CITRIS Big Ideas winners for 2013

CITRIS Big Ideas winners for 2013

This year, CITRIS awarded five student-led proposals a total of $30,000 in prize money for our annual competition. All of the proposals that we received were outstanding, and everyone who entered should be congratulated for their hard work and insightful ideas about complex societal problems.

Congratulations to this year’s winners of the CITRIS Big Ideas competition!

  •  Co-First place: ParkExperienceMap for Schools (UC Berkeley).  To survive, California’s National Parks must become more relevant to people of diverse cultural backgrounds. Drawing on research about underserved populations and parks, ParkExperienceMap, in partnership with the National Park Service, proposes to implement an online participatory mapping system for creating park maps that is tailored to underserved audiences.
  • Co-First place: Low-Cost Utility-Driven Guardian Robot for Older Persons Living Alone (UC Santa Cruz) | This proposal aims to produce a robot that acts as a guardian for older persons living independently that is low-cost, low-maintenance, unobtrusive, and gives the family peace of mind that their loved one is safe.
  • Co-Second place: Small, Low-Cost Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for CAL FIRE Reconnaissance (UC Merced) | The Sacramento firefighters memorial has over 1,100 fallen heroes, and UC Merced students have developed a way to improve firefighter safety. While combating wildfires, information is key; therefore, this big idea envisions a cheap way to continuously update CAL FIRE with small, unmanned aerial vehicles.
  • Co-Second place: Facilitating Independence for Photo Capturing, Browsing, and Sharing for Blind People (UC Santa Cruz) | This big idea is to facilitate independence for blind people in capturing, organizing, browsing, and sharing photos using an iPhone.
  • Third place:  m3d (Mass Minable Medical Data) (UC Berkeley) | m3d is the “Google for Healthcare” – an intuitive and fast search engine for clinical and biomedical research.

More information about Big Ideas, including news about the Grand Pitch Day and winners of the other local contests, can be found at


The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) and the Banatao Institute drive interdisciplinary innovation for social good with faculty researchers and students from four University of California campuses – Berkeley, Davis, Merced, and Santa Cruz – along with public and private partners.

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