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Your friendly Imagine Cup team mentor

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Mentor's blog My name is Rob Miles. I’m the mentor for the Team 3 Pair entry for their Imagine Cup entry. I’ve just looked up mentor at wordreference.com and it says “wise and trusted guided and advisor”. That works for me. I hope it works for the students….

I lecture at the University of Hull in Computer Science. We’ve been involved with the Imagine Cup since it was invented. In fact we’ve had more students in more competition finals than just about any other university in the country. You might say we quite like it there.

This year, like every other, we put out a call for students to get involved and then helped them put together their entries and present them. Again, like every year, the quality of the entries and the skill and determination of the students blew us away. We’ve had some old hands, like Andy from Team 3 Pair, a veteran of the competition, and shiny new first year students coming forward with really good stuff. We took a bunch of entrants down to Microsoft Reading for the UK finals and watched them do their thing. And they were great.

So here we are, having won the UK Final, with the road to Delhi stretching out before us. Scary. As a mentor, I tell myself (and the team) that it would not be appropriate for me to get involved in any of the actual work. As the definition above sets out, all I have to do is sit around being wise and trusted. And give the odd bit of advice, I suppose.

I'm pleased to be able to report that the team is well up for it. They are a mix of experience and new blood who will I reckon will deliver on all the key points. I’m really looking forward to watching them develop their skills and abilities over the next few months. They are going to pick up so much. At the end of it all they will look back and try to recognise the people they were when they started. Which is what the competition is all about.

I’ll be blogging here with details of the project as it goes along. At the moment I’m trying to decide which pop group the team most resembles. Having three members does cause me a bit of a problem in this respect – all I can think of is “The Police” or “The Jam”, which gives you a clue about my age! If you have any ideas I’d love to hear them. But someone has already suggested “The Three Degrees”….

I’ll let you know what I’ve come up with next time.

Visit Rob Miles' blog.

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