MEng alumni address disaster response through Project AsTeR
A group of five University of California, Berkeley Master of Engineering (MEng) alumni are finalists in the IBM Call for Code 2019 Global Prize: The alums’ Project AsTeR uses artificial intelligence to help analyze and respond to the surge of emergency calls that typically take place after a disaster strikes.
It all started with a hackathon
In the Spring of 2019, MEng alumni Meryll Dindin (BIOE), Thomas Galeon (BIOE), and Pierre-Louis Missler (CEE) participated in the IBM Call for Code Global Challenge. The challenge was a worldwide developer competition that sought technology solutions for natural disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. The team won the Berkeley codeathon and recruited two more alumni: Florian Fesch (IEOR) and Oskar Radermecker (BIOE). The team credits the MEng program and Berkeley social impact ecosystem for bringing their talents together.
“The five of us met at Berkeley, and were concerned about technology not being fully exploited for the greater good. The Berkeley MEng program gave us the tools to change this.” — Meryll Dindin
About Project AsTeR
In a disaster, 911 call centers are overwhelmed and lack resources for the sudden uptick in calls. Project AsTeR prioritizes the calls in order of emergency level, where callers leave a brief explanation, which are converted from speech to text and are analyzed in real time. AsTeR also offers a visual map to quickly identify areas and the amount of people affected.
Vote for Project AsTeR
IBM is now accepting votes for the 2019 People’s Choice Winner. The Global Challenge winner will be decided by a group of IBM judges, but anyone can vote on the People’s Choice winner by visiting the link above.
Congratulations to Project AsTeR and the rest of the teams for their innovative ideas that have the potential to save lives!