AI Enables Us to Think Differently about Experiences for People with Disabilities

We need to design for all humans, of all abilities and capacities, particularly as we are entering a new era of AI revolution. Traditionally, technological design, development, and deployment have been driven by a monolithic and normative view of human capacity. This has left out nearly 15% of the population. Our current accessibility standards are old, outdated, and not properly implemented.

Our Students Are the Solution

The common thread that runs through each experience is the student who uses their talent, knowledge, teamwork and newly found skills to overcome every obstacle and leave us in awe of their work. Each student team that competes in the Challenge is tasked to work with AI to develop a solution to a real-world problem. Their end goal is to create a product that will not only help them to stand out but also light the path for a future generation of students.

Why I Recommend Sponsoring the Nittany AI Challenge

The Nittany AI Challenge is an amazing event. From a participant perspective, it is not only a chance to write a cool application, but a life-changing opportunity to discover the path to entrepreneurship. From a sponsorship perspective, however, it is so much more.

The Power of Experiential Learning

In the last eight months, Dr. Yuan Xue and I have had the privilege of advising the Resilient Resumes team, one of the teams selected to present their MVP in the Nittany AI Challenge 2019.  Competing in the Nittany AI Challenge has been truly transformative for the members of the Resilient Resumes team and advising them throughout this journey reminded me one more time that we need to do more outside of the classroom to educate innovators of the future. 

Nittany AI Challenge team competes for $25,000 in funding

As part of the Nittany AI Challenge, my team is building LionPad, a comprehensive housing tool for Penn State students. Our tool helps students find off-campus housing by providing personalized recommendations powered by machine learning. We’ve made it through the first two stages of the Challenge and are currently competing for $25,000 in the final round!

Participating in the Challenge from a Commonwealth Campus

My entire 2019 had a common thread woven through it: the Nittany AI Challenge. Participating in this Challenge with my team, Resilient Resumes, has brought so many highlights to my year — proposal submission, prototype selection, creating the prototype video, and laughing endlessly with my team on conference calls. But how did I, a nontraditional Penn State Berks junior, become a member of a top ten team in the Nittany AI Challenge?

Nittany AI Challenge, the second time around

Matthew and I participated in the Nittany AI Challenge twice, and while the decision to enter the first time around with LionPlanner was easy — a friend brought it up as a possibility and our team had a “why not?” mindset — the decision to enter the Challenge the second time with Revu was a different story. We knew that it would demand a tremendous amount of time and effort, not to mention our team was a third of the size. But what we also knew from our experience was that the Nittany AI Challenge is invaluable.

Nittany AI Challenge helped define my career after graduation

As part of the Nittany AI Challenge, I was able to bridge my classroom knowledge into a real-world setting, which ultimately helped me define my next step after graduation. It gave me the chance to take what I’d learned and put it to the test by creating solutions for real-world problems.

Stay Informed

The Alliance is hard at work with AI industry partners to bring cutting-edge programming to Penn State. Don’t miss your opportunity to get involved!

Share your contact information to stay up-to-date on all of the activities, challenges, and networking opportunities the Nittany AI Alliance will be offering in the coming months. You’ll be among the first to know about AI–related programming, giving you a chance to sign up early for events that may offer limited seating or enrollment capacity.

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