UH Mānoa students win computer code challenge with energy tracking app

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team Pika with Governor Ige

From left: Governor David Ige, Tervin Tejero, Herman Li, Tyler Chong, Angela Zheng, Jason Len, Kirsten Takanishi, Jarrett Keohokalole, Sean Takafuji, Gabriel Viloria and Miller Abel

Students from the UH Mānoa Department of Information and Computer Science (ICS) won the 3rd Hawaiʻi Annual Code Challenge (HACC) in November, earning themselves more than $4,000 in prize money.

The UH team (“Team Pika”) beat out 18 other teams competing across five different sustainability challenges by building an app that will help UH’s energy management team visualize building-level energy data received from the recently installed smart meter network on the UH Mānoa campus.

“Having the right team makes all the difference. Having a diverse set of skills that complement each other is important, but more important was the right set of personalities that work well with each other in a way that made it all fun,” said Team Pika. “This included working with Miles Topping, UH director of energy management. We truly appreciated him sharing his knowledge and love of energy with us. We hope that we helped take a good step in the right direction for helping create a cleaner and more sustainable future in Hawaiʻi.”

Conceived by Governor David Ige, the HACC is a hackathon-inspired competition designed to engage the community in modernizing state functions and services, and support IT workforce development. The focus for this year’s challenge was the state’s sustainability goals, which are tracked on the Aloha+ Challenge Dashboard and considered social, economic and environmental factors.

“The outstanding talent of our local tech community was on full display during this year’s competition. Congratulations to the winners and mahalo to all who developed creative solutions to the state’s challenges,” said Gov. David Ige.

The UH Office of Sustainability submitted three challenges to HACC participants to help advance progress toward the university’s clean energy, zero waste and greenhouse gas emission goals.

“Our campuses have incredible potential to be living laboratories where students can help us to develop solutions to sustainability challenges we are facing in real-time,” said Matthew K. Lynch, UH System sustainability coordinator. “We are excited to continue our work with ICS students to develop tech solutions that will help improve our overall strategic energy management.”

Read the full release here.

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