Yatharth Chhabra earns entrepreneurship prize for work on accessibility applications, COVID tracking
Yatharth Chhabra, a master’s student in computer science and engineering, earned the Harry B. Benford Award for Entrepreneurial Leadership for his work on projects including HotSpot and DyslexiAR. The award recognizes a student who has exhibited entrepreneurial flair and leadership ability, and who has capitalized effectively on the technological and engineering resources available in the College of Engineering.
Chhabra first worked on the mobile COVID-19 contact tracing app HotSpot as part of MHacks. The app uses machine learning (ML) and geofencing to identify and predict COVID hot spots in order to alert users. He and his team took first place at the hackathon, and were subsequently chosen by Google Cloud to receive mentorship and a research grant to continue developing Hotspot. After another six months of expanding on the project, the team presented their work during Google Demo Day and were awarded 2nd place out of the 38 top hackathon winners across North America.
Chhabra went on to create DyslexiAR, an assistive technology application that helps people with dyslexia by displaying augmented reality models of words & concepts. DyslexiAR also uses optical character recognition and ML to correct misspelled words. DyslexiAR was awarded Best VR/AR by Meta Oculus out of 1,100 competitors.
Working with his research advisor and labmate, Chhabra also contributed to VizLens, an iOS application that helps people with visual impairment navigate interfaces such as microwaves through finger tracking and scene analysis.
Chhabra has worked as a Production Engineering intern at Meta in the ads monetization group. Last year, he served as the Vice President for Michigan Hackers, the largest CS student org on campus, where he organized recruiting events for over 300 members with companies including Meta and Tesla. Previously, he taught mobile app development and led the group’s iOS subteam as the iOS officer.