Friday, July 02, 2010

Team USA Heads to Poland to Compete in the Imagine Cup

Well the USA may be out of the World Cup but that’s not the only international competition going on these days. The Imagine Cup is a (some would say THE) major student technology competition in the world and the international finals are taking place in Warsaw, Poland. And the US is still in that. And represented by some truly outstanding young people from universities and even one high school.


Team USA, ably headed by  Randy Guthrie (including Tom Ziegmann our Student Insider) is off to the Worldwide Finals starting, July 3rd to compete, collaborate and celebrate with students from 70 countries to solve the world’s toughest challenges with software- for all the action check: The 2010 competition started with more than 325,000 high school and university students registering across more than 100 countries and regions. Among this elite group of students, there are 5 outstanding teams from the United States, which ties Taiwan and Brazil with the most teams representing their countries in the finals. Of course a personal favorite of mine is TEAM BEASTWARE who won the Windows Phone 7 “Rockstar” award from the US. You have to love a high school team who can hold their own against university students. If that doesn’t give you some hope about the US education system I don’t know what will!

Who are Team USA? Here’s an introduction to the teams who will be representing the United States in this final round:

1.TEAM MOBILIFE (Software Design) using Windows Phone: Kayvon Ghaffari, Wilson To, Helena Xu from University of California, Davis; University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, San Diego

The Mobilife project introduces innovative application technologies into the market of mobile medicine by pairing the widely-available Windows Mobile platform with computer-assisted intravital microscopy to provide on-field analysis of the human microcirculation to detect developing microangiopathy in children using a cellphone. This non-invasive, in-vivo procedure will provide doctors with information on a patient – enough to pre-diagnose different vascular diseases such as type-1 diabetes mellitus, pediatric hypertension, and sickle cell anemia. Mobilife’s technology offers a scientifically-validated approach that cost-effectively provides accurate microcirculatory information to diagnose vascular diseases in children.  See a video of Team Mobilife’s project on the People’s Choice website.

· 2.TEAM VACCINE (Embedded Development): Patricia Day and Shawn McGhee from the University of Arkansas, Little Rock

· This project is aimed at helping children around the world. There is a potential to save tens of thousands (or more) children from preventable diseases by providing a mechanism to the World Health Organization, Unicef, Doctors Without Borders, Kenya Partnership, and others to allow for effectively recording/tracking of immunizations in remote regions of least developed and developing countries.

3. TEAM ONEVIEW (Touch and Tablet Accessibility): Shaun Kane and Kristen Shinohara from University of Washington

OneView is 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, text) that allows each student to use their preferred interface mode while collaborating with other students with different abilities. OneView enables pairs of students, either blind or sighted, to collaboratively view and edit diagrams. Using a single Tablet PC, a blind student can use an accessible audio interface, while her sighted collaborator uses a visual interface.

4.TEAM NOTE-TAKER (Touch and Tablet Accessibility): David Hayden and John Black from Arizona State University

Note-Taker is a portable, custom-designed hardware/software assistive device that improves the accessibility of higher education for students who are legally blind or have reduced vision. The Note-Taker Application 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. Much like their sighted peers, low-vision users can rapidly look between their notes and the board. Whereas fully students glance up or down, low-vision students using the Note-Taker need only move their gaze from one half of the display to the other. The Note-Taker Camera is a custom-designed USB camera that can be precisely pointed to any location where a whiteboard or digital projector might be located in a classroom, relative to the student desk. The camera provides 36x optical zoom and streams video to a tablet PC. Users can control camera positioning and zoom through intuitive tapping, dragging, and multitouch pinching gestures applied directly to the streaming video display. The Note-Taker Camera and Application has been used in class for more than 200 hours by students who are legally blind.

5. TEAM BEASTWARE (Windows Phone 7 “Rockstar”):  Christian Hood and Eric Lo from the Advanced Technologies Academy high school in Nevada  (also won our high school “Bliink” competition earlier this year)

The project is a 2D game that involves the player controlling a machine that destroys other machines by using the accelerometer. The objective of the game is to destroy as many enemies as possible before the health runs out. The player has three different actions they can perform which are shoot, repair, and defense. The shoot action fires bullets in the direction of the machine. The repair action restores a small amount of health instantly. The defense action reduces the amount of damage taken for a short period of time.

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