Student programmers solve real-world challenges

“After that, we were always trying to reduce our power consumption,” he said. “We realized having a single meter would help track a power footprint. That’s how we came up with the idea for the Smarter Meter.”

Smarter Meter provides detailed power consumption information to users. At a glance, homeowners can see what appliances are responsible for the bulk of their electricity use, which team members say will help people reduce their energy use and save money. The team won $25,000.

Also winning $25,000, team By Implication from the Philippines won the Game Design category for its game, Wildfire. Wildfire is a video game about saving the world through social action and volunteerism, says Philip Cheang, a student at Ateneo de Manila University. In the game, players take on rampant poverty, gender inequality, and environmental degradation with the hope of defeating those enemies.

Weiqiu Wen, of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, won the IT Challenge and a cash award of $8,000. The IT Challenge calls on competitors to develop, deploy, and maintain their own IT systems. This year’s competition asked participants to come up with a system that kept power consumption to a minimum.

Team Mirror Vita won $8,000 for the Digital Media category with their project “For Kids in the Future.” Filmed and edited over a 30-hour period, the animated short video tells children that they have the power to change the world, says Ching-Cheng Su, a student at National Taipei University of Technology.

“These student projects are sophisticated technology accomplishments that highlight the incredible things that can happen when inspired ideas and the will to make them happen come together,” said Jean-Phillippe Courtois, president of Microsoft International. “With their passion and the assistance of technology, these young adults can and will affect the future.”

In addition to the competition categories above, the Imagine Cup included six achievement awards. These six awards provided more opportunities for students to win cash, prizes, and a trip to Poland. Three U.S. teams received achievement awards.

Team Note-Taker, featuring students David Hayden and John Black from Arizona State University, received first place in the Touch & Tablet Accessibility category for an application that allows low-vision users to view streaming video of a classroom presentation while, at the same time, taking notes in a split-screen interface with Microsoft OneNote.

Team OneView, featuring students Shaun Kane and Kristen Shinohara from the University of Washington, received second place in the Touch & Tablet Accessibility category for a Tablet PC-based application that enables students with varying abilities to collaboratively create, read, and edit diagrams. OneView provides a synchronized multimodal interface (visual, audio, and text) that allows each student to use his or her preferred interface mode when collaborating with other students.

Team Beastware, featuring high school students Christian Hood and Eric Lo from the Advanced Technologies Academy in Nevada, received first place in the Windows Phone7 “Rockstar” category for a two-dimensional game that involves the player controlling a machine that destroys other machines by using the mobile phone’s accelerometer.

Registration for the 2011 Imagine Cup—to be held New York, the first time the United States is hosting the competition—should begin soon. Students interested in participating will be able to register here.


Imagine Cup 2010

Microsoft Corp.