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Student Teams to Present Final Ideas
For CUNY-IBM Watson Case Competition

Watch Videos to Learn More About the Teams and Their Ideas

NEW YORK, NY-January 7, 2015 - Ten student teams from The City University of New York will present their final five-minute presentations on how to improve the future operations of higher education and New York City government services using the IBM Watson cognitive technology. The final presentations of the CUNY-IBM Watson Case Competition are scheduled at 10:30 a.m., January 15 in Room 750 of the Newman Conference Center, 151 E. 25th Street, at Baruch College.

The CUNY-IBM Watson Case Competition, organized by the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College in collaboration with The CUNY Institute for Virtual Enterprise and The Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship, invited all matriculated CUNY students to share their innovative ideas during the fall 2014 semester.

“The partnership with IBM offers students the opportunity to look into the future and the way society does business and provides services. It empowers students to shape the future that they will inherent,” said Stan Altman, PhD., Professor School of Public Affairs at Baruch College. “The CUNY-IBM Watson competition is an opportunity for students to think about how to reshape higher education and how city services are delivered.”

“This competition unleashes the talent of some of our city’s best and brightest,” said Stanley S. Litow, IBM Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs and President of the IBM International Foundation. “By exploring ways to improve the lives of New Yorkers using next generation technology, today’s students will be encouraged and inspired to become tomorrow’s innovators.”

The CUNY-IBM Watson Case Competition enables students 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. IBM developed a thinking computer that debuted on the game show "Jeopardy!" and is now advising doctors on cancer treatments. The innovative technology understands complex questions, analyzes volumes of data, and can verbally interact with humans and propose accurate, nuanced information. IBM Watson embodies the future and this competition is an opportunity for CUNY students to be part of the next generation of jobs and businesses that will be created.

Altman said the City University of New York provided an ideal platform for this competition when it created the Center for Student Entrepreneurship.

“This summer CUNY created the Center for Student Entrepreneurship to draw on the energy and creativity of our students to find innovative solutions to many challenges facing society today,” he said. “These solutions can lead to new businesses that can employ our students and strengthen the economy of New York City tomorrow.”

Throughout the competition, teams were tasked to find ways that IBM Watson can be applied to higher education and the delivery of public services by New York City. The competition attracted 254 students from 18 CUNY colleges. Of those, 117 were invited to participate in a two-day boot camp, Oct. 24 and 25, where IBM mentors, faculty advisors and other experts in the field provided feedback on their initial ideas. The group has been narrowed down to the Top 10 teams who will participate in a final round of presentations on January 15, 2015.

The competition is supported by a grant on higher education innovation awarded by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation. Baruch's School of Public Affairs and Zicklin School of Business partnered with IBM for this innovative competition to provide resources and support to all participants and competition organizers.

The prizes will be awarded to the top three teams: $5,000 (1st place), $3,000 (2nd place), and $2,000 (3rd place). All 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.

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The Top Ten teams vying for the top prize in the
CUNY-IBM Watson Case Competition are as follows:




App Name: “Advyzr”: a mobile app that seamlessly integrates academic goals and user preferences to provide personalized academic advisement to undergraduate college students.

Marcus Cooper, Senior, International Marketing major, Baruch College (Manhattan)

Brian Gonzalez, Senior, International Marketing major, Baruch College (Long Island)

Michael Gusman, Undergraduate, Marketing major, Baruch College

Gabriel Maldonado, Junior, Computer Science major, Hunter College (Bronx)



App Name: “Geist”: a cognitive mental health tool and personal companion that provides compassionate emotional and mental health support.

Lewaa Bahmad, Sophmore, Computer Information Systems major, Hostos Community College (Manhattan)

Joseph Perreaux, Senior, Finance major, Baruch College, (Bronx)

Joel Urena, Senior, Finance major, Baruch College (Manhattan)



App Name: “Watson Health Care Fraud Analyzer”: Watson Health Care Fraud Analyzer targets and combats health insurance fraud early and in real-time, saving costs and making it more efficient.

Roderick Keys, Senior, Entrepreneurship major, Baruch College (Westchester)

Javiar Pajuelo, Senior, Computer Science major, City College (Brooklyn)

Zipei Wang, Junior, Accounting major, Baruch College (Manhattan)

Shirley Yang, Graduate, Public Health major, Hunter College (Queens)

Clara Yip, Junior, Finance/Investments major, Baruch College (Queens)



App Name: “LMSW”: Integrates information across all agencies to help city social workers effectively serve children and families.

Lizeth Mejia, Junior, Accounting and Economics major, Queens College (Queens)

Nekita Singh, Senior, Urban and Women’s Studies major, Queens College (Queens)

Kimberly Sy, Senior, Biology major, Queens College (Long Island)


App Name “SmartCall”: Improves the 311 system by using IBM Watson to optimize the system’s operation and make it more cost effective to operate.

Saad Abbasi, Freshmen, Economics major, John Jay College (Queens)

Qasim Ashraf, Junior, Mathematics major, City College (Queens)

Hassan Naeem, Freshmen, Computer Science major, Queens College (Queens)

Owais Naeem, Graduate, Computer Engineering major, City College (Queens)


App Name: “Students Using Watson for Education Reform”: Watson’s natural language ability will permit faculty to use written assignments rather than multiple-choice quizzes.

Joshua Hirth, Sophomore, Chemistry and Entrepreneurship major, Baruch College (Manhattan)

Joshua Kurman, Sophomore, Undeclared major, Baruch College (Long Island)

Dory Mintz, Sophomore, Computer Science major, Queens College (Manhattan)


App Name: “TransferMe”: Watson will assist in the process of transferring credits between higher education institutions.

Kevin Carpintero-Bernal, Undergraduate, Economics and Finance major, Queens College

Bruna Goldfeld-Jermann, Undergraduate, International Business major, Queens College

Caitlin King, Undergraduate, Economics major, Queens College



App Name: “The Sherlock Application”:Integrates IBM Watson into the 911 dispatch system so that the city can improve the efficiency of emergency response teams by streamlining information acrosss all agencies.

Benjamin Chan, Senior, Electrical Engineering major, City Tech (Manhattan)

Sam Tsui, Senior, Finance major, Baruch College (Queens)

Wan Tsui, Graduate, Taxation major, Baruch College (Queens)

Janet Wong, Graduate, Accountancy major, Baruch College (Manhattan)



App Name: “WatNext”: Watson individualizes “after class" experience with personalized learning for students.

Luis Disla, Senior, Computer Engineering major, City College (Brooklyn)

Kenneth Ng, Junior, Biomedical Engineering major, City College (Brooklyn)

Tyrone Shillingford, Senior, Environmental Engineering, City College (Bronx)

Chiziterem Uwaga, Senior, Mechanical Engineering, City College (Brooklyn)


App Name: “The Watsonians”: IBM Watson technology will help improve college advisement activity and decrease costs for students.

Aleksey Bilogur, Sophomore, Economics major, Baruch College (Brooklyn)

Sara Guan, Freshman, Undeclared major, Baruch College (Queens)

Muhmmod Javed, Sophomore, Biophysics major, Baruch College (Brooklyn)




About Baruch College:

Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 18,000 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,

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