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Microsoft Announces Kickoff to Imagine Cup 2007, World's Premier Student Technology Competition
Global Competition Invites Students To Apply Technology And Artistic Talents To Enable A Better Education For All

• Web development. The Web has redefined how people inquire and learn, opening new possibilities for individuals to become exposed to ideas, movements and topics. This invitational calls on students to use the Web to create innovative educational sites for their peers using ASP.NET and leveraging new technologies to take Web development to the next level.

• Skills challenges:

• Project Hoshimi. Comic-style graphics bring to life the world of Professor Hoshimi and his faithful crew of scientists and programmers as they engage in a fantasy battle of life and death. Programmers are faced with very real challenges, and compete directly online with people around the world to see who can create the fastest program to save the day. The game requires coding skills and algorithmic ability to devise and implement strategy for a multiplayer head-to-head game. The results play out in a real-time 3-D environment for all to see.

• IT challenge. In this category students are challenged to develop, deploy and maintain IT systems that are efficient, functional, robust and secure. Students must also demonstrate proficiency in the science of networks, databases and servers, as well as the areas of analysis and decision-making in IT environments.

• Algorithm. Through a series of brain teasers, coding challenges and algorithmic puzzles, students discover and implement the right algorithms, attempting feats such as decoding the human genome and routing millions of packets across networks.

• Digital arts:

• Photography. Through a photo essay format, students are challenged to communicate a story about education using only photos as the communication medium.

• Short film. This invitational highlights the art and science of telling a story. Students are challenged to share a perspective on the Imagine Cup theme and express themselves in the digital media of film. From concept and storyboard through shooting footage and editing, the participants must be able to create a film that moves the audience while conveying its strong purpose and meaning.

• Interface design. Creativity and usability are the necessary ingredients of a well-designed user interface, one that contributes to a successful piece of software or Web application. This invitational challenges designers all over the world to create functional, compelling and forward-thinking user interfaces. Competitors have a unique opportunity to envision an application, connect it to the Imagine Cup theme, and show the world how their skills bring it to life.

After advancing through the online, local and regional Imagine Cup competitions, qualifying students are scheduled to convene at the world championships in August 2007 in Seoul, Korea, to present their entries to a panel of judges from academia and the technology industry. The finalists will be selected, and a worldwide winner from each category will be announced. Prizes for Imagine Cup 2007 will total more than $170,000 (U.S.) across the nine categories.

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