top of class
3 Houston students win international AI competition
A team of students from Houston Community College Southwest took home the top prize at the Intel AI Global Impact Festival in San Jose, California, last month for AI-based technology they developed to boost safety in the workplace.
Serr Brown, a correctional officer taking classes at HCC; Dina Marie Stager, an office manager at a marketing firm advancing her computer science skills; and student Ryan Galbraith made up the three-person team. Stager is now the first woman to receive the Intel festival’s top prize.
Over the span of three months, the team developed their Indoor Industrial Safety Program, which uses AI and a high-performance drone to map indoor industrial sites and create a 3D digital replica in about 30 minutes. The program aims to help companies better understand its building layout before making additions or improvements, among other uses.
“It’s no small feat,” G. Raymond Brown, HCC AI program coordinator, said in a statement. “It’s difficult to get coordinate data indoors. The problem was solved by the students by using AI to provide the drone with coordinates and accuracy needed to build a 3D model.”
Each member of the team was awarded $5,000, an Intel-powered laptop, and mentorship opportunities after beating out more than 1,000 other entries from 25 nations.
Intel Corporation is an education partner of HCC’s AI associate degree program, which was launched in the summer of 2020. The first class of AI students graduated from the two-year program earlier this year, according to the college.
“I believe that AI has the potential to change the world for the better, and I am excited to be part of the field,” Brown said in a statement. “I am looking forward to learning more about AI and how it can be used to improve the lives of people across the world.”