TigerGraph’s Graph for All Million Dollar Challenge Winners Impress With Innovative Solutions to Global Issues Using Graph Technology

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., May 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — TigerGraph, provider of a leading graph analytics platform, today unveiled the winners of the Graph for All Million Dollar Challenge "" awarding $1 million in cash to game–changing, graph–powered projects that analyze and address many of today's biggest global social, economic, health, and climate–related concerns. The winning projects, announced at this week's Graph + AI Summit, were hand–selected by the global judging committee from more than 1,500 registrations from 100+ countries. Mental Health Hero claimed the $250k Grand Prize for creating an application to help provide greater access and personalization to mental health treatment.

"From addressing mental health issues to supporting Ukrainian refugees to predicting how supply shocks will spread through the world economy, the submissions we received tackle real–world concerns and demonstrate innovative approaches to resolving them with graph technology," said Dr. Yu Xu, founder and CEO of TigerGraph. "We wanted to create a challenge that produced new and innovative applications of graph technology and the global community did just that. The overwhelming focus on global issues in this challenge shows that regardless of geography, we all share many of the same concerns and challenges, and that graph technology can help address them."

Graph For All Million Dollar Challenge Winners
After extensive review by the global judging committee, consisting of 32 experts from industry, academia, and TigerGraph, the following are the 15 award–winning projects.

Graph For All Million Dollar Challenge Grand Prize Winner
Grand Prize, $250,000: Mental Health Hero – Mental Health Hero is a graph–based approach to solving one of the largest public health epidemics today: the prevalence of untreated mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. According to the CDC, 400 million people globally are not receiving essential treatment for their mental health disorders [1]. Additionally, only 40% of adults with mental illness are estimated to receive treatment for it [2].

Graph For All Million Dollar Challenge Top Awards
Most Impactful 1st place, $100,000: UAWelcome – The global refugee crisis reached a new level of awareness with the war in Ukraine. In response, UAWelcome created a platform that uses graph technology to connect individual refugees and their needs with a fast–growing community of volunteers and the limited and scattered resources. Their application is already in use connecting volunteers and scattered resources with Ukrainian refugees and helping refugees seek asylum in the U.S.

Most Innovative 1st place, $100,000: Universe Planner – A multiverse–metaverse planning app that allows users to solve complex problems by tapping into and leveraging social knowledge. It also socially connects users to others working on the same or similar mission, plan, or task.

Most Ambitious 1st place, $100,000: ShockNet – Allows users to adjust assumptions, investigate the predicted chains of shocks through the world economy, and identify ways to avoid economic crises by gaining visibility into how and why shocks spread. ShockNet includes an app that allows policymakers to visualize and adjust the model to better understand how to offset or avoid a future crisis.

Most Applicable 1st place, $100,000: BioDex – BioDex combines our natural curiosity with the motivation of gaming. By gamifying the experience of connecting to nature, players can snap images of nature, identify its species, and display its properties in real time while striving to identify as many species as possible and contributing biodiversity information to research.

Women Who Graph, $30,000: Diagnosx – After seeing first hand in the ER the dual struggles of patients not understanding their health conditions and doctors trying to draw pictures to help explain conditions, Bree Day knew there had to be a better way. Her idea to get 3D models to illustrate breadth and depth of a patient's diagnosis into all patients' hands is realized in Diagnosx. The application presents a 3D model of a patient's diagnosis and medical history to better illustrate the findings and diagnosis, and decrease disparities in doctor/patient communication.

Most Popular, $20,000: Multimodality Cancer Graph – Many diseases are related to each other, and complications from a certain disease could cause another. Through the power of graphs and machine learning, this project aims to uncover new disease links and help researchers better prepare for future pandemics or emerging diseases.

Additional Winners
Most Impactful

  • 2nd place, $50,000: Fact–Checker: Fighting Misinformation at Scale – A multi–platform, multi–lingual, real–time fact–checking system powered by machine learning and graph technology.
  • 3rd place, $25,000: Project Athena – An automatic, generic knowledge graph framework that builds itself from textual unstructured data and uses natural language to query and apply data.

Most Innovative

  • 2nd place, $50,000: RepoLinks – A graph that shows the dense, complex interconnections between software developers, programming languages, and software projects, to better understand factors such as skill sets, productivity, and technology evolution within organizations.
  • 3rd place, $25,000: Gemini – An eclectic news search engine that cuts through the noise and allows readers to dig deep into a specific topic or explore multiple facets of the news they are most interested in.

Most Ambitious

  • 2nd place, $50,000: Finding Drug Interactions in Silico with Graph – Identifies drug interactions and potential side effects using graph machine learning during the pharmaceutical development process.
  • 3rd place, $25,000: Candoor – A social networking site for people seeking to connect with others for candid conversations on anything from professional industry advice to tips for pursuing a hobby.

Most Applicable

  • 2nd place, $50,000: TigerGraph for United Nations (UN) Data – Makes UN data, the most robust dataset in the world, easily accessible to anyone by harnessing the power of graph technology.
  • 3rd place, $25,000: BiasCheck – A cool new Google Chrome extension that fosters critical thinking by identifying bias/accuracy of all news sources. The technology also allows users to explore specific topics with differing viewpoints that challenge the status quo.

The Graph for All Million Dollar Challenge judging committee was comprised of the world's brightest and most recognizable data scientists, professors, PhDs, distinguished engineers, and founders of global companies focusing on artificial intelligence (AI), analytics, knowledge graph, and other industry experts with deep knowledge of graph technology, graph use cases, and graph deployments. The judging committee included eight PhDs, three academics from top universities, an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, a marine geoscientist, and a 2x Kaggle Grand Master. TigerGraph engineers and product experts also joined the panel as employee judges.

"Wow! The creative use of graph and data in these solutions really shows how a graph approach with the right data can address so many global issues," said Juan Sequeda, principal scientist, data.world and Graph for All Million Dollar Challenge judge. "What is truly exciting is that most of these projects can be expanded and applied in many different situations and use cases in the future. The projects serve as templates that can be adjusted, augmented, and adapted for other situations, helping make life better for even more people. Like the project created to help Ukrainian refugees, while it is excellent for refugee situations, that same application could be used to help people impacted by natural disasters throughout the world."

Helpful Links

About TigerGraph
TigerGraph is a platform for advanced analytics and machine learning on connected data. Based on the industry's first and only distributed native graph database, TigerGraph's proven technology supports advanced analytics and machine learning applications such as fraud detection, anti–money laundering (AML), entity resolution, customer 360, recommendations, knowledge graph, cybersecurity, supply chain, IoT, and network analysis. The company is headquartered in Redwood City, California, USA. Start free with tigergraph.com/cloud.

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1 References
[1] https://futuresrecoveryhealthcare.com/blog/barriers–to–mental–health–treatment/
[2] https://towardsdatascience.com/data–science–in–mental–health–ccd09ba2148a


Without Peace, Hunger Will Continue to Increase

Wars and conflicts have pushed more than 139 million people in 24 countries into acute food insecurity. Credit: FAO

By Mario Lubetkin
ROME, May 25 2022 – If the war in Ukraine, that was initiated three months ago, does not end, and without a reduction in the growing number of conflicts in other parts of the world, hunger will only continue to increase.

As rarely seen in recent history, issues related to agrifood systems and world food security are at the centre of global and regional debates and actions in the search of possible solutions to prevent the rapid worsening of world hunger as a result of war and other conflicts.

It also seeks to accelerate efforts to transform agrifood systems, to ensure inclusive and environmentally sound development and better nutrition.

Wars and conflicts have pushed more than 139 million people in 24 countries into acute food insecurity; extreme weather events have been responsible for extreme hunger for another 23 million people in eight countries, while economic shocks have enormously affected 30 million people in 21 countries

“Peace is essential to protect people from hunger,” FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu has repeatedly said at major world forums.

Ukraine is obviously the country most affected by the war because of the human suffering and the destruction of food supply and value chains.

However, the consequences of this conflict are also being felt by low-income and food-importing countries that depend on Russia and Ukraine for food, grain, fuel and fertilizer supplies, especially in Africa and Asia, as they face an unprecedented rise in food prices.

At the end of March, just over a month after the start of the war, on 24 February, food products increased by 12.6%, the highest increase since 1990, according to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

At the end of April, prices fell slightly; however, the prospects for the coming months are far from encouraging.

According to a recent study by FAO, World Food Programme (WFP), and other institutions, around 193 million people in 53 countries were already suffering from acute food insecurity and in need of very urgent assistance in 2021, almost 40 million more than in 2020.

It is expected that the figures will continue to increase in 2022 if wars and conflicts continue.

Afghanistan alone represents approximately 20 million people in this situation, half of its population, with very high figures also in Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.

Wars and conflicts have pushed more than 139 million people in 24 countries into acute food insecurity; extreme weather events have been responsible for extreme hunger for another 23 million people in eight countries, while economic shocks have enormously affected 30 million people in 21 countries.

These data demonstrate the increasingly close relationship between conflicts, climate change, economic and financial crises, as well as energy and health problems, with the fight against hunger.

All this in a context already worsened by the effects of COVID-19 in recent years, which further aggravated the situation of people who numbered more than 800 million at the beginning of the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 increased that figure by an additional 100 million, not to mention the problems of malnutrition that affect more than 3 billion people.

The war increased prices, especially of wheat, corn and oilseeds as well as fertilizers. These increases come on top of already high increases in the worst period of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wheat export forecasts for Russia and Ukraine have been revised downwards, and while other players such as India and the European Union have increased their offers, solutions remain very limited, and prices are expected to remain high.

Countries likely to be most affected by their dependence on wheat imports from European countries at war include Egypt and Turkey, as well as several African countries such as Congo, Eritrea, Madagascar, Namibia, Somalia and Tanzania.

In addition, some countries that rely heavily on imported fertilizers from Russia are exporters of grains and high-value commodities such as Argentina, Bangladesh and Brazil.

To face this difficult reality for a group close to 60 countries, FAO is proposing at major international forums, such as the Group of Seven (G7) meeting in Stuttgart, Germany, this month, the creation of a global Food Financing Fund.

This Fund would be designed to help the most affected countries cope with rising food prices and thus contribute to alleviating the situation of 1.8 billion people.

To guarantee greater market transparency, this specialized agency of the United Nations, together with the countries of the Group of 20 (G20), is promoting the strengthening and expansion of the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS).

It is an inter-agency platform designed to improve the transparency of food markets, established in 2011 by the world’s most powerful countries following the global food price increases of 2007-2008 and 2010.

At the same time, the aim is to support Ukrainian rural families with rapid action to enable them to cultivate crops in time for the harvest that begins in the coming months, which represents an essential source of income for the country’s 12 million rural inhabitants, almost a third of its population.

This involves, for example, distributing potato-planting inputs for to thousands of Ukrainian producers in at least 10 provinces and making targeted economic transfers.

Addressing these dramatically growing emergencies, investing in the healthier, more nutritious and equitable agrifood systems, applying science and innovation more intensely to these processes, and reducing food losses can solve the food situation of hundreds of millions of people.

“Time is short and the situation is dire,” warned Qu at the United Nations Security Council on 19 May.

Excerpt:

This is an op-ed by Mario Lubetkin, Assistant Director-General at FAO

Ukraine Refugee Rape Survivors Struggle to Access Abortions in Conservative Poland

An ultraconservative group in Poland has begun checking with hospitals to find out if Ukrainian refugees are being offered terminations in line with the country’s strict abortion laws amid warnings refugee victims of rape are struggling to access local help and clinical services. Increasing evidence of sexual violence by Russian troops in Ukraine has emerged […]

So, Germany’s to Blame for Putin. Really?

A man photographs an apartment building that was heavily damaged during escalating conflict, in Kyiv, Ukraine. March 2022. Credit: UNICEF/Anton Skyba for The Globe and Mail

By George Pagoulatos
ATHENS, Greece, May 25 2022 – Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine has sparked a new introspection in the West. A number of commentators, most of them writing from the US and the UK, have come up with their latest scapegoat: Germany’s to blame, they say, with its decades-long policy of appeasing Russia. Really?

People love to dislike Germany. Often for good reasons. Successive Merkel administrations were hard-hearted in their management of the eurozone crisis, imposing crippling austerity on the South. They prioritised Germany’s narrow economic interests when dealing with illiberal regimes, including an aggressive Turkey.

Germany pursued a similar policy with Russia, too, weaving a tight web of economic relations. Since the turning point of 24 February, it is clear that this policy has outlived its usefulness. But the vitriol hurled at Germany has been excessive in the extreme: ‘Putin’s useful idiots’ was the verdict of a recent Politico Europe article on Germany’s leaders. The German president was prevented from visiting Kyiv after being declared persona non grata. It’s all getting rather out of hand.

Understanding the German perspective

Extreme criticism of this sort is not only about Germany and how to deal with brutal leaders like Putin. It is also about Europe’s role in the international system. And it has gone too far, for at least four reasons:

First, history.

Having acknowledged the crimes of Nazism, Germany was re-established on new foundations after 1945. No other country has made historical guilt such an integral part of its national self-consciousness.

George Pagoulatos

This led to the drawing up of a pacifist constitution, the consignment of German nationalism to the fringes, and seven-plus decades of commitment to European integration. When the Germans justify Nord Stream by citing the destruction wrought by Hitler’s Germany on Russia, or when they say they don’t want German tanks rolling into Ukraine killing Russian soldiers, there is deep historical content in it.

One could dismiss it as a thing of the past, but vacuous it isn’t, nor is it just pretext.

Second, Ostpolitik.

The Social Democrats in Germany today inherited Willy Brandt’s post-1960s doctrine of cooperation, dialogue and detente with the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc. This policy, which has been adhered to by every administration since, contributed to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and to the peaceful reunification of the two Germanies.

As a member of NATO, Germany did not cease to play an active role in the containment of the Soviet bloc. But it complemented this role with a farsighted policy of opening up to the Soviet Union. A wise policy which was vindicated.

Third, Realpolitik.

There is no doubt that its nexus of commercial transactions with Putin’s Russia has been commercially beneficial for Germany. Should anyone be surprised if a state chooses to act according to its economic interests? And indeed, the mercantilism of an export-led German economy that grows on the back of foreign trade often leads German foreign policy to forge relations with authoritarian regimes.

Nord Stream 2 did leave Germany fully dependent on Russian gas. However, the Scholz administration shut the pipeline down immediately after the invasion of Ukraine and moved forward to support all the heavy sanctions imposed, accepting the resulting economic damage.

But the key point here is this: If Europe’s main weapon for responding to Putin’s aggression is economic sanctions, it is precisely the density of the commercial relations with Russia that makes sanctions an effective lever capable of delivering real pressure.

Without these transactions, Putin would have nothing to lose – sanctions would be utterly meaningless! Economic interdependence gives Europe the power to exercise a deterrent by escalating sanctions. Even if it stands to bear a good part of the cost of them itself.

Building bridges not walls

There is nothing black and white about dealing in the long term with a militaristic authoritarian rival, one that holds nuclear weapons. It requires an ever-evolving mix of incentives and sanctions to encourage positive behaviour, discourage negative actions, and respond directly to aggression; a toolkit containing both engagement and containment to be applied in alternating doses.

The German logic of dealing with Russia is helping to maintain a balanced European foreign policy mix, which would otherwise be heavily skewed toward atavistic Cold War hawkishness.

Fourth, Europe.

Peace in post-war Europe owes much to the pragmatic restraint of its leaderships, the taming of nationalisms, the forging of mutually beneficial cooperation. The EU owes its historical success to building bridges, not walls. Of course, when things change, Europe (and Germany) change their mind, to paraphrase Keynes.

The EU cannot and must not abandon its doctrine of soft power; rather, it must complement it with hard power and defensive deterrence. But holding the European leaders who sought to engage Russia as a partner responsible for Putin’s war is worse than revisionism. It is a plain distortion of logic.

This article was originally published on ekathimerini-com

George Pagoulatos is a professor at the Athens University of Economics and Business, visiting professor at the College of Europe, and director general of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)

IPS UN Bureau

 


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