News

Forbes: How Covid-19 Changed MIT’s Global Hackathon Program And Others For The Better, Forever

Fobes – Michelle Greenwald – September 1, 2021

Engineers often state that constraints foster creativity, and the adage “necessity is the mother of invention” was never more true than after COVID-19 hit.  MIT’s healthcare hackathon program, pioneered by MIT Hacking Medicine, was forced to pivot quickly from 100% in person, to 100% virtual on a global level.  In the process, lessons were learned that can permanently improve hackathon processes in other sectors.

Freddy Nguyen, Former Co-Director of MIT Hacking Medicine, a physician, scientist, bioengineer, physical chemist, and innovator, who works currently with both MIT and Mount Sinai, shared modifications and improvements to the program design and launch of the MIT COVID-19 Challenge in response to COVID constraints, many of which will endure.  Global hackathons across sectors can benefit from his team’s experiments and learnings.

MIT News: 3Q: Addressing structural racism in health care as an innovation opportunity
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MIT News: 3Q: Addressing structural racism in health care as an innovation opportunity

MIT News – Institute Community and Equity Office (ICEO) – October 9, 2020

Far-reaching effects of structural racism can be seen in all facets of American life. This year, as Americans witnessed widespread demonstrations stemming from racial injustice at the hands of officers in law enforcement, a ground swell of conversations about race and pleas for action emerged.

One area in which racism has had significant effects is health care equity, a fact that has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. In light of current events, members of the MIT community involved in the successful hackathons MIT Covid-19 Challenge and MIT Hacking Medicine sought to explore the role of racism embedded in U.S. health care structures. More specifically, how could they tear down racism in health care using proven hackathon methodology traditionally applied to other complex health care problems?

Video

MIT Virtual Alumni Leadership Conference: Mind, Hand, and Heart – MIT Alumni Stories of Inspiration

In a lightning talk format, alumni and postdocs from various MIT schools, departments, and class years will share personal stories of finding inspiration and taking action during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. Speakers will discuss topics that include MIT Hacking COVID, interdisciplinary research and design, producing and distributing PPEs, supporting nonprofits, and an ambitious project that aims to turn motorcycles into lifesaving devices.

Slice of MIT: Hundreds of Teams Converge Online for MIT Covid-19 Challenge Hackathons
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Slice of MIT: Hundreds of Teams Converge Online for MIT Covid-19 Challenge Hackathons

Slice of MIT – Ken Shulman – September 23, 2020

It was early March 2020. The US and the world were bracing for the outbreak of a dangerous viral pandemic. Most members of the MIT community had left the campus and returned to their homes—many of them to homes abroad. For Alfonso Martinez MBA ’20 and Freddy T. Nguyen, the Arnold O. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science and a pathology resident at Mount Sinai Hospital, there was only one logical response: a hackathon.

“We had an impending pandemic that was going to create myriad problems across the globe,” says Nguyen, a co-organizer, along with Martinez, of the MIT Covid-19 Challenge. Since March, the MIT community-led initiative has staged seven hackathons addressing the pandemic. “We needed to define the problems facing us and create a structure that could produce solutions quickly. At the same time, we had hundreds of our people with mad skills confined to their homes with nowhere to apply those skills. From our perspective, a hackathon was a no-brainer.”

MIT News: What is the Covid-19 data tsunami telling policymakers?
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MIT News: What is the Covid-19 data tsunami telling policymakers?

MIT News – Kim Martineau | MIT Quest for Intelligence – July 1, 2020

Uncertainty about the course of the Covid-19 pandemic continues, with more than 2,500,000 known cases and 126,000 deaths in the United States alone. How to contain the virus, limit its damage, and address the deep-rooted health and racial inequalities it has exposed are now urgent topics for policymakers. Earlier this spring, 300 data scientists and health care professionals from around the world joined the MIT Covid-19 Datathon to see what insights they might uncover.

“It felt important to be a part of,” says Ashley O’Donoghue, an economist at the Center for Healthcare Delivery Science at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “We thought we could produce something that might make a difference.”

Participants were free to explore five tracks: the epidemiology of Covid-19, its policy impacts, its disparate health outcomes, the pandemic response in New York City, and the wave of misinformation Covid-19 has spawned. After splitting into teams, participants were set loose on 20 datasets, ranging from county-level Covid-19 cases compiled by The New York Times to a firehose of pandemic-related posts released by Twitter.

MIT News: MIT builds community for the Africa Takes On Covid-19 challenge
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MIT News: MIT builds community for the Africa Takes On Covid-19 challenge

MIT News – Stuart P. Krusell | MISTI | MIT Sloan Global Programs | Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship – May 14, 2020

It all started, like so many things recently, with a Zoom call.

David Capodilupo, assistant dean for MIT Sloan Global Programs (GP); Bill Carter, award-winning filmmaker, author, teacher, and MIT consultant; and Stu Krusell, senior director at GP, were discussing what they could do to support the fight against Covid-19 in Africa. The need was immense. They talked about leveraging the vast network and resources of MIT to help those on the ground in Africa fighting the virus. The question was: How do you bring lots of people together to address this problem? The answer they decided on: a virtual hackathon.

Video

MIT Club of Northern California | COVID 19 Front Lines Situation and Response

During this time, we’ve found that the MIT Alumni community coming together, and there is no one more that we’d love to hear from than our very own making a Better World.

“MIT Alumni Front Lines” series brings forward amazing members of the MIT community who are doing some excellent work fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our first guest is Freddy Nguyen – PGY1 (resident) resident physician in the department of pathology and molecular and cell-based medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.  He is co-leading the MIT COVID-19 challenge a series of virtual hackathons and prior to that he was the co-director for MIT Hacking Medicine.

Ask Freddy about – what the the siutation is on the ground in NY, the motivation around the MIT COVID-19 Challenge – series of hackathon and what makes these MIT hackathons unique and relevant, and more…

Podcast

MIT Catalysts: Freddy Nguyen

Hosted by Julia Yoo – April 7, 2020

In the first of a special series about MIT community members on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, host Julia Yoo sits down with Dr. Freddy Nguyen, a postdoctoral fellow at MIT and a resident physician at Mount Sinai Hospital. Nguyen talks about the MIT COVID19 Challenge and being on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York.

MIT News: MIT’s entrepreneurial ecosystem steps up to the challenge of Covid-19
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MIT News: MIT’s entrepreneurial ecosystem steps up to the challenge of Covid-19

MIT News – Zach Winn – April 2, 2020

Entrepreneurial groups around the Institute have launched initiatives to address challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Innovation and entrepreneurship aren’t easy. New companies are forced to make due with minimal resources. Decisions must be made in the face of great uncertainty. Conditions change rapidly.

Perhaps unsurprisingly then, MIT’s I&E community has stepped up to the unforeseen challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. Groups from many corners of the Institute are adapting to the myriad disruptions brought on by the emergency and spearheading efforts to help the people most affected.

MIT News: Yearlong hackathon engages nano community around health issues Hacking Nanomedicine kicks off a series of events to develop an idea over time.
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MIT News: Yearlong hackathon engages nano community around health issues Hacking Nanomedicine kicks off a series of events to develop an idea over time.

MIT News – MIT.nano – August 9, 2019

A traditional hackathon focuses on computer science and programming, attracts coders in droves, and spans an entire weekend with three stages: problem definition, solution development, and business formation.

Hacking Nanomedicine, however, recently brought together graduate and postgraduate students for a single morning of hands-on problem solving and innovation in health care while offering networking opportunities across departments and research interests. Moreover, the July hackathon was the first in a series of three half-day events structured to allow ideas to develop over time.