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Drexel Computer Science Students Advance to Finals of  “Microsoft Imagine Cup” Technology Design Competition

December 13, 2011

Using a Windows Phone game to help elementary students enjoy learning math; and developing a software program to manage volumes of healthcare information are just two of the brilliant concepts in the running for one of the top honors in computer science: The Microsoft Imagine Cup. These two innovative technology designs, both imagined and created by Drexel computer science students, rose to the top from a national field of competitors and earned first-round selection in the national technology design competition this fall.

The Imagine Cup is considered to be one of the most challenging technology competitions in the computer science community. Teams from across the nation compete in three categories: software design, game design and IT challenge. A second qualifying round will be held in the spring and, from the combined pool of finalists, champions will be selected in each of the categories to potentially represent the United States in the World Cup Competition.

“Team Beta Max,” comprised of sophomore computer science major Daniel Sullivan and his  teammates from Temple and Penn State, is one of five finalists in the fall rounds in the “Software Design” category.  Sullivan's teammates are Nick Doyle, a computer science major at Penn State, and Nicole Micheletti, an art major at Temple University. Their project provides technology for monitoring community health and keeping track of patients that community health workers see every day. Sullivan was also a finalist in last year’s competition.

Senior computer science majors Matt Lesnak, Keith Ayers, and Taylor Mullen, are “The Drexel Dragons.” This group is one of three finalists in the fall rounds for the "Game Design - Windows Phone" category.  The team’s project, "Math Dash," is a fast-paced game aimed at elementary-aged students, to reinforce math skills via an entertaining Windows Mobile Phone game. Design and development of this game is part of the team's senior design project, and they are working with area schools to field test it.

"Imagine Cup is arguably the most prestigious serious game competition in the nation and the world," said Dr. Frank Lee, co-director of the Drexel Game Design Program and the advisor of “The Drexel Dragons” team.  “Many congratulations to the students as they advance in the competition.”

The U.S. Finals will be held in Seattle in April, with winners advancing to the Worldwide Finals in Sydney, Australia, in July 2012.