REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 12, 2004 — Microsoft Corp. today announced complete contest details, entry guidelines and rules for the 2004 Imagine Cup, opening the doors to student participation in the United States. Now in its second year, the Imagine Cup is a technology contest that provides an outlet for students to explore their technological and artistic interests outside the classroom. Microsoft is calling on young programmers, artists and technologists around the world to bring their ideas to life in this year’s multifaceted competition, which comprises four invitationals — three conducted online and one conducted live — each catering to a different technology or artistic affinity.
“These contests empower students to apply their creativity, knowledge and technical abilities toward making the world not only a more-connected place but also a better place through technology,” said Morris Sim, senior director of the Academic Developer Group in the Developer Platform and Evangelism Division at Microsoft. “The pioneering spirit of young people is vitally important to the computer science, engineering and business disciplines as well as the high-tech industry overall. As the competitions adapt to blend technology with art, we’re excited to see what the young technology community brings to the table.”
The start of Imagine Cup programming in the United States brings the competition into full swing globally with other countries having begun regional competitions for the software invitational. In the 2003 Imagine Cup, individuals and teams from more than 25 countries competed. This year, Microsoft expects representation from approximately 40 to 50 countries across four invitationals:
The Software Design Invitational. This category is for future software designers and entrepreneurs who seek to improve lives through smart technology and mobile devices by leveraging the power of the Microsoft®
.NET Framework and Web services. This invitational takes place in each of the respective countries.
The Rendering Invitational. This online invitational for artists, animators and coders seeks entries from the growing field of computer-generated graphics (static or interactive animation) using the Microsoft Visual Studio® .NET development system and the DirectX®
The Short Film Invitational. This online category highlights the creation of digital videos that share perspectives on the culture of innovation.
The Algorithm Invitational. This online, individual and timed competition calls for entrants to display a range of technical knowledge across a wide variety of fundamental mathematical and computer science concepts.
After advancing through online and regional competitions, student teams will convene at the world championships July 4–6 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to present their entries to a panel of judges from academia and the greater technology industry. The top three worldwide finalists will be selected and the overall winner announced. Prizes for the 2004 Imagine Cup total $85,000 (U.S.) across the four invitationals.
Those interested in participating in U.S. Imagine Cup 2004 can visit http://www.imaginecup.com/ today to register and review full entry requirements for each invitational. Entrants must be full- or halftime students at least 14 years of age. Team competitions are limited to a maximum of four members per team, but members need not be from the same academic institution. Entrants may participate in as many invitationals as they like but may submit only one entry per invitational, except for the algorithm invitational, which encourages multiple submissions. Any students who have not yet reached the age of majority in their country or state of residence must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian if they qualify for the championships. Each team or individual invited to the world championships must send at least one participating representative to compete in the championship.
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