Students From the University of California, Davis Win Microsoft’s U.S. Imagine Cup

WASHINGTON — April 26, 2010 — Over the past three days, students across the country came together in Washington, D.C., to celebrate their creativity and passion for solving the world’s toughest problems using technology. These students were part of the eighth annual U.S. Imagine Cup, the world’s premier student technology competition sponsored by Microsoft Corp.

“Imagine Cup is more than a software competition; it’s about inspiring students to become tomorrow’s technology and business leaders,” said Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer at Microsoft. “The technology industry not only is a key driver of economic growth and job creation, but also offers vast potential to solve some of the world’s toughest societal problems. The creativity and passion of these students speaks volumes about the impact they will have on the world.”

More than 22,000 students registered for this year’s U.S. competition; only 80 were selected by a panel of judges to compete in the U.S. finals. The participants were tasked to use technology to make a difference in the lives of people in their local communities and around the world, addressing issues in education, healthcare and environmental sustainability. Projects ranged from a mobile safety alert system for women to a social-networking application that connects entrepreneurs to investors in the micro-banking industry.

“Studying computer science doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll work for a computer company, but it does mean that you’ll have the education, resources and understanding to basically do anything in a future career,” said John R. White, executive director and CEO of Association for Computer Machinery. “It’s a fundamental skill and knowledge set for the 21st century.”

Team Mobilife from the University of California, Davis, took home the grand prize in the software design category. The team’s project helps field doctors use mobile technology for early detection of some vascular diseases among children in developing regions. Although these disorders are normally easy to diagnose in modern hospitals, the lack of tools readily available to doctors who work in places like sub-Saharan Africa, Southern Asia and Oceania make new solutions necessary.

U.S. Imagine Cup Grand Prize Winners: (L to R) Will Isenhour, Danny Helms, Jonathan Mead and Nic Colley of Team To Be Announced, winner, game design category; Anthony Salcito, Microsoft vice president of Worldwide Education, Mark Hindsbro of Microsoft, Helena Xu, Kavon Gaffari, Wilson To, and Audrey Lee of Team Mobilife, winner, software design category. Washington, D.C., April 26, 2010.

The team will travel to Warsaw, Poland, in July to represent the United States in the worldwide finals and showcase their innovation alongside hundreds of other student teams from around the world. In addition to cash and prizes awarded to the top teams in the competition, students gain real-life experience, make new friends and attend several training sessions to help them turn their ideas into reality.

2010 U.S. Imagine Cup Winners

Software Design

The Software Design invitational is Imagine Cup’s largest competition. The winner of the U.S. competition is the only team that will receive an automatic bid to compete at the worldwide finals in Poland among students from over 100 countries and regions. Students create real-world software and services applications that use Microsoft tools and technology.

Grand Prize: Mobilife, University of California, Davis

  • Kayvon Ghaffari, Audrey Lee, Helena Xu and Wilson To

  • A mobile diagnostic tool for vascular diseases.

First Prize: MangoBunnies, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, DePauw University

  • Malisa Vongskul and Ashley Myers

  • A mobile and Web message alert system to inform users of unsafe areas for women.

Second Prize: Extraplaid, Utah State University

  • Josh Light, Susanna Beck, Yiding Han and Cal Coopmans

  • A social-networking application called Aidventure to connect entrepreneurs with investors in the micro-banking industry.

Third Prize: Team Blob, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

  • Jaelle Scheuerman, Lori Rebenitsch and Robyn Krage

  • A multitouch design tool to help teachers create interactive presentations.

Game Design

The Game Design competition is a chance for students to create their own video game and at the same time help change the global community. Students are asked to create a new game that has been developed either using Microsoft XNA Game Studio 3.0 or later, Microsoft Visual Studio, or Microsoft Silverlight technologies.

Grand Prize: University of North Carolina, Central Piedmont Community College

  • Will Isenhour, Nic Colley, Jonathan Mead and Danny Helms

  • An educational video game called Sixth that involves a series of quest challenges related to ending poverty around the world.

First Prize: Coffee Powered Altruism, Yale University

  • Henry Corrigan Gibbs and Christopher Riederer

  • A strategy game called Alterra that tasks participants with tackling development issues of a country or region.

Second Prize: Ifrit Salsa, University of Houston

  • Alaa Gharandoq, Jesus Hernandez, Daniel Biediger and Arifur Sabeth

  • A video game called RoboRecycler that promotes a cleaner environment by collecting, sorting and recycling different items.

Third Prize: LeveL13, University of Houston

  • Paul Diaz, Reggie Tye, Syung You and Yu Chao Chen

  • A video game called Antitoxin Squad that lets participants combat pollution through cultivating plants around the world.

Achievement Awards

The Achievement Awards represent additional opportunities for students to be recognized for their excellence and creativity. The four awards highlight teams that had public appeal through an open voting process, the best solution accessed through a mobile phone, the top project that utilizes cloud computing, and a Web design competition.

People’s Choice Award: Coders Inc, Illinois Institute of Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Krishna Rao Vijayanagar, Yamini Girey and Shayok Mukhopadhyay

  • An online forum where nongovernmental organizations, volunteers, donors and vendors can interact and share resources.

Windows Azure Award: MedRx, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

  • Jenish Pahari, Mohammed Akheel Ahmed, Mujeeb M Abdul and Travis Bennett

  • A platform to make medical data available to researchers around the world.

Mobile Award: LifeCode, Wayne State University

  • Melissa Hui, Steve Markovitch, Fahima Bhuyan and Kun Wang

  • A tele-health data capture and analysis platform.

Microsoft bliink Web Design Award: Technology Center of DuPage, Glenbard East High School

  • Andrey Danilkovich and German Fomin

The Imagine Cup is a worldwide student competition that helps young people apply their imagination, passion and creativity to make a difference in the world through technology. The event is one of the largest annual investments that Microsoft makes to inspire students.

More information about the Imagine Cup is available at and the official Imagine Cup blog.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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