AUI student on First Place Team at NYU Abu Dhabi Hackathon


AUI student Ali Senhaji captained the first place team at the New York University Abu Dhabi 2016 Hackathon for Social Good in the Arab World, which can be seen at

The project won first place from the judges (out of 13 projects), as well as the Audience Choice award. In this hackathon, held from April 14 to 17, over 100 students were brought from universities across the world, with generally no more than 1 student per university. After the first day, they form themselves into teams and work on specific projects.

The digitization of Arabic texts has been limited by the difficulty of applying Optical Character Recognition approaches to Arabic script. The application intends to help with the digitization of large libraries of Arabic text by reducing texts to a large number of "snippets" (qusasat) which can be distributed to any number of participants to translate separately (such as when people are asked to "type the following text" to verify that they are human users during login procedures), and using machine learning systems to reintegrate the snippets into whole digital documents.

More information about the winning project, which will be continued as a research project through the Computational Approaches to Modeling Language Lab in Abu Dhabi, is available at lab/research/Qusasat.html