Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Imagine Cup Journey 2011

Imagine Cup: A huge platform for young application developer

When the first time I saw Imagine Cup’s poster at our university I never thought I will be a part of it. I never thought I will see my name in imagine cup Bangladesh’s website. After the Grand Finale Event I started thinking about the great journey of Imagine cup and thought of writing about it.

The journey actually begins when Mr. Omi Azad came to our university on December 2010 and introduced Imagine Cup and that is the first interaction between me and Imagine Cup. I never thought of participating but I liked the whole Imagine Cup concept. The tagline attracted me most,

“Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems.”

I thought how to solve the world’s toughest problem with technology? The thought almost vanished after some days. Later on AIUB’s MSP Mr. Niaz Morshad arranged another seminar where he talked about participating in Imagine Cup and that day was very inspiring. Then suddenly one of my friends named Archi had an accident and after someday when I went to see her, one sentence she told that change almost everything. She told “I cannot access Facebook and I cannot use computer. I don’t know any updates about my friends and I have some important work to do in my computer. “I thought is it possible to give a solution where millions of people like her, can access computer in their injury time?

I talked with Mr. Avishek Ahmed and he liked my idea. At first the idea was like, an object will be placed on user’s nose and the webcam will detect that object and the mouse pointer will follow that object. The user will Right click by giving a nice smile and Left click by opening his/her mouth like a Big ‘O’. I discuss the idea with my two very good friends Maksud Saifullah Pulak and Md. Ashrafur Rahman Tanveer.  They liked it as well and guess what we made the team. We gave our team name CAD (Ctrl-Alt-Del) and we named our application NoseOp (nose operator).  We requested Mr. Tanveer Ahmed to be our Mentor and he agreed. Then we thought of giving a solution for physically disable person as they are no cheap solutions for them. Thus we thought of developing a solution where injured person can use it to interact with computer in their injury time, so that they can pass a quality time and also physically disable person can use computer easily, so that they can do anything with their computer.

Team CAD

20th February was the last date of submission of the project proposal. We made a video showing the problem that we would solve and the solution we came up with. We also fill up the project proposal form and submitted on 20th February. Then on 27th February we got a mail and we were selected for the next round where we had to develop our application and submit the prototype of the application along with a video before 20th April.

Team CAD's First round Video

After that we started developing the software. We tried to give our best shot. I will write about our application on my next post. Then on 9th April Microsoft organized a boot camp for all Imagine Cup selected participants. It was a great event where all the group shared their project ideas. There we met with some big programmers and application developers who gave us ideas, shared their experiences and inspired us a lot.

Finally 20th April came and we submitted our video screening all the functions of our software NoseOp. Then we were called for an interview on 1st May. I was very excited on that day. I had to sit for two exams at my university and then I went for the interview. So it was a very busy day for me. The interview was a great experience too. We faced a lot of questions and we tried our best to answer them. Seriously we learned a lot that day…

Team CAD's Final Video:

Then it was the time for patience. On 5th May we received an email where we were invited for the Grand Finale, and the event would hold on 10th May. Then gradually 10th May came. The event took place at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre, Agargaon, Sher-E-Bangla Nagar,Dhaka. It was a great event. We were a bit disappointed because we didn’t win. I was feeling terrible but also on the other hand I was happy for the Team Rapture who won the Imagine Cup Bangladesh Championship title.  Team Rapture was another AIUB’s team. So I was feeling very proud that our university won the title. We became one of the top 6 teams of Bangladesh.

Whenever I think about the great journey I feel proud to be a part of it. I have learned a lot, made some friends and of course tried to change the world through technology. Seriously it was a great experience. Thanks to Microsoft for arranging such a nice event and truly this is the best platform for young people to show their talent.