In pur­suit of a bet­ter world

New Straits Times - - Higher Ed - HANNA SHEIKH MOKHTAR

BE­ING able to im­prove the lives of fel­low hu­mans or even to make the world a bet­ter place to live in is truly no­ble. Not many of us can boast of hav­ing done even a lit­tle bit to help im­prove the qual­ity of life for the hu­man race, let alone con­cep­tu­alise and build a tech­no­log­i­cal in­ven­tion that could ben­e­fit mil­lions across the globe.

Thou­sands of tal­ented youths from around the world have been try­ing to do all th­ese for the past 15 years through Mi­crosoft’s Imag­ine Cup.

Dubbed the Olympics of Stu­dent Tech­nol­ogy Com­pe­ti­tions, the Imag­ine Cup is an an­nual global stu­dent tech­nol­ogy con­test which aims to help un­leash the po­ten­tial of young tal­ents in turn­ing great ideas into re­al­ity. Through its mas­tery of tech­nol­ogy, the young gen­er­a­tion of today has re­alised many in­no­va­tions.

This year, in its in­au­gu­ral South­east Asian Re­gional Fi­nals in Manila, the Philip­pines on April 24, 10 teams from the Philip­pines, In­done­sia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thai­land, Laos, Sin­ga­pore, Viet­nam and Malaysia bat­tled for the top three spots and the chance to rep­re­sent the re­gion at the global 2017 Imag­ine Cup Fi­nals to be held in Seat­tle in the United States in July. The World Fi­nals will gather more than 50 stu­dent teams from all over the world, vy­ing for the top prize of US$100,000 (RM432,900), men­tor­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties with Mi­crosoft chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Satya Nadella, as well as Azure grants and cred­its to com­mer­cialise their win­ning so­lu­tion.

Out of the 10 South­east Asia teams, six teams pre­sented new tech­nolo­gies to im­prove the lives of peo­ple across the globe. Team CIMOL from In­done­sia, for ex­am­ple, won the top prize in the South­east Asian re­gional leg with its Hoax Anal­yser, a web-based app to com­bat fake news.

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