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Can you Imagine 'a better education for all?'

Annual cup challenge kicks off

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OK students, off you go again. It's that time of the year when the wind-up starts to Microsoft's Imagine Cup – the annual worldwide competition to encourage comp-sci students.

As usual, the battle starts with a round of some 50 national competitions, with the winners of those moving forward to the final, this year to be held in Korea.

The "Cup" is, in fact, a series of different competitions, ranging from software design through to areas such as digital photography and a games playing event called the Project Hoshimi Programming Battle. The software design challenge has a theme which the students must address with their entries. This time it is to "imagine a world where technology enables a better education for all".

This should be a subject close to the hearts of many entrants, which in turn could make it a particularly difficult challenge. Part of the process is the important step of identifying a real requirement, which is often more difficult when the subject is close to a developer's areas of personal interest – a wood/trees/lack of vision scenario is quite possible. Once decided upon, the teams must then develop and, ideally, demonstrate the solution as well as show some understanding of issues such as potential market sizes, potential development, and manufacturing costs.

More information, together with information on registering a team, can be found here. ®

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