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Lisa Herrmann
IU School of Informatics

Last modified: Tuesday, June 10, 2008

IU Informatics student team selected as finalist in prestigious Imagine Cup competition

June 10, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Two Indiana University School of Informatics graduate students are headed to Paris to compete in the sixth annual Imagine Cup, an international competition sponsored by Microsoft Corp.

Imagine Cup

IU students Dave Roedl (left) and Will Odom are heading to Paris July 3-8 to compete in Microsoft's Imagine Cup.

Print-Quality Photo

David Roedl and Will Odom, both students in the informatics human-computer interaction design program, developed the idea and subsequent Web site for the recent "IU Energy Challenge," which pitted dormitories across campus against one another to achieve a significant reduction in electricity and water consumption. The challenge was a collaborative effort between the Residence Halls Association, School of Informatics, IU Physical Plant Utilities and IU Sustainability Task Force and was an enormous success -- culminating in a savings of an estimated $26,000 in avoided utility costs. Not only did the challenge save money, but it also reduced carbon dioxide emissions associated with energy and water production and distribution by 801,454 pounds, which is equivalent to taking 67 passenger cars off the road for one year.

Roedl and Odom's work was done as part of the Sustainable Interaction Design Research Group -- an ongoing research group within the School of Informatics that examines the connection between interaction design and environmental sustainability.

The pair entered Roedl's Web site design in the Imagine Cup Interface Design competition, and were recently notified that they are one of only six teams invited to the final round of the competition July 3-8 in Paris, France. The theme of this year's Cup is the environment; specifically, participants are encouraged to "imagine a world where technology enables a sustainable environment." The winners will be announced July 8 at the conclusion of the final round.

"We are so proud to have two excellent students, and a fantastic project, representing the School of Informatics," said Marty Seigel, director of the school's human computer interaction design program. "The Imagine Cup is very prestigious and competitive. Both David and Will should feel honored to be among the finalists."

The world's premier student technology competition, Imagine Cup is one way Microsoft is encouraging young people to apply their imagination, their passion and their creativity to technology innovations that can make a difference in the world today. The Imagine Cup has grown to be a truly global event. In 2007, more than 100,000 students from 100 countries entered the Imagine Cup competition.

The contest spans a year, beginning with local, regional and online contests whose winners go on to attend the global finals held in a different location every year. Students compete in various categories -- known as invitationals -- that include Software Design, Embedded Development, Game Development, Short Film, Photography, Interface Design, Information Technology (IT), Algorithm and Project Hoshimi Programming Battle.

Founded in 2000 as the first school of its kind in the United States, the IU School of Informatics is dedicated to research and teaching across a broad range of computing and information technology, with emphases on science, applications and societal implications. The school includes the Departments of Computer Science and Informatics on the Bloomington campus and Informatics on the IUPUI campus.

The school administers a variety of bachelor's and master's degree programs in computer science and informatics, as well as Ph.D. programs in computer science and the first-ever Ph.D. in informatics. The school is dedicated to excellence in education and research, to partnerships that bolster economic development and entrepreneurship, and to increasing opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities in computing and technology. For more information, visit