Optix: Describing the World Through ComputerVision wins Rep. Scott Peters’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge in California’s 52nd District

Rep. Scott Peters has named Ayush Nayak from Westview High School as the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in California’s 52nd District.


When asked what inspired the creation of Optix: Describing the World Through ComputerVision, the student said, “I had been playing with Machine Learning for a long time, but never as an application on a phone, or something to be used in real time, always in more ‘research’ style purposes, this app challenge was a perfect way for me to be able to build an application to see just how good ML has gotten. Almost all the AI in our lives is done on faraway servers and sent back to our phones, so I thought it would be great to see what on Device AI taken to the max would look like. Over COVID, a lot of my friends (probably due to 12h+ a day computing) started needing glasses, or just using the magnifier feature on their phones, which is what got me thinking and eventually prompted me to decide to use my ML ideas to make this particular implementation of this application.”

The 2021 Congressional App Challenge yielded 2,101 fully functioning apps. After eighteen months of disruptions to educational cadences for students everywhere, the Congressional App Challenge came roaring back with 7,174 students registering for this year’s competition. All told, 340 Members of Congress hosted Congressional App Challenges in their districts across 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, D.C.

The Congressional App Challenge is an official initiative of the U.S. House of Representatives, where Members of Congress host contests in their districts for middle school and high school students, encouraging them to learn to code and inspiring them to pursue careers in computer science. Each participating Member of Congress selects a winning app from their district, and each winning team is invited to showcase their winning app to Congress during our annual #HouseOfCode festival. The program is a public-private partnership made possible through funding from Omidyar Network, AWS, theCoderSchool, Facebook, Replit, Accenture, and others.

The 2022 Congressional App Challenge will launch in June of 2022, and eligible students can pre-register for the competition now.