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'Cool' Buffalo pair wins eco challenge competition

Agnes Wilewicz and Jesse Farinacci aren't just cool. They're "Buffalo Cool."

The two won $7,000 last week as grand prize winners of Mayor Byron W. Brown's annual Civic Innovation Eco Challenge-Powered by AT&T. They won for their Buffalo Cool Roof Project, which uses Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping and artificial intelligence renderings to identify roofs that can be painted white to decrease the need for air conditioning, thereby reducing energy costs and environmental impacts while keeping occupants comfortable.

Second-place winner Jonathan Hutchison earned $2,000 for his Digital Green Code application that makes it easier to search the Buffalo Green Code text, thus boosting resident engagement and increasing government transparency.

Susan and Nicholas Shea, a mother-son team, won the $1,000 Environmental Systems Research Institute's award for best use of mapping technology.

The annual competition invites local computer scientists, coders, software developers, designers, tech students and environmentalists to innovate around the themes of ecology and sustainability. Sponsors, led by AT&T, donated money for the competition.

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