication to nurturing innovation and excellence in technology. We can’t wait to see what they do next!

Written by 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *