A team from a Seventh-day Adventist University in Jamaica won a category award last week at one of the world's top student technology competitions.
Team Xormis of Northern Caribbean University (NCU) took first place in the category of Interoperability at the 2010 World Microsoft Imagine Cup, held this year in Warsaw, Poland.
The Interoperability award was one of six categories of awards presented by the software giant, in addition to five categories of competition winners.
The team is comprised of Dwayne Samuels, Markel Mairs, Shawn McLean and Derron Brown -- all students of NCU's Department of Computer and Information Science. In addition to each member receiving a Microsoft Imagine Cup gold trophy, the team also pocketed US$8,000 in prize money.
The Interoperability Award is designed to recognize software applications that best blend existing Microsoft products with other technologies to connect people, data or diverse systems in a new way, according to Microsoft's news website.
Team Xormis's project, eXtensible Opportunity and Resource Matching Information System, is a matchmaker that couples significant and pervasive problems with the appropriate solution providers.
Team Xormis competed among 90 world competitors in preliminary rounds before advancing to the finals. This year's global competition had more than 300,000 entrants from more than 100 countries.
"It feels great to see that all the hard work and dedication that was put into developing this project has paid off," said Kenrie Hylton, Chair of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at NCU. "I am hoping that this can further inspire others to step up to the challenge and realize that with hard work and determination, they too can achieve and change the world."
Since the competition's inception eight years ago, NCU has won national championships each of the six times it entered, and has won regional championships four times. In 2007, an NCU team placed third in a software design category at the world at the finals in South Korea.
"We hope that with all the negative challenges that we have faced as a country that this achievement is something that everyone will celebrate and exclaim: 'we are proud to be Jamaican,'" said NCU President Herbert Thompson.
Based in Mandeville, Manchester, Jamaica, NCU was first established in 1907. Today it serves more than 5,600 students.
The Microsoft Imagine Cup Competition, themed, "Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems," is the world's premier student technology competition and is sponsored by Microsoft. The forum provides students with a platform to showcase their software development and technical skills to the world's most challenging problems.