74581_168112076555133_141882375844770_375660_5933404_nThis last week, I served as one of the many judges who reviewed the submissions for Image Cup 2011. The entries were amazing, with students from around the US solving worldwide problems. ISVs participate as mentors and get the added benefit by working closely with the highest quality college students on a common problem.

Now in its ninth year, the Imagine Cup has grown to become a global competition with more than 325,000 students representing 100 countries and regions entering the competition last year. The theme for the 2011 competitions is “Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems.”

Typically, students define the problems they solve through research, personal passion for social causes and inspiration from the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Problems featured within Imagine Cup Solve This complement the other problems students identify for themselves.

The Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Finals will be held in New York City July 8–13 — the first time the United States will host the final stage of the competition.

Second Round Begins Tomorrow

As of Tuesday we are open again for submissions into the spring round.  The first deadline will be Feb 15 and the second deadline is March 14.

Both student competitors and ISVs who want to mentor teams can sign up at  www.imaginecup.us/Signup.aspx

The second round, named Imagine Cup Solve This, provides inspiration for students looking to help solve the world’s toughest problems. In the spirit of “crowdsourcing,” intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and nonprofits now will be able to seek the help of the brilliant and passionate students competing in Microsoft’s Imagine Cup, the world’s premier student technology competition, to develop innovative solutions to real-world problems. Global IGOs and NGOs are among the first organizations to participate include:

  • NetHope
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
  • United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
  • United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
  • United Nations Programme on Youth
  • United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)
  • United Nations World Health Organization (WHO)
  • U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • New York City nonprofit the Robin Hood Foundation .

First Round Winners

Microsoft also announced today the first round of Imagine Cup finalists from the United States. These finalists will compete at the U.S. national finals that will be held on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Wash., in April:

Software Design

BearPaw, Brigham Young University. The team created a solution that converts ultrasound image files to an open standard format, and that relies on the cloud for further processing and storage, which enables ultrasounds to be more portable, affordable and easier to use.

LifeLens, University of California, Davis; Harvard Business School; University of Central Florida; UCLA Anderson School of Management; University of California, San Diego. The team developed software that uses a mobile phone camera to deliver an accurate diagnosis of malaria in the field.

Transit Tracker, Arizona State University. The project relies on crowdsourcing and GPS data to provide accurate estimations of bus arrivals and departures, benefiting public transit users in general and the visually impaired in particular.

Uca Ursus, University of Central Arkansas. The team created an automated system to track the speed of a skin lesion’s progression to better diagnose and treat skin cancer.

Voltron, University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The team created an application to support the global collection of medical data by parents and doctors, allowing global researchers to access and study the cloud-based information as a means to help eradicate cancer among children.

Game Design – Windows and Xbox

Plump Pixel, California State University, Chico. The team created “Green World,” an educational game blended with real-time strategy and simulation where the player takes on the role of a city planner whose responsibility is to provide a sustainable level of energy to the city while keeping the environment clean and free of pollution.

Righteous Noodle, University of Houston. The team created “Eva Frontier,” a real-time strategy game designed to develop problem-solving skills by managing a humanitarian mission that delivers food and medicine to villages.

STC, University of Houston. The team developed “Deep Sea,” a game designed to protect the ocean environment and promote innovation in keeping oil rigs safe.

Game Design – Mobile

SDEG, University of Texas San Antonio; Texas A&M University, San Antonio; San Antonio College. The team created a mobile video game, “Renuvia,” which allows players to travel the world and fight pollution by using green technology, recycling and renewable energy.

Team AAMP, University of Houston. The team developed a mobile game, “Operation Clean Sweep,” where the player has the objective of cleaning up rivers polluted by their adjacent cities.

Team Inspiration, University of California, Riverside. The team developed a mobile game, “Trash Boy,” where players prevent trash from entering the ocean to protect fish.

About Imagine Cup

Imagine Cup is the world’s premier student technology competition. It is open to undergraduate and graduate students at colleges and universities, as well as to high-school students. Designed with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals in mind and sponsored by Microsoft, Imagine Cup challenges student teams to solve some of the world’s toughest problems.
Student solutions can literally change lives.

Learn more at: http://imaginecup.com/competitions

Bruce D. Kyle
ISV Architect Evangelist | Microsoft Corporation

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