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CUNY Students Tackle Cognitive Technology at
IBM-Watson Case Competition Boot Camp


NEW YORK, NY- October 30, 2014 – More than 30 student teams from The City University of New York presented their two-minute business pitch ideas on using IBM Watson cognitive technology during a two-day boot camp, October 24 and 25. The boot camp was held at The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, which provided some inspiration to the teams who are competing in the CUNY-IBM Watson Case Competition, presented by The CUNY Institute for Virtual Enterprise and The Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship at Baruch College.

Stan Altman, Professor in the Department of Public Affairs at Baruch College, and Doris Gonzales, Director of IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs provided an overview of the competition that requires student teams to apply IBM Watson technology to improve public services in the government and higher education sectors for New York City. Read more about the IBM Watson Case Competition on Stan Altman's blog.

The semester-long competition, has attracted 254 students froIBMWatson2m 18 CUNY colleges. Of those who entered, 117 students were invited to participate in the boot camp that provided an opportunity to meet with IBM mentors, faculty advisors and other experts in the field to refine their business ideas. Teams will have an opportunity to submit their final business proposals on December 5.

One team included Benjamin Chan of City Tech and Baruch students Janet Wong, Sam Tsui, and Wan Tsui. Their team plans to improve the current 911 dispatch system by using IBM Watson to provide relevant information to dispatchers.

"This will also allow the NYPD, FDNY, and EMS to better assist the caller when they arrive at the scene," Wong said. "This is a service that will be used by each person at some point in their life. I think our idea can improve the service in order to make it better for its users."

The CUNY-IBM Watson Case Competition is an opportunity to learn and develop apps for applying the IBM Watson cognitive technology to improve the operation of organizations and the delivery of services to its customers. The IBM Watson Technology embodies the future and this competition is an opportunity for CUNY students to be part of the new generation involved in the jobs and businesses that will be created.

The finalists will participate in a final round of presentations on January 15, 2015, when cash prizes will be awarded to the Top 3 teams: $5,000 (1st place), $3,000 (2nd place), and $2,000 (3rd place). Participants will have an opportunity to sign up for summer 2015 internships; join CUNY Entrepreneurship Boot Camp; work in CUNY’s Incubator; and have access to the entrepreneurship network in virtual and real space.



(Pictured above) Team members Benjamin Chan (City Tech); Janet Wong (Baruch College); Sam Tsui, (Baruch College); and Wan Tsui, (Baruch College) presented their idea to a team of mentors consultants.


For more information on the competition, visit




About Baruch College:

Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 17,000 students, who represent 160 countries and speak more than 100 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 4 public regional university, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world. For more about Baruch College, go to



Manny Romero, (646) 660-6141,
Mercedes Sanchez, (646) 660-6112,
Celene McDermott, (646) 660-6134

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