Activities and Sponsored Events

April 1, 2024

What is an AI hackathon?

Ivy professor partners with peers across campus to solve real-world data challenges using AI

Priyanka Jayashankar, adjunct assistant professor in marketing at the Ivy College of Business, spent months working with peers across campus to prepare the first farmer-engaged hackathon at the university, which they christened a TrACathon.

It may be the only one in the Midwest, Jayashankar said. I know of no others like it.

What is an AI hackathon?

It's an event where people engage in rapid and collaborative engineering over a relatively short period of time, sometimes 24-48 hours. AI hackathons enable data scientists to solve real-world data challenges using artificial intelligence and machine learning. To maximize human potential, they leverage AI to develop creative solutions.

The hackathon, held on March 2 at the Iowa State University Student Innovation Center, was a true partnership across campus as Jayashankar worked with colleagues at the College of Engineering, the College of Agriculture and Life Science, and the Iowa State University Translational AI Center (TrAC).

As part of the event, student-led teams developed AI tools for agriculture, which were later judged by diverse farmers and some agriculture business representatives. Graduate and undergraduate students with science and engineering skills and agricultural interests or experience were encouraged to participate.

March 4, 2024

AIIRA and Translational AI Center (TrAC) host first-ever hackathon on Smart Digital Agriculture

This past weekend, the Translational AI Center (TrAC) and AI Institute for Resilient Agriculture (AIIRA) proudly hosted the inaugural AI-Ag TrAC-A-Thon at the Student Innovations Center. The hackathon brought together a diverse array of participants under the theme of Smart Digital Agriculture, fostering collaboration and innovation with the goal of developing AI tools to revolutionize farming practices. At the core of the TrAC-A-Thon was the belief in a bottom-up approach to innovation, bringing farmers and student teams together to tackle real-world challenges the agricultural community faces. Graduate and undergraduate students with science and engineering skills and agricultural interests or experience were encouraged to participate alongside local farmers interested in newer technologies. Divided into teams, participants could showcase their AI and digital agriculture skillsets while competing for cash prizes sponsored by AIIRA, TrAC, and industry leaders like Bayer, John Deere, Principal, and Corteva. The event focused on two key challenges: developing effective machine vision-based technologies to detect plant diseases and pests efficiently and harnessing AI to forecast crop yield and provide critical weather information for crop production. The AI-Ag TrAC-A-Thon was a testament to the power of collaboration and innovation in shaping the future of agriculture, unlocking new possibilities, and driving positive change in the agricultural landscape.

February 20, 2024

Translational AI Hackathon (TrACathon) - Spring 2024

AIIRA is sponsoring the Translational AI Center's first Translational AI Hackathon (TrACathon). With a theme focused on digital agriculture, the TrACathon is a bottom-up approach to innovation by bringing together farmers and student teams to develop AI tools. The TrACathon will showcase how AI can be scale-agnostic and beneficial to smaller-scale farmers and revolutionize AI applications across farm operations. TrACathon offers immersive session to Gain insights into ground-reality of farmers and help find the meeting point of bottom-up community needs with top-down emerging technologies.

Graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to participate, with the top 3 teams winning cash prizes. The event is taking place, Saturday, March 2nd.