Computing student wins J.P. Morgan’s Code for Good

Students at JP Morgans Code for Good
Melat, in the centre, with team mates from other London universities

BSc Computer Science student, Melat Gebreselassie, is on the winning team for J.P. Morgan’s annual hackathon, Code for Good.

JP Morgan’s annual Code for Good programme gives participants the chance to use their coding skills to build creative solutions for problems faced by not-for-profit organisations.

Melat’s team worked with Project Access, who run an international mentorship programme to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds navigate applying for university. The team had to address the issue that the huge amount of data available online about university applications can be overwhelming.

“The challenge was to find a solution for students age 16-18 all around the world who have very little knowledge in how they should apply, where they should apply etc. in one place online in an accessible simple way” Melat said.

Melat and her team decided the best approach was to create a chatbot implanted into Facebook messenger, which would be accessible to young people who are used to texting and messaging through social media. They used Google’s machine learning brain, DialogFlow, to power the chatbot. This means that the more chatbot is used the better the algorithm becomes.

Melat’s BSc Computer Science degree was important as she used knowledge of node.js to build the chatbot, a coding language she is currently learning in her Data and the Web module taught by Dr. Elaheh Homayounvala.

Her team completed the challenge in just 16 hours, and after presenting to an audience of 400 people and 5 judges, were announced the winners of the competition.

Congratulations to Melat and the team!