News Archive News Archive: UMass Dartmouth team wins CIS competition
UMass Dartmouth team wins CIS competition

Team designs medical form to protect privacy for the visually impaired

Group photo of 2018 PerkinsHacks winning team with the dean and advisor
From top left to right: Timothy J. Rose, Josue N. Rivera, Andonaq Grozdani, Chuefeng Vang, Interim Dean of Engineering Dr. Ramprasad Balasubramanian, Hieu Ngo, and Full-time Lecturer and team advisor Clinton Rogers

Congratulations to a team of UMass Dartmouth sophomore and junior computer science students for winning the PerkinsHacks 2018 competition held at Boston’s Perkins School for the Blind.

The competition offered undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to solve real-world problems faced by the visually impaired. Students had 24 hours to complete one of six projects that were judged on five criteria. The team was required to use their software knowledge and idea formation skills as well as learn the Android Studio program and XML language.

"E-Z Form," designed to assist visually impaired patients in completing their medical forms privately, won the top prize for Hieu Ngo ’19 of Hanoi, Vietnam; Josue N. Rivera ’20 of Lawrence, MA; Timothy Rose ’20 of Uijeongbu, South Korea; Chuefeng Vang of Fitchburg, MA; and Andonaq Grozdani ’20 of Worcester, MA. They competed in the "Privacy Please!" category and each team member won a Fire TV stick with Alexa voice remote.

The team created a medical form that could be photographed, uploaded, and audibly read to a visually impaired patient using a laptop or smartphone. This form will allow patients’ privacy rather than having to dictate a response to someone to complete the form for them. The program will also remember responses to questions and will auto-fill the responses on future forms with similar questions.


Casual shot of PerkinsHacks winning team
The winning 2018 PerkinsHacks team is ready for next year's competition after designing a medical form to assist the visually impaired.

Team beats "intense" competition during 24-hour event

The UMass Dartmouth team beat their competitors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Northeastern University.

"It was intense," said Grozdani. "There were a lot of teams that had good ideas, but they weren’t able to finish."

"We did some demos and our system was working pretty well," said Rivera. "We had a good feeling."

 Just in case their E-Z form project failed, the students completed a second one called "Lunch Buddies" that enables a visually impaired student to enter a crowded cafeteria and find a seat.

"These are very capable students, so I was not super surprised," said their advisor and Clinton Rogers, full-time lecturer. "They did all the hard work."

The students plan to continue working on the project, making apps for Android and IOS. They plan to compete again in next year’s PerkinsHacks.