Students create apps that can change the way people live, work and play
World Finals of global programme and competition in Seattle in July
MICROSOFT Malaysia has announced the three winning student teams which will represent the country at the Imagine Cup 2014 World Semifinals, on route to the World Finals which will be held in Seattle, Washington from July 29 to Aug 1.
The National Finals was held from April 10-12 at the Telekom Malaysia Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur, where 15 teams which qualified from the first round competed in the three core categories of the Imagine Cup: Games, Innovation and World Citizenship.
At the end of the three-day competition, the winning teams from all three categories walked away with Nokia Lumia smartphones, and will represent Malaysia at the Imagine Cup World Semifinals.
For the first time in the National Finals, there was a tie in the World Citizenship category. Another assessment will be made at a later date to determine the winner, Microsoft Malaysia said in a statement.
The judges have made a decision to assess teams "A-Ware" from UTAR and "CHAP" from Swinburne on another date again before both titles The winning teams are:
Imagine Cup, founded in 2003, is a global student technology programme and competition that provides opportunities for students across all disciplines to team up and use their creativity, passion and knowledge of technology to create applications, games and integrated solutions that can change the way people live, work, and play.
“The Government, through MCMC, believes that initiatives such as the Imagine Cup are crucial for Malaysia’s quest in her transformation to becoming a developed nation by the year 2020,” said Mohd Ali Hanafiah Mohd Yunus, chief officer of industry development at the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
“Our ongoing mission is thus to help make our nation’s children better students, adept problem solvers, creative thinkers and charismatic future leaders, as well as encourage educators to maximise the use of ICT in their profession.
“Through events such as the Imagine Cup, we have been able to discover hidden talents and highlight the creativity of each participant in developing interesting and useful applications. More importantly, events such as this also showcase the ability of our local youth talents to compete with the best in the world,” he said at the closing of the National Finals.
Imagine Cup Malaysia 2014 was organised in collaboration with MCMC, Telekom Malaysia (TM) and Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), with Nokia as the sponsors of the competition prizes.
“At TM, we understand that innovation is at the very heart of change. The world has made fantastic strides, especially in the technological realm and its related services,” said TM group chief executive officer Zamzamzairani Mohd Isa.
“This in no small part is due to the immense and constant innovation that continues to shape our industry landscape, and of course, the people behind these innovations,” he added.
Imagine the difficulty
Every year, students compete in three core Imagine Cup competitions of Games, Innovation and World Citizenship, in dozens of National Finals held by Microsoft subsidiaries around the world or in the Online Finals, which provides students without a National Final in their country a path to victory.
In the end however, only a few of the very best teams make it all the way to the World Finals and receive global recognition for their hard work. This year, Microsoft decided to change that, the company said in a statement.
Every first-place winner in every National Finals and in the Online Finals will compete in a whole new round: The World Semifinals.
These first-place teams will be celebrated on the Imagine Cup website as World Semifinalists so everyone can hear their stories, see their projects and be inspired by their imagination and passion.
All World Semifinalists will then compete against each other in a global judging round to select the few teams invited to the World Finals.
For 21-year old Yong Bang Xiang from Team UTM Durian Runtuh, winner of the Games category, competing at the National Finals was an invaluable experience.
“The Imagine Cup has been a great learning experience for me and the team. … We are proud to be representing the country, and we look forward to further improvements and learnings at the World Semifinals,” he said.
“In a competition such as this, the focus is very much on the technicalities of getting the project to work,” said Lim Ai Jia of Team HeartCatcher.
“However, speaking to the judges and taking advice from them opened up our minds to think about the project more wholly; to include the business and marketing points of view as well. It was a real eye-opener and we have benefited tremendously from this experience,” he added.
Microsoft Malaysia said the judges had a tough time determining the winner for the World Citizenship category – teams Chap from Swinburne University’s Sarawak campus and A-Ware from UTAR came up with creative ideas that will need a second round of assessment to decide the winner who will go to the next round.
“As students, we have ideas and innovations that can sometimes be left unexplored because there is no avenue for it,” said Daniel Vong from team Chap.
“Microsoft initiatives such as the Imagine Cup provided a platform for us to bring together different people with different skills, to bring those ideas to life,” he added.
Meanwhile, Team A-Ware’s Benson Law said, “The global issue of starvation and food wastage was one that resonated with our team and through the Imagine Cup, we have the opportunity to use technology to do good.
“We will further improve our application and hopefully we will get into the World Semifinals and be able to bring our project to reality,” he added.
“The Imagine Cup continues to experience great success over the years; a testament to its success in reaching out to the hearts and minds of students,” said Dinesh Nair, director of Developer and Platform Evangelism at Microsoft Malaysia.
“The Imagine Cup is part of Microsoft’s YouthSpark initiative to empower 300 million young people worldwide with opportunities in education, employment and entrepreneurship by 2015. We are committed to supporting the nation’s efforts to prepare the next generation with 21st century skills that are practical and relevant to the local economy and industry needs,” he added.
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