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By 8 December 2010 | Categories: news

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Microsoft South Africa held the local round of its Imagine Cup, which provides student computer programmers with the opportunity to showcase their technological talents, in Pretoria yesterday.
 
Team KOMODO, which is a group of four students from the University of Cape Town, Richard Sadie, Pieter Roodt, Junaid Parker and Mohammed Irfaan Imamdin, emerged as winners of the local leg of the competition.
 
Team KOMODO was amongst 40 teams that took part in this year’s South African leg of the Imagine Cup . As part of their prize the winning group will be flown to New York in June of next year to participate on the global stage in the worldwide Imagine Cup competition.
 
For the competition student programmers must create applications that aim to solve real-world problems. Team KOMODO won the competition with their project, HAWK, which is a crowd-sourced, collaborative information aggregation, reporting and geo-visualisation system geared towards community-centric disaster management and neighbourhood improvement.
 
“What inspired our project was watching informal relief efforts in disaster stricken countries where Twitter and Skype where used within minutes of the disaster happening to start coordinating people and relief efforts, and looking at the Ushandi model for citizen journalism in conflict areas, we recognized the enormous potential of allowing crowds, communities and neighborhoods to become self-organising if they had an open, universally accessible, socially integrated, and intelligent platform to share on”, explained Team KOMODO.
 
“We are extremely excited to be going to New York next year as this will award us an opportunity to meet other competitors from around the world and see what project they have and how different they are from ours. We are looking forward to being able to meet, discuss and network with the best and brightest of the world’s Imagine Cup competitors. Most of all, representing South Africa’s talent in New York will be a great milestone for our team”, said the team.
 
Clifford de Wit, Developer and Platform Lead at Microsoft South Africa said that choosing a winner for Imagine Cup is always challenging and that the judges were amazed by the high calibre of the entrants’ projects as well as the level of innovation that was on display.
 
“The software development industry is a fast moving one. The creativity and innovation of this year’s students gives an indication of how much great talent South Africa’s young minds has to offer. These students are using software to make a real difference in people’s lives and to the economy as a whole”, stated de Wit.

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