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Baruch College Hosts Final Presentations by CUNY Students Using IBM Watson

Top 3 Winning Teams Announced

WATCH Video courtesy of New York 1 News


NEW YORK, NY-January 15, 2015 - IBM (NYSE: IBM), along with the City University of New York (CUNY), today announced student winners of a technology contest to propose innovative ideas to help solve city challenges and better serve New Yorkers and students using next generation technology. Final presentations were hosted at Baruch College.

IBM's Watson is a cognitive computing innovation that can analyze volumes of data, understand complex questions posed in natural language, and propose evidence-based answers that help improve decision-making. CUNY students from a wide range of disciplines, including computer science, urban studies, and finance majors, teamed up to propose ways to put Watson-based apps to work to improve City government services and universities.

During the IBM-Watson Competition finale, 10 student team finalists, who were selected out of more than 100 CUNY students, faced a final round of judging based on how well students articulated their vision and concept; applying Watson’s key capabilities; impact on the target market; and plausibility of turning their business plan into a reality. Three winning teams were selected by a panel of industry and faculty judges, including representatives from Baruch College, Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation, Con Edison, and IBM.

The Top three teams were awarded a total of $10,000 in cash prizes donated by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation: $5,000 for first place team, $3,000 for second place team and $2,000 for third place. All participants will have an opportunity to sign up for summer internships winners and hone their skills and ideas at CUNY’s Center for Student Entrepreneurship Incubator, a university-wide program that helps CUNY students launch their own businesses, create jobs, and support student-led ventures.

The Winners


1st Place-LMSW: (L-R: Nekita Singh, Kimberly Sy and Lizeth Mejia). LMSW integrates information across all agencies to help city social workers effectively serve children and families.



2nd Place-SmartCall: (L-R: Hassan Naeem, Quasim Ashraf and Owais Naeem). SmartCall improves the 311 system by using IBM Watson to optimize the system's operation and make it more cost effective to operate.



3rd Place-Advyzer: (L-R: Marcus Cooper, Brian Gonzalez, Michael Gusman, Gabriel Maldonado and Jenny Robles). Advyzer is a mobile app that seamlessly integrates academic goals and user preferences to provide personalized academic advisement to undergraduate college students.

In partnership with IBM, the CUNY-IBM Watson Case Competition was organized by the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College, The CUNY Institute for Virtual Enterprise and The Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship. 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.


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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