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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2704

Microsoft SL lowers entry criteria for global Imagine Cup to fit in govt intention

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Colombo, 19 April, (Asiantribune.com): Microsoft Sri Lanka for the seventh consecutive year, opens its’ globally renowned Imagine Cup competition to university students across Sri Lanka – in a search for the most imaginative and practical solutions to the toughest challenges of the modern world.

This years competition will be conducted under the theme "Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems facing us today" Microsoft Sri Lanka will work side by side with the Government, as it takes the lead in organising this year’s local competition.

The final Image Cup worldwide will be held in Egypt in July 2009 which is open to students from across the globe and there will be over 300,000 students from over 100 countries registering this year.

"The 'Imagine Cup' is Microsoft’s way of encouraging youth to take on an active role in shaping their respective futures. The Imagine cup competition, encourages students from across the countries, to be creative and innovative and go in depth into grave issues that face the world, which in turn will paves the way to novel, tailor made solutions to specific problems.

Anupama Weerabahu – a member of the local 'Image Cup' winning team in 2005 said "Having been part of the team that won the local round of the 'Imagine Cup' in 2005, I can’t begin to explain how it’s changed my entire life. It not only widened my horizons, but also paved the path to my current career, which I’m so very passionate about,"

Since students are free to participate in multiple Imagine Cups those who were not winners in previous years are free to compete

Akila Jayasooriya – a second time competitor from the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology said that it is exciting to have yet another chance to compete in ‘Imagine Cup and said “I would definitely like to win the local competition and move on to the international arena this time around. Having participated before, I have an idea on what is expected from participants and how best to maximize on group input and resources.”

Wellington Perera, Microsoft Developer Evangelist said that the competition also promotes dynamic team work and strategy, so as to generate the best possible results. The ‘Imagine Cup’ is constantly expanding and evolving and Microsoft hopes to make it as comprehensive and productive as possible.

Be it software programmers, hardware developers, artists or dreamers, the ‘Imagine Cup’ is a call to any youth who can imagine a better world for themselves and then make a sincere effort to make it happen.

Dr Chathura deSilva, Senior Lecturer, University of Moratuwa said that competitions like Imagine Cup helps them identify the exceptional talents of young minds in Sri Lanka as they commit themselves over the span of a year to develop creative applications for everyday processes. Also the opportunity that they get by participating in the global competition with versatile students of the same age has helped immensely in developing themselves to suit the employment market of today.

.The winners of the year long local competition starting with local, regional and online contests would attend the global finals held at a different location each year. As the Government attempts to bring an equal and optimum lifestyle and opportunity for all Sri Lankans, the exchange of ideas between local representatives and students from around the globe will provide an opportunity for the growth and development of the students themselves as well as giving Sri Lanka an international platform.

Microsoft Sri Lanka has changed the entry criteria for the competition in view of the intention of the Government to extend ICT programmes throughout the country. Thus, any student who meets the applicable age requirement of a minimum of 16 years and is enrolled at a university or accredited educational institute that offer university degrees, any time between January 1, 2008, and May 31, 2009 can participate in the 2009 Imagine Cup.

Students can enter under any one of the following nine categories such as Software Design, Embedded Development, Game Development, Robotics and Algorithm, IT Challenge, MashUp, Photography, Short Film and Design. Details could be obtained at www.imaginecup.lk and www.imaginecup.com Graduates and PhD students are also able to compete; however, they cannot use unpublished research for their projects.

- Asian Tribune -

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