Representative Malinowski Announces Winners of the 2020 NJ-07 Congressional App Challenge

December 10, 2020
Press Release

(Somerville, NJ) Today, Representative Malinowski announced the winners of the 2020 Congressional App Challenge in New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District. The competition is designed to encourage middle and high school student participation in the STEM field by encouraging them to hone their coding and computer science skills. Winners were selected by a panel of judges drawn from the local community who based their decisions on the demonstration of computer programming skills, creativity, and implementation of concept.

The 2020 winners are:

1st Place: Sameer Surapaneni (Warren, NJ), Arjun Singh (Warren, NJ), and Jay Fu (Warren, NJ) – Farmnet
2nd Place: Samantha Su (Brea, CA) and Ruoyu Liu (Montgomery, NJ) – Vocali
3rd Place: Chris Gu (Short Hills, NJ), Victor Hu (Green Brook, NJ), Sid Srivastava (Holmdel, NJ), and Aman Wadhwa (Bridgewater, NJ) – PoliticianConnect

The winning app, Farmnet, was created to help consumers, gardeners, and farmers detect and diagnose plant diseases faster and more accurately. The app uses Machine Learning to process and analyze an image imported by the user and determines potential diseases and problems that are found with the plant with 95% accuracy. The model works by breaking up an image into multiple parts, each of which are passed through several mathematical algorithms that analyze these parts one-by-one and computes a likely classification. The student programmers of Vocali developed an accessible speech therapy app for children that offers speech drills, challenges, and resources through an engaging gaming experience. PoliticianConnect was designed to improve the way elected representatives communicate with their constituents, acting as a user-friendly platform for correspondence.

“Each one of the finalists demonstrated creativity and a solid understanding of the issues our country is currently facing,” said Rep. Malinowski. “I can’t wait to see what these young people will create next. Congratulations to all.”

Officially launched by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2015, this nationwide effort allows students to compete against their peers by creating an app for desktop/PC, web, tablet, mobile, or other devices. Through recognizing our nation’s young programming talent, Congress hopes to shine a light on the growing importance of these skills.