Not That Kind of Hacking

On a recent mid-April weekend, a team of CCI’s best hackers made its way to Raleigh and finished second among 45 squads competing at North Carolina State’s 2018 PackHacks to determine what school is turning out our country’s best hackers.

No, it’s not that kind of hacking. Hackathons are 24-hour competitions which provide students with the opportunity to tackle challenging problems using technology. People with and without technical backgrounds come together, form teams around a certain topic or idea, and collaboratively code/build a unique solution from scratch, which generally takes the form of websites, mobile apps, or hardware designs.

The challenge this year was was to create an innovative technology capable of making a positive impact on society. The squad from CCI tackled the distracted driving epidemic, which is blamed for more than 4,000 deaths on U.S. roads each year. “The project we built,” says team member Mohamed Salad, “interfaces with Google Maps and uses cloud vision technology that can determine whether or not a user is looking at the road, or is distracted.”

With just 24 hours to address an issue as complex a distracted driving and create an app from scratch, collaboration and chemistry were key to the team’s success. “Ideas get you only so far,” Salad says, “but the teamwork and skill it takes to have success is the bigger challenge.”

Finishing on the podium, second only to a team from host school NC State, the CCI squad sent a clear message to the tech world that UNC Charlotte is a force to be reckoned with.

For more on PackHacks, visit:

The Team: Mohamed Salad, Abas Sheikh, Mohamed Saeed, and Khaleel AbdulKarim

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