For the first time in the seven years Microsoft has sponsored the Imagine Cup student-developer contest, an all-women's team has made it into the U.S. final rounds.
(Update: Actually, this is the first time an all-women's team has made it into the U.S. finals for the Imagine Cup. As one reader correctly noted, the United Arab Emirates fielded a winning all-women's team in 2007. Microsoft officials said that there also is an all-women team finalist in Cairo this year. Sorry for the confusion)
This year's contest theme is solving the world issues and problems outlined in the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. The three-woman team from Indiana's DePauw University (known as the "MangoBunnies") is developing a mobile medical application. Ashley Myers, Erin "Ed" Donahue and Malisa Vongskul are working on an app known as Computer-Assisted Medication Regimen Adherence (CAMRA). According to the description of their project:
CAMRA "discreetly and conveniently supports HIV and AIDS patients by providing a medication regimen directly to their personal mobile device. CAMRA uses an XML Web service to send profile data from the Web site to a patient's personal mobile device and retrieves information about user history. This application leverages the portability and convenience of mobile devices to turn them into stand-alone healthcare products."
Ever since blogger Long Zheng and his Team SOAK won last year's Imagine Cup world finals, I've been keeping a closer eye on the Microsoft-sponsored competition. This year's semi-finals are in Cambridge, Mass., in May; the finals are slated for this summer in Egypt.
Meanwhile, speaking of Microsoft contests, there's a renewed effort inside Microsoft to get more user-generated "I'm a PC" video content. The "Windows Brand Ambassador" contest (details of which are posted on the ithinkdiff.com site) is accepting entries through June 1. So if you still haven't done your home-made video as to why you are still a Windows user, in spite of all your cool Silicon Valley friends' RDF-inspired ridicule, now's your chance....