EyeBall, a product that aims to improve visibility in the process of recruiting high school basketball players abroad, was the big winner of BU Spark! Demo Day April 30, winning the Judges Choice Award. Demo Day is a semiannual event in which students present the innovative projects they have worked on throughout the semester.
Students can choose to follow one of two paths in BU Spark! the university’s technology incubator and the experimental learning laboratory for student-led computer and data unit projects, and both offer course credit: Innovation Fellows work on original projects, such as EyeBall, while X-Lab participants help external organizations to improve existing products.
Last year, team leader EyeBall Sameer Chaturvedi (CAS’21) made contact with a basketball coach in Spain who was interested in the game tracking software that Chaturvedi was developing. The software allows broadcast-quality images of basketball games using an accessible panoramic camera.
“We received a live broadcast of the game’s images with a panoramic camera,” says Chaturvedi. “You can set it up and forget it because the camera gets a 180 degree field of view. The live transmission is sent to our pipeline, which executes it through our algorithm that does the automatic panning. It detects the action on the court, where the players are and where the ball may be, and then cuts the 180-degree field of view that covers both sides of the court to just one side of the court.
For Spark! the EyeBall team had to create a consumer-based product, so they decided to add athlete profiles, where high school basketball players can take game clips shot by EyeBall that highlight their skills to create a visual curriculum to provide to coaches along with your academic information, statistics and your team record. Chaturvedi and team members Anthony Ter-Saakov (CAS’21), Arushi Gupta (CAS’21), Ayca Solmaz (CAS’23) and Hannah Huang (CFA’23) plan to add recruiter profiles so that not just coaches can look at the athletes, but the athletes can look at the schools that recruit them.
Student-athletes using EyeBall will have professional-looking videos to showcase their colleges, rather than grainy images from cell phones.
“In America, people can go to identification fields, upload highlights to [hands-free camera service and recruitment platform] HUDL, and recruiters can personally recruit them, ”says Solmaz, who is from Turkey. “To be recruited [internationally], you usually have to be on a national team. I am speaking from experience – my friends who were recruited were only from national teams. [EyeBall] allows everyone to be recognized. “
On Demo Day were Langdon White, Laura Wright and Gina Doyle of Red Hat, Asad Malik of Philips, Durjoy Ace Bhattacharjya of medicalrecords.com, Michael Hendrick of Facebook, Roger Hunt of IdeaTrek, Matthew Miller of DocHub, Geri Barrison of IBM, Prasad Kothapalli, senior data architect BU IS&T, Gerard Shockley, cloud broker BU IS&T and Wayne Snyder, associate professor of computer science at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. All winning teams receive a plaque and gift card from Amazon for each team member.
“I didn’t expect this,” says Solmaz. “I was thrilled.”
Spot, a mobile app to measure the crowd that allows BU students to find quiet study areas, won Spark! Innovation Fellow Audience Choice Award. It aims to eliminate the demand for places to study, giving students more time to study. It was created by Evan Hsu (CAS’23), Tilak Agarwal (CAS’23), Preksha Munot (CAS’22), John Chai (CAS’23) and Katie So (CFA’22).
A data entry application made for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office won the Public Choice Award for X-Lab projects. The application, developed by Nikita Jakkam (CAS’21), Jana Mikaela Aguilar (CAS’22), Anthony Chang (CAS’22), Justin Janice (CAS’21), Kari Everson (CFA’21) and Sloane Schuchman (CFA ’21), makes it easier to scan handwritten records.
As part of the evening event, students who work with New Co-Lab Justice Media from BU, a collaboration between the Faculty of Computing and Data Sciences and the Faculty of Communication that launched this semester to train a new generation of computational investigative journalists, presented stories they created through the laboratory, which brings together journalism students with science students data to search through data sets to find stories.
A group of students, Angela Yang (COM’23), Shaun Robinson (COM’21), Kami Rieck (COM’21) and Mahmoud Khalil (ENG’21), worked on a news story about the failure of the federal government Protection program paycheck to provide minority-owned businesses with the funds they need. CBS Boston handed the team the database and asked them to find a story, which the covered season. Another group of students, Bzu Shiferaw (CAS’21, COM’21), Melissa Ellin (CAS’23, COM’23), Kate McGowan (CAS’22) and Sangsoo Lee (ENG’21), discovered racial disparities from prison data in Massachusetts. Their story was later published in NBC Boston website and reported by researchers at NBC 10.
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