Students Take First Place in Hackathon

Submitted by Lee Capristo on March 28, 2024 - 5:36 pm
March 28, 2024
By Lee Capristo

St. Mary's College of Maryland senior computer science majors Alex Stoyanov-Roberts and Shameer Rao took first place in the VelocityX: AI Hackathon hosted by the College of Southern Maryland and sponsored by the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division on March 21-22. 

The challenge for the hackathon was to produce an image classification model capable of identifying images of aircraft. This is a branch of artificial intelligence and machine learning known as computer vision. Competitors in the hackathon were given a dataset, consisting of thousands of aircraft images. Stoyanov-Roberts and Rao leveraged skills that they learned in AI and Natural History (ENST 395 / COSC 480), an SMCM course taught by Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Victor Perez to develop their model in a platform called Roboflow. Then they took it a step further by creating their own interface to interact with the models they produced. Both Stoyanov-Roberts and Rao demonstrated serious dedication to this competition, spending most of their spring break annotating images and refining their model in preparation for the hackathon.

Stoyanov-Roberts and Rao both have been accepted to a PhD program at Morgan State University in which they intend to pursue careers in cybersecurity.