Avatar director James Cameron urged young Americans on April 26 to pursue careers in science and technology to keep the United States at the forefront of technical innovation, AFP reports—and his remarks came at the U.S. finals of the 8th Microsoft Imagine Cup, where students presented projects they developed that use technology to fight global problems. “We can’t fall behind in that area. We need engineers, we need innovators,” Cameron said, adding that Avatar would not have made it into cinemas without innovative technology developed by Microsoft and the out-of-the-box thinking of a young team, average age 23, who put the technology to work in the movie. The Imagine Cup aims to inspire young people to use their talents and technology to do everything from making movies to saving the planet. Cup participants have to develop projects that use technology to make a difference in the lives of people in their local communities and around the world. Eighty students out of a starting field of 22,000 made it to the U.S. finals of the competition with projects that dealt with everything from pollution to pediatric illness to poverty. The winner of the software division—a project called Mobilife, by students at the University of California, Davis—will travel to Poland in July to compete against teams from more than 150 nations in the world finals of the Imagine Cup. Mobilife uses the Windows Mobile platform and computer-assisted microscopy to allow doctors who work without the benefit of the facilities of a modern hospital to detect vascular diseases in children. The game design division was won by a game called “Sixth,” developed by students at the two-year Central Piedmont Community College in North Carolina, which raises awareness of global poverty by putting players into the skin of a child in a slum in India who has to battle his way past obstacles to collect water for his family…

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About the Author:

Denny Carter

Dennis has covered higher education technology since April 2008, having interviewed some of the most recognized IT pros in U.S. colleges and universities. He is always updating eCampus News with the latest in pressing ed-tech issues, such as the growing i

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