Computing/ME Team Makes MS Imagine Cup Finals

June 10, 2009

A two-person Computing and mechanical engineering team has been selected as a finalist in the 2009 Imagine Cup, the global contest sponsored by Microsoft in which student teams from around the world create applications that address the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals.

Kathy Pham, who earned her bachelor's (2007) and master's (2009) degrees in the College of Computing, and Marc Pare, a third-year mechanical engineering student, paired up to form Team Curious and entered the Imagine Cup's mashup competition. Their entry is a Web application that allows users to click on any of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), such as environmental sustainability, ending poverty and hunger, combating HIV/AIDS, etc. The mashup instantly crawls the Web and displays news and other information grouped under more specific topic headings. Titled "MDG Actors," the mashup highlights names of individual persons, and users can scroll over those people's names for pop-up menus of additional information (such as the individual's Wikipedia page, the latest relevant posts on Twitter, and other links).

In addition to mashups, the Imagine Cup features categories such as software design, embedded development and others. Competitors represent their home countries; Team Curious is the only U.S. team represented among six finalists (in fact, they were the only Americans among 15 semifinalists, as well). The worldwide finals will be held in Cairo, Egypt, from July 3-7.

"I am so excited to represent Georgia Tech with my partner Marc in this competition," Pham said. "I would love to see more Georgia Tech students enter this competition in the future and find ways to use software to change the world."