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Andrew Flick's Blog The Ramblings of a Infragistics Product Manager

Game Day.  Leave Peoria at 6:30 a.m. and head for the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.  My initial impression, “so this is what a computer science department is supposed to look”  My second impression, (download speeds of 2 MB/sec) “I thought hitting over 100 KB/sec was good.”  Here's the break-down:

Format -- Long and Boring

Round 1

We have two rooms with approximately 10 teams in each.  We have two judges, one judge short.  Each team gets 20 minutes with a single judge.  That means the first round lasts about 4 hours (adding time for the judges to take a break).  Gripe #1 -- That's a long time to sit there and wait...  If I were running things: coordinate more demonstrations to be at the event besides just the mobility road show.  Invite industry in to check out these sweet apps.  Organize a LAN-Party while you wait.  Finally, schedule anyone?  Judge A will be at your booth at 10:20, you have until them to do what ever you want.

Round 2

10 Teams go home.  Their award for traveling from who knows where to have the honor to compete...nothing.  Gripe #2 -- Every team that competed in this competition should have left with something.  Traveling to this event came out of their own pockets (We are college students...).  We have 10 teams left, each team will get 10 minutes with the other judge.  Do the math; we have another long wait with nothing to do, except maybe make enhancements on our project (if we have an implementation).  The judges deliberate and 5 more teams go home, empty handed.

Final Round

5 teams give a presentation in front of everyone; the other competing teams get dirty and tear the competition to shreds.  This was pretty interesting, you could see what everyone else did or didn't do.  My thoughts were...hey judges forget the marketing B.S. this is a programming competition at this stage everyone should have a decent proof of concept.  I don't care if half of it doesn't work, just show me the demo!

Judges  -- We don't need no stinkin' security.

I don't know what to say here.  Gripe #3: Teams lacking an implementation and beating teams with an implementation.  Last time I saw the judging sheet an implementation was 20% or so of the final score...  By far my biggest gripe is this: security/privacy.  A good idea is fine, but there must be ways to make the app implementible in a secure fashion.  So, why in the hell was there no focus on security/privacy that deals directly into the potential of app being used.  Case and Point: a judge’s suggestion to my team.  “You have a web-service that allows a hospital to locate doctors by location, specialty, etc.  What I'm disappointed in with your app is that you didn't implement a mobile client so that I as a potential patient can access this service and locate on my smart phone where the doctors are.”  Earth to Judge: have you ever considered privacy considerations??  That's exactly what the doctors want.  Case Scenario: My heart hurts; hey we have a cardiologist eating dinner down the road. let me go see him.  Wow!  Another app gave the ability to open locked doors by security clearance by voice recognition...notice not voice authentication. 

The Fall of AMPS

AMPS made it to the final round and we were to give a presentation.  We started writing the presentation right after we found out we made it to this round.  We felt the app spoke for itself, but we jumped on the band-wagon and threw a few slides together.  So after giving my presentation, I have multiple other teams coming up and saying that my app rocked and that they thought we'd take the prize.  Unfortunately, the judges disagreed and placed us in third.  So, I left the competition after winning my 4th Pocket PC.  The overall experience was long, boring, and lacking of a nail-biting competitive edge. 

The Winning Teams

1st Place Winner -- A method for tracking how a 6-8 grade student wrote on a tablet pc.  Tracks smiley faces, pressure on pad, and angle of the pen to sort of psychoanalyze the student.  Implementation: a program that asked the user a question recognized the ink and sent back to the client if the answer was correct.  (The second place winner stated that for the next round he will implement a cure cancer button and say that he didn't get it debugged in time.)

2nd Place Winner -- A team for configuring LDAP on a web-page, security for this user-name and password...don't set your tablet down.  Major selling points, drag and drop capabilities (provided by Infragistics -- that was not made public); voice recognition to open doors.  I'm not sure how those two worked together, sort of a random conglomerate of stuff.

3rd Place Winner -- Automated Medical Paging System. 

In Short -- The Good (+); The Bad (--); The Perplexing (?)

(+) Some really cool Ideas.

(+) 2.0 MB/sec Download Speeds.

(--) Some really cool ideas with no implementation.

(--) Internet Connection Guest Account Timing Out Every 3 Min.

(?) Teams wearing suits and ties!?!?!


Posted on Friday, April 23, 2004 3:41 PM | Back to top

Comments on this post: Imagine Cup Round 2 (The Fall of AMPS)

# re: Imagine Cup Round 2 (The Fall of AMPS)
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I agree on all points ... i put my thoughts down here
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