REDMOND, Wash. — May 23, 2005 — After two days of intense competition, James Barrett, John McKeon and John Sells from Virginia Commonwealth University emerged as the first-place team to represent the U.S. in the worldwide Software Design Invitational of Imagine Cup 2005, a competition sponsored by Microsoft Corp. that recognizes creative and technological innovations in the worldwide student community. Barrett, McKeon and Sells received a cash award of $9,000 (U.S.) and a trip to the worldwide finals in Yokohama, Japan, for a chance at more than $50,000 (U.S.) in total cash prizes. Microsoft awarded second place to Bryan Chen, Mark Pimentel and Andy Shen of Carnegie Mellon University and third place to Jorel Fermin, Churk Leung and Maurice Peltier of Northeastern University.
“The students at this year’s Imagine Cup represent the next generation of technology and business leaders. Each of them has created an application that demonstrates the power of technology in solving real-world problems,” said Morris Sim, senior director of the Academic and Developer Community Group in the Servers and Tools Division at Microsoft. “Their creativity and innovation is inspiring, and speaks a magnitude about the future of technology.”
Eighty students comprising 30 teams participated in this weekend’s exhibition. Using Microsoft® technology and .NET Web services, the student teams were asked to create a mobile application that dissolves the boundaries between people. These were the top three finalists:
First-place winner. James Barrett, John McKeon and John Sells of Virginia Commonwealth University developed ECESIS, a Tablet PC-enabled application designed for use in early-childhood education classrooms to facilitate writing instruction. Using the application, students will complete a series of lessons that will be stored on the application server and distributed to client applications via Web services. The ECESIS system will provide objective feedback and scoring of student progress, and includes a Web reporting interface using SQL Server (TM) Reporting Services that will be accessible to parents, teachers and school administrators. The team received the U.S. National Champion title, a cash award of $8,000 (U.S.), plus $1,000 (U.S.) for placing first in the regional competition, to be shared equally among team members, and a trip to the worldwide finals in Yokohama, Japan.
Second-place winner. Bryan Chen, Mark Pimentel and Andy Shen of Carnegie Mellon University developed SmartCare, a healthcare platform that provides easy and secure sharing of patient information without the need to completely replace existing information technology infrastructure. Relying on electronic medical record standards such as Health Level Seven (HL7) and Continuity of Care Record (CCR), hospitals will be able to interface with SmartCare to connect, search and correspond with the national network of healthcare providers. The team received a cash award of $4,000 (U.S.), plus $1,000 (U.S.) for placing first in the regional competition.
Third-place winner. Jorel Fermin, Churk Leung and Maurice Peltier of Northeastern University developed eVt, which strives to resolve communication barriers such as language or geography. eVt is designed to enable the use of technologies such as speech-to-text, text-to-speech and language translation in series with such devices as Smartphones, PDAs and laptops with the purpose of overcoming the boundaries of language. The team received a cash award of $2,000 (U.S.), plus $1,000 (U.S.) for placing first in the regional competition,
“Winning the Imagine Cup U.S. finals is an honor and just the beginning for ECESIS,” said Barrett on behalf of his team. “The Imagine Cup has already opened doors in the education community, and the overwhelming positive response from the judges and participants has validated the universal need and appeal of our vision.”
The Imagine Cup, now in its third year, is a competition designed to provide an outlet for students to explore technological and artistic interests outside the classroom. More than 10,000 students from over 90 countries have competed in the nine Imagine Cup 2005 invitationals: Algorithm, Information Technology (IT), Office Designer, Rendering, Short Film, Software Design, Technology Business Plan, Visual Gaming and Web Development.
Algorithm and IT Finalists and IT High School World Champion Revealed
Online competitions are beginning to conclude, and finalists for the Algorithm and IT invitationals have been announced. The online IT High School invitational has finished and the winning competitors have received their awards. The online Algorithm competition tested students’ expertise in algorithm analysis, discrete math, combinatorics, and other math and computer science disciplines. This year’s top six finishers placed ahead of more than 3,500 competitors after two challenge rounds. The finalists, who will advance to Japan for the final algorithm challenge, are Xiaomin Chen from Rutgers University, U.S., who also was a finalist in Imagine Cup 2004; Endre Csóka from the Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary; John Dethridge from the University of Melbourne, Australia; Michael Lieberman from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, U.S.; Xiaoshi Lu from the Beijing University of Technology, China; and Phuong Ngoc Nguyen from Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) in Vietnam.
The online IT competition challenges students to demonstrate proficiency in the science of networks, databases and servers, as well as analysis and decision-making in IT environments. This year’s top six finishers placed ahead of more than 3,000 competitors after two challenge rounds. The finalists, who will advance to Japan for the final IT challenge, are Valy Greavu from Alexandru Ioan Cuza University (Romania); Hernan Lionel from Cianfagna University of Rome “La Sapienza” (Italy); Christian Meyer from the FOM Munich (Germany); Emanuel Pentescu from Politehnica University of Timisoara (Romania); Stefan Plizga from the Institut National des Sciences (France); and Andreas Tomek from the Vienna University of Technology (Austria).
The online IT High School winners also have been announced. Brian Desmond from Walter Payton College Prep High School (Chicago, U.S.) received a first-place prize of $5,000 (U.S.) and will be attending the worldwide finals in Japan. Second place and $2,000 (U.S.) went to Ciprian Costin from Computer Science High School (Romania); and third place and $1,500 was awarded to Varun Srinivasan from The International School (Bangalore, India).
The remaining finalists will be announced later this month and in June. For the latest news and information on the Imagine Cup Competition, please visit the virtual pressroom.
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