Home » NYU Abu Dhabi Hackathon centres on tech for social good in Arab World 

NYU Abu Dhabi Hackathon centres on tech for social good in Arab World 

by Madaline Dunn

The upcoming three-day NYUAD Hackathon for Social Good in the Arab World is to be held from April 25-28, hosted by NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) in partnership with Tamkeen. The overarching aim of the Hackathon is to develop ideas that contribute to social good and further UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It will bring together cross-disciplinary teams to solve challenges faced in quantum computing (QC) and artificial intelligence (AI) related to QC. 

The international event will see teams of between seven and ten students from across the globe, with a majority from the Arab world, guided by two experts in the field from leading institutions. 

Mentors will teach the teams about top practices in QC, AI machine learning applications, and software developments through workshops, keynote speeches, and lighting talks during the marathon. 

This includes renowned global computer science professors from the likes of the University of Oxford, ETH Zürich, MIT, and Stanford, with founders of successful startups and technology professionals from Google, Meta, IBM, Qbraid, alongside venture capitalists and other leading institutions such as Core42, and the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator (GESDA). 

Since its inception, the Hackathon has hosted more than 1,000 participants from more than 50 countries. 

The event has also been a launchpad for the careers of past participants, who gained scholarships and jobs and even launched their own startups. 

Last year’s winners had the opportunity to present their winning project at the GESDA Summit in Geneva, it was shared. 

NYUAD Affiliated Professor Sana Odeh, who founded and organizes the event, commented: “The NYUAD Hackathon has successfully empowered generations of students from the Arab world and beyond to use the most advanced quantum hardware to confidently undertake challenges in quantum computing and AI-driven machine learning. It is important to note that this event is about more than technical upskilling.”

Adding: “Equally valuable is the caliber of partnerships and participating experts on hand, which creates unprecedented networking opportunities for students. We have seen over the years how this opens the door to collaborations on future international projects, inspires students to launch their own startups, and further academic research in the quantum computing field. It is our hope that this year’s Hackathon will once again cement the potential and capabilities of technology in making a positive impact on the future of our society and to assist young experts in tackling the challenges of our time.”

On April 28, the final presentations and award ceremony will take place and are open to the public. 

The NYUAD Hackathon is supported by top global Quantum Computing experts from both industry and academia, such as NYUAD Center for Quantum and Topological Systems, Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator (GESDA), Core42, Florin Court Capital, PASQAL, SandboxAQ, Xanadu, qBraid, QWorld, NiEW, Womanium Quantum, ETH Zurich in Quantum Information and Computation, Zurich EPFL Center for Quantum Science and Engineering (QSE Center), MIT’s iQuHACK, QC Hack (Yale, Stanford, and Berkeley QC Hackathon) Quantum Coalition, QUAE, among others.

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