Microsoft Announces Imagine Cup 2006 U.S. Software Design Invitational Winners

REDMOND, Wash. — May 5, 2006 — After an intense competition, William Calder, Joanne Cunningham, A. Brooks Hollar and Brandon Saunders from Virginia Commonwealth University emerged as the first-place team selected to represent the U.S. in the worldwide Software Design Invitational of Imagine Cup 2006, Microsoft’s premier competition for technology students. The Imagine Cup provides a stage for the creative and technological innovations of students worldwide. The Virginia Commonwealth University team received a cash award of $8,000 () and a trip to the worldwide finals in for a chance at more than $25,000 (U.S.) in total cash prizes. Microsoft awarded second place to Jeremy Capello, Michael Knipp and Tony Valenti from the University of Nebraska at and third place to Jeff Arrington, Danielle Oprean, Josh Rose and Dallas Tester from East Tennessee State University.

“The students at this year’s Imagine Cup represent the next generation of technology and business leaders,” said Sanjay Parthasarathy, corporate vice president of Developer and Platform Evangelism at Microsoft, whose team organizes the Imagine Cup. “Each team has created an application that demonstrates the power of software in solving real-world problems. Their creativity, innovation and commitment to improving people’s lives is inspiring, and speaks volumes about their futures and that of technology overall.”

A total of 46 students from 13 teams were ultimately selected to participate in U.S. Imagine Cup finals after surviving two qualifying rounds of competition. The student teams were asked to create a software application using Microsoft® technology and .NET Web Services based on the Imagine Cup competition theme: “Imagine a world where technology enables us to live healthier lives.” The following are the top three finalists in finishing order:

  • First-place winner. William Calder, Joanne Cunningham, A. Brooks Hollar and Brandon Saunders from Virginia Commonwealth University have developed PocketDoc, an application that runs on mobile devices and actively links doctors and patients in a collaborative fashion. It allows doctors to see how their patients are adhering to their treatment guidelines; it also enables patients to be more responsible for their own treatment and puts more control in their hands, with regular alerts and notifications when medication needs to be taken or otherwise. The students received the U.S. National Champion title, a cash award of $8,000 (U.S.) to be shared equally among team members, and a trip to the worldwide finals in India. This is the second year in a row that a team from Virginia Commonwealth University has been named U.S. champion in the Imagine Cup.

  • Second-place winner. Jeremy Capello, Michael Knipp and Tony Valenti from the University of Nebraska at Omaha have developed the Emergency Stick, a microchip bracelet that can hold critical medical history and provide emergency real-time feedback about recommended treatments. The bracelet, an encrypted USB device, is compatible with PDAs, cell phones, Tablet PCs and desktop computers. This bracelet can be synched with a desktop application to provide reminder capabilities that inform the user of key events, such as taking their medicine or eating a meal. The team received a cash award of $4,000 (U.S.).

  • Third-place winner Jeff Arrington, Danielle Oprean, Josh Rose and Dallas Tester from East Tennessee State University have developed GenkiNet™, an easy-to-use home health monitoring system. It has been designed to read and store personal health information of the patient wirelessly for either personal or professional use. External health equipment such as pedometers and glucose monitors can connect and store information into the user’s personalized data system. With appropriate permissions, the user’s preferred health professional will have access to the user’s data system with up-to-the minute updates. The team received a cash award of $2,000 (U.S.).

“The bar was set very high with this Imagine Cup competition — we’re thrilled and honored to be named U.S. champion and going to India to the worldwide finals,” said Virginia Commonwealth University team member A. Brooks Hollar. “The Imagine Cup is such an exciting event and allows students like me and my team to do something that really matters: work together to create software solutions that make a difference in the real world.”

The Imagine Cup, now in its fourth year, is a competition designed to provide an outlet for students to explore technological and artistic interests outside the classroom. It challenges students to imagine a better world enabled by their own genius, creativity and energy and provides opportunities for participation in the future of technology, software and computing. Teams develop innovative projects that offer practical applicability and present real-world solutions to real-world problems.

More than 65,000 students from over 100 countries have competed in the six Imagine Cup 2006 invitationals for these categories: algorithm, information technology, interface designer, Programming Battle – Project Hoshimi, short film and software design.

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