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Participants pose at the Google Research Awards for Latin America ceremony on Oct. 23, 2018, where the big winner was Brazil with 17 winning projects.EFE-EPA/ Nereu Jr./Google
Participants pose at the Google Research Awards for Latin America ceremony on Oct. 23, 2018, where the big winner was Brazil with 17 winning projects.EFE-EPA/ Nereu Jr./Google

Brazil runs away with Google LatAm research prizes

From human-computer interaction to data mining, over 300 projects competed this year in the Google Research Awards for Latin America.  

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Brazil with 17 winning projects ran away with the Google Research Awards for Latin America recognizing work in the computer science field.      

These prizes for individuals studying for MSc and PhD degrees, as well as for professors and tutors, were awarded in a ceremony at the Engineering Center established by Google in Belo Horizonte.

More than 300 projects competed in this edition of the prizes in such categories as the Internet of Things, human-computer interaction, geolocalization, machine learning, data mining and mobile devices, of which only 26 were selected.

The list of winners contained five Colombian projects, two from Argentina, one from Mexico and another from Peru, though as Google noted, again this year the projects from Brazil were calculated to amaze.

Ideas appeared like "Sensors to detect plague insects through a wireless network of intelligent traps," by Professor Paulo Roberto Ferreira Jr. and William Dalmorra de Souza, and "Suppressing false and destructive content in the context of social media," by Wagner Meira Jr. and Manoel Horta Ribeiro.

A Google spokesperson told EFE that these proposals were evaluated one at a time by 40 engineers at the tech giant's Engineering Center to judge their impact on communities.

Once completed the process, Google prepared to award them the funds announced to support the final stage of the research and, above all, their launch on the market.

The $535,000 that these awards represent, Google said, will be distributed through the Fundep research foundation, which will administer payment to the winners.

For each approved project at PhD level, the winning student will receive $1,200 monthly for a year, while the faculty to which he or she belongs will receive $750 monthly. For the top MSc projects the winners will receive $750 monthly and their faculties $675 monthly. 

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