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AUK Advances to Regionals after Winning Microsoft Imagine Cup National Finals

AUK won 1st Place in the Kuwait finals for Microsoft Imagine Cup 2017, and qualified to represent Kuwait in the Middle East and Africa finals taking place in Beirut next May. Held under the Patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Mubarak-Al Sabah, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, the competition took place at Al Shaheed Park, on the 17th of April.

Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world's premier technology competition for students to showcase their innovative applications using the latest Microsoft technologies to solve some of the greatest societal challenges. This is the 7th time AUK participates in Microsoft Imagine Cup. In the previous years, AUK won the competition 6 times, and competed 3 times in the world finals in USA, Australia, and Poland.

This year, AUK Computer Science student, Omar Khalil, competed against 5 teams from different universities in Kuwait and brought victory to AUK through his project 'Artopia' which is a location-based application where users can create 3D paintings using their smart phone as a paint brush, and their surroundings as a canvas. Omar's project was a winning idea due to its numerous applications in the fields of digital therapeutics, forensics, media, arts, and others.

Omar Khalil was coached by Dr. Amir Zeid, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Director of RISE Center, who explained that "the idea behind participation in competitions like Imagine Cup is to take students through the multifaceted process of generating a novel idea and fully developing it into an innovative, marketable product. Omar did not only fulfill the standards set for this high-end technology contest, but he also introduced a new style of presentation that defied convention. I am personally impressed by his performance."

Next May, Omar will fly to Beirut, Lebanon to compete with the region's top talents at the Imagine Cup MEA semi-finals. To support Omar in his preparation for the Beirut finals, Microsoft Kuwait team has offered to conduct training sessions for Omar and provide him with all needed advice on his project. "Microsoft is deeply committed to supporting youth to build innovative projects that contribute directly towards leveraging technology for acquiring critical skills that pave the way for driving innovation and growth in the country," said Charles Nahas, General Manager, Microsoft Kuwait. "We congratulate the winning team and look forward to seeing the participant from AUK making us proud at the Imagine Cup MEA semifinals in Lebanon."

After the regional competition, winners will proceed to Seattle, Washington where they will compete for the coveted Imagine Cup trophy and prize of $100,000.

Omar Khalil Presenting his Project at Microsoft Imagine Cup National Finals

Omar Khalil and his Coach Dr. Amir Zeid Receiving Their Award

Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 24th April 2017

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