USC students lone RP winners in International Blockchain Olympiad

A team of five USC students was conferred an Award of Merit in the recently-concluded 2020 International Blockchain Olympiad (IBCOL).

Subay,” a mobile app developed by Jeneville Ven Abayon, Earl John Conag, RB Angelou Cobosa, Alexis dela Rosa, Justin Raz, and Cris Lawrence Adrian Militante, was the only entry from the Philippines among 36 that were given Awards of Merit. All five students belong to the Department of Computer and Information Sciences.

Subay, Cebuano for “trace” is a contact-tracing app they designed that integrates blockchain technology to a mobile phone in order to help curb the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases in the country. It allows users to ensure the safety of their cohorts, constituents or, in the case of businesspersons, their employees and customers through the use of a real-time updated map. With the security and data integrity in blockchain technology, users are assured of location history that cannot be altered, manipulated, or updated.

A simple updating of a person’s status using Subay on a smartphone will immediately result in the transmission of a notification to all users who were in contact with that person, thus providing real-time information and enabling users to help trace possible contamination.

The International Blockchain Olympiad, according to the its website, began in 2017. It is designed like a “business case competition, an academic whitepaper conference and a ‘hackathon’,” where contestants comprising up to six students or recent graduates first write a whitepaper to describe a complete solution. Finalists are then asked to create a poster board and pitch the project through a presentation. The Olympiad awards students who think deeply about a problem and its solution and are then able to explain it to others in a coherent manner.

The five USC students shared the limelight with entries from Canada, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, among others. A second USC team with the project Viralert composed of Bryl Lim, Michale Aniñon, and Robert Lim also made the final cut; the two USC teams were among only four teams from the Philippines that were named as finalists.


by Jose Eleazar R. Bersales

Tags: Computer Science

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