College of Computing Students Win Industry Awards for Creating Next-Generation Mobile Applications

May 9, 2007

(May 9, 2007) - Fifteen students at The Georgia Institute of Technology, including eleven from the College of Computing, were awarded $100,000 in cash prizes for creating next-generation mobile applications as part of the 2007 IMS Research Competition, co-sponsored by AT&T and Nokia Siemens Networks, and supervised by the Georgia Electronic Design Center (GEDC) and the Georgia Tech Research Network Operations Center (GT RNOC). In all, nearly 40 students participated in the competition’s final round.

College of Computing Students Christian Menkens, Dannon Teremiah Baker, David McCann, John Etherton, Vinesh "Vinny" Ramachandran, Gaurishankar "Shanks" Krishnan, Shivam Goyal, Devin Hunt, Robert Watts, Andrew Trusty and Priyanka Mahalanabis were among the winners.

The College of Computing currently offers a unique sequence covering mobile device application programming.

"We are working with the sponsors to make this competition a multi-year endeavor that brings mobile device application programming deep into the undergraduate curriculum," said College of Computing Research Scientist Russell Clark, who supervised the Georgia Tech side of the competition along with Matt Sanders, a Research Scientist in the Office of Information Technology at Georgia Tech.

The competition, which began last October, awarded prizes to the six student teams that created the most innovative mobile communications applications for use by families, campus communities, young adults/teens, or business users. To develop these applications, students utilized the 3G/IMS laboratory at The Georgia Institute of Technology, a $5 million state-of-the-art communications lab that opened last October through a co-sponsorship by Nokia Siemens Networks and AT&T. The lab serves students and researchers as a test bed for the creation of third generation IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) convergence applications and services that bring together audio, video and data over a variety of networks.

“Nokia Siemens Networks, AT&T and The Georgia Institute of Technology have created a unique learning experience and an innovative approach to technology education,” said Ron Hutchins, associate vice provost for research and technology and chief technology officer at Georgia Tech. “By giving our students a hands-on opportunity to develop, experience and operate new technologies and applications and see them at work, the IMS Research Competition and the 3G/IMS lab play an important role in helping develop future innovators in the field of mobile communications.”

The competitors covered a diverse range of wireless technologies and use cases to achieve commercial appeal for various demographic groups. Award winners included:

Grand Prize and Campus Community Category Winner: Christian Menkens from St. Wolfgang, Austria; Matthew Rhodes from Angleton, Texas; Anders Davoust from, Vaxjo, Sweden and Nikls Kjellin from Enkoping, Sweden will be awarded $35,000 to split and each will be offered internships by Nokia Siemens Networks on work that will leverage their project experience, for their creation of SoCoNet, a social campus community network that gives students access to lecture materials, campus events and location-based social networking.

Four teams were named first prize winners in the remaining categories, and each will be awarded $15,000 to split among team members:

Business User Category Winner: Dannon Teremiah Baker from Augusta, Georgia; David McCann from Lawrenceville, Georgia and John Etherton from Jacksonville, Fla. were awarded for their creation of Distributed Asset Tracking, an inventory and asset management application that enables camera-phones to scan barcodes and track inventory, without the need for separate RFID or scanning devices.

IMS Enabling Category Winner: Vinesh “Vinny” Ramachandran from Dalton, Georgia was awarded for his creation of Extensible Triggering Services, an application that allows a network to make changes to a particular phone’s settings, based on the user’s presence and preferences.

Young Adults/Teens Category Winner: Gaurishankar “Shanks” Krishnan from Bangalore, India and Shivam Goyal from Bhopal, India were awarded for their creation of mobMedia, a location-based media sharing and social networking application.

Family Category Winner: Devin Hunt from Atlanta and David Jimison from Washington, D.C. were awarded for their creation of Kinship, a distributed live video sharing application that instantly uploads video to a server and also provides video sharing, location-based video collaboration and chat features.

Honorable mention was awarded to the team of Robert Watts from Dunwoody, Georgia; Andrew Trusty from Atlanta and Priyanka Mahalanabis from Decatur, Georgia for their creation of Family Game Suite, a network gaming server application that allows a family to play games against each other and simultaneously chat on their mobile devices. This team will be awarded $5,000 to split among team members.

“We congratulate all of the students who competed in this contest for their achievements and innovations in mobile communications,” said Mark Louison, North America Region Head, Nokia Siemens Networks. “By 2015, we estimate 5 billion people worldwide will enjoy the benefits of being connected all the time, and mobile applications are key to this notion. The students who participated in this competition have a great opportunity to be among the future innovators who bring a unique set of products and solutions to people around the world.”

”This program is a win for all involved. Through this competition, we support individual Georgia Tech students, Georgia Tech as a whole, and promote IMS technology, which will allow the industry to deliver fixed mobile convergence to its customers and usher in a new era in multimedia capabilities between mobile devices and traditional computers and televisions,” said Jim Ryan, vice president of consumer data products, AT&T's wireless unit.

For more information on the IMS Research Competition and a copy of the Official Rules, visit the competition website.