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AUK's Team 'SWAP' Advances to Microsoft Imagine Cup World Finals in New York

After several hours of intense work, SWAP team of the American University of Kuwait (AUK) presented their creative idea to the Microsoft Imagine Cup panel of judges in Dubai on April 25th to advance to the world finals of Microsoft Imagine Cup to take place in New York in Summer 2011. The team had the highest ranking within all other Kuwaiti teams and placed second in the Gulf Microsoft Imagine Cup Competition for Software Design. By representing the State of Kuwait in the Imagine Cup World Finals for the second year in a row, AUK will set a new record in the region.

Over the past few months, Microsoft Gulf selected 10 teams from around the Gulf to compete in the Imagine Cup Regional Competition. Over 2000 students registered for the competition and only 30 students advanced to the regional finals. The finalists have been chosen from different universities in Kuwait, Oman, and UAE based on their proposed ideas to solve the world's most challenging social issues outlined in the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals. This year Kuwait was represented by four teams in the competition that took place at the American University in Dubai (AUD). Each team had fifteen minutes to present their work to a panel of judges comprising of senior members from the enterprise and government sectors. By announcing the AUK SWAP team among the top three winners, AUK brought victory to Kuwait and established the consistent presence of AUK innovators in the international arena.

The AUK SWAP Team, represented by Ali Taqi (Information Systems Senior), Bader Al Mohammed Ali (Computer Science Senior), and Eissa Al Qadeeri (Computer Science Senior), decided to solve the world's problems through their 'Revolutionary Reporting System'. Their design is based on a simple image reporting software that uses the geographic location tagging on images for reporting any emergencies related to road accidents, environmental hazards, theft, or medical emergencies. Their project was a winning idea, not only for its value to humanity, but also for the way they presented it in the public event. The AUK team made their way to the winning podium by a live demonstration that impressed the audience when their 'Revolutionary Reporting System' reported a humorous situation at the event hall. The system captured the situation, located the AUD Auditorium on the map, and then displayed the incident in front of the judges. The audience rose and clapped for the confident performance.

Under the mentorship of Dr. Amir Zeid, Program Lead of Computer Science & Information Systems, AUK teams have been winning titles in the Annual Imagine Cup Competition since 2009. This year Dr. Zeid managed to lead three AUK teams to qualify to the regional finals in Dubai. Having three AUK teams in the top ten teams in the region sets a new record.

"It has been quite a challenge to coach three teams this year," Dr. Zeid said, "The competition is not only about creative ideas, but also a demonstration of skills in public speech, smart responses, time management, and stress regulation. A slight mistake can risk your chances of winning. I give credit to all three teams for their great performance."

The two other AUK teams this year were: Team Dream, composed of Wael Al-Ahmady, Mejren Al-Hammadi, Faisal Al-Ajmi, and Salem Al-Hammadi; and VOL, composed of Khaled Al-Jassar, Abduallah AlShaya, Mohammed Al-Shatti.

The Imagine Cup, in its fifth year in the Gulf, is Microsoft's initiative to encourage young people to apply their imagination and creativity to technology innovations that can make a difference and address real-world issues.

Swap Team (Ali Taqi, Bader Al Mohammed Ali, and Eissa Al Qadeeri) and Dr. Amir Zeid

Released by the PR & Marketing Department on the 4th May 2011

Photography by the AUK Public Relations & Marketing Department (C) 2011

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