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Marius Florin Niculescu, assistant professor of IT Management
Marius Florin Niculescu, assistant professor of IT Management

Professor Niculescu Mentors Students with Winning Disaster Relief Technology

Georgia Tech students who won Software AG’s inaugural Student Idea Content were mentored by Marius Florin Niculescu, assistant professor of information technology management at Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business.

Computing majors Utkarsh Garg and Shyamak Aggarwa, who competed against students from around the world, will receive up to $10,000 in prize money for their model crowdsourcing disaster-relief system.

Niculescu will join the winning students in presenting their model at Software AG’s customer event Innovation World 2014 on October 13-15 in New Orleans.

Niculescu says his mentoring of the students represents an example of the growing collaboration between Georgia Tech Colleges on many initiatives. “The students came up with the initial idea, and I advised them on the drafting of the proposal.

“I met with the students and discussed the project, the angle of the proposal, some of the features the system should include, how the system should get buy-in from various entities in the ecosystem, how the system can be monetized, what the market is, compliance with law, etc.,” he explains.  “The next stage of the project will be to develop a prototype to illustrate the proof of concept.”

The winning disaster-relief system is envisioned to enable communication and cooperation between hospitals, doctors, volunteers, and aid organizations. The system, which could be employed in any country, would facilitate the fastest possible medical and logistical help vital to saving lives during disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes, according to the Tech team.

In the event of an emergency, millions of users can simultaneously access the crowdsourcing disaster relief system using an app on a smart phone by way of the cloud. Critical information such as hospital capacities and other data relevant to immediate relief can be retrieved, analyzed and updated in real time, the team explains.

The system can send out early warnings to quickly mobilize disaster relief teams, local doctors and volunteer aid workers. An additional goal of this innovation is to reduce everyday wait times in hospital ERs by analyzing capacities and providing alternative care options.

The system, which is platform independent, will be based on Software AG's Apama and Terracotta products for real-time analysis of big data as well as its webMethods integration and process automation software.

Jürgen Powik, director of University Relations at Software AG, says, “The number of ideas and visions entered from around the world shows us how much potential there is for close collaboration between industry and academia in training the next generation of top professionals."

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