On February 6, 2018, the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF), headquartered in San Carlos, California, announced that Willi Gierke, an IT systems engineering student, will receive more than $30,000 as the leader in points in the “Lung Cancer Early Detection Challenge: Concept to Clinic.” Gierke, a master’s student at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany, and more than 600 contributors from around the world have been working in a collaborative fashion to create open-source software with the goal of building out artificial intelligence (AI) that will help lung cancer patients live longer. “The focus of the challenge was to make artificial intelligence advances useful, not just for data scientists interested in cutting-edge methods, but for clinicians working on the front lines of lung cancer detection and the patients they serve,” said Bonnie J. Addario, a 14-year lung cancer survivor and ALCF founder. “My hope is that the winners of this challenge continue the momentum of this exciting project to help radiologists detect lung cancer earlier and save lives.” During the challenge, run by DrivenData (https://www.drivendata.org/) in partnership with ALCF, contributors used input from patients and radiologists to build out state-of-the-art algorithms applied to the detection and assessment of individual nodules from CT scans. Throughout the competition, a technical panel of experts awarded points and prizes to data scientists, engineers, User Interface (UI) developers, and coders based on how valuable their submissions were to the project in the different areas of need: AI-powered prediction models, back-end engineering, front-end design implementation, and community development.
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