Drexel Computer Science Students Claim U.S. Title at Microsoft Imagine Cup Technology Design Competition
April 26, 2012
Team Drexel Dragons: Matt Lesnak, Keith Ayers and N. Taylor Mullen at the Microsoft Imagine Cup Competition
A team of Drexel undergraduate computer science majors earned national acclaim for designing smartphone apps as part of Microsoft’s Imagine Cup Competition. “Team Drexel Dragons” won the U.S. Championship for their design of a math learning program. Drexel sent two teams to the national final and now “Team Drexel Dragons” is among the field of competitors at the World Championship in Sydney, Australia in July.
“Our game, ‘MathDash,’ that won in the Mobile Games category, is a game that teaches kids from first – eighth grade arithmetic,” said Dr. Frank Lee, co-director of the Drexel Game Design Program and the advisor of “The Drexel Dragons” team. “Our goal was to not only make a game that was educational, but was a whole lot of fun to play. I believe we succeeded.”
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 was held in April and, from the combined pool of finalists, champions were selected in each of the categories to represent the United States in the World Cup Competition.
Senior computer science majors Matt Lesnak, Keith Ayers and N. Taylor Mullen, are “The Drexel Dragons.” This group claimed the U.S. title in the “Game Design - Windows Phone” category. The team’s project, “MathDash,” 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.
“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.
"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.”