World’s top student hackers gather at NYU Abu Dhabi Hackathon for Social Good to tackle global sustainability issues


More than 200 students from 24 countries to leverage quantum computing to develop mobile and web apps that address challenges related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Abu Dhabi once again plays host to the brightest young minds who are set to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges at the 11th NYU Abu Dhabi Hackathon for Social Good.

Hackathons are a powerful platform to develop new technologies and creative solutions to complex world problems, and this year’s edition of NYU Abu Dhabi Hackathon aims just that with a strong focus on sustainability.

Taking place on Thursday to Sunday, 27-30 April, the event will gather more than 200 students from 24 countries who will leverage quantum computing to develop innovative solutions to challenges related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The hackathon will cover diverse sectors, including health, education, film, music, business and science.

Renowned global computer science professors, founders of successful startups, technology professionals, and venture capitalists will come together at NYUAD to lead teams of talented computer science students whose mission is to create mobile and web applications for the betterment of society.

The event also offers an opportunity to learn best practices in quantum computing from mentors who are global leaders across industry and academia, including experts from world-leading institutions like MIT, ETH and Stanford.

“The event has been a launchpad for careers of past participants, who gained scholarships, jobs and even launched their own startups,” said Sana Odeh, NYUAD Affiliated Faculty and Clinical Professor of Computer Science at NYU, who is organising the event.

“Last year’s innovations resulting from the NYUAD International Hackathon include applications that optimise the routing of mobile medical services; detect viruses such as Covid-19; verify the accuracy of algorithms; enhance energy security and sustainability; allow healthcare clients with limited computational ability to securely classify sensitive medical data; and increase employment in the Arab World, among others.”


NYU Abu Dhabi Hackathon for Social Good


Keynote speeches, which are open to the public, will be led by leaders in the quantum computing and SDG fields, including Loay Elbasyouni, a Palestinian-American electrical engineer who was the lead engineer for designing the innovative robotic helicopter Ingenuity that landed on Mars in 2021; Özge Aydoğan, head UN SDG Lab, Switzerland; Heike Rill, head of Science & Technology and lead of IBM Research Quantum Europe; Graham Alabaster, chief of the Geneva Office of UN Habitat; Marieke Hood, executive director impact translator, GESDA; and Davide Venturelli, associate director, quantum computing, Nasa Ames Research Center – Quantum AI Laboratory, NASA/USAR.

The four-day event is not just about computers as acclaimed Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky, will return to Abu Dhabi to entertain participants and visitors alike in an evening of NY-based electronic music and hip hop on Thursday, 27 April, from 7-9pm at the NYUAD campus.

Apart from various academic and technology-driven initiatives, NYU Abu Dhabi also has various programmes that cater to the artistic talents of students, including the second edition of Numoo: The Arts Center Development Initiative, an artist development programme designed to support performing artists in the UAE.



27-30 April


NYU Abu Dhabi


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Image source NYU Abu Dhabi


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