31 Oct

Imagine Cup 2006

Imagine Cup 2006

Imagine Cup 2006

It was that time of the year when every talented young student in the world waits to clash horns against his peers. It was Imagine Cup time.

Being a Student Ambassador, it was not part of my duty to participate. But if someone told you that I could win $25,000 for my software project which i will submit for my final semester, i would be a fool to let that opportunity slip.

The preparations had begun even before the 7th sem exams since the deadline to submit our abstract fell some where during exam time. But later it got extended and we had ample time to work our our project idea and to present a great picture right from the beginning.

And the results of the Round 1 were awaited with open mouths. There were around 1500 teams participating. Only the top 100 would go through. That is competition!

And we sure did as expected, cleared round 1 in flying colurs. In fact they were so impressed with our idea that they put our name first in the list for Interview for the next round. (Im obviously bluffing here).

We had cleared round 1. But we had 15 days to prepare our entry for Round 2 which required us to submit a presentation with screen shots of our project. And we would be interviewed by a conference call from Microsoft where we would have to explain the project based on the PPT we sent them. It was a tough time!

But the deadline got extended thankfully by a whole week. And i relaxed .. and relaxed big time! In goa!!

We were finally at that stage when we could no longer sleep! It was 7th March and no ground had been covered and our presentation had to be mailed to them before midnight. We knew it was impossible. And on top of that, we had no extra time as our conference call was scheduled the next day itself. We sat through the night and prepared our presentaiton and finally mailed it at 5-30AM. And we wrote a cover letter apoligizing for the delay.

The conference call was scheduled at 5 PM. I had been to GTRE in the morning to discuss our project work there. On my way back, i picked up the unused cordless phone from my grandpa’s place which had a speaker phone. I had asked all my teammates to be at my place half hour early so that we can prepare our presentation. And the phone rang at exactly 5!! Probably people at Microsoft do not follow IST!

WE made a blunder of a presentation. It was our inexperience and un-preparedness that weakened our presentation. But as a whole we covered everything and ended the call on a good note. Hopefully we may reach the top 10!

But this wasnt the only way to participate in the Imagine Cup – It had a total of 6 invitationals in which Software Design was this one. Registration for all invitationals was free and i registered for all of them, but had no intention of participating. But as time went, i got to know about a few of them and thought that i should give it a try. Most alluring was the Algorithm invitational in which we had to learn NanoBot programming and program a NanoBot to follow a specific path in a limited number of bytes. I spent nights trying to solve it and notched up 9000 points. The results for qualifying for the next round are awaited. Another invitational was the IT Invitational whose first round consisted of an Online quiz which i took and fared badly. I scored a 40 and found that the minimum qualifying mark was 70! The short film too is a good invitational and i want to participate in that too since ive cooked up a good story. Lets see how that goes.


Thursday March 16, 2006

Your thoughts please..