A team of management information systems students from UALR placed third in the national competition for Microsoft Imagine Cup Software Design over some impressive competition including a team from Harvard and MIT.
For the fourth consecutive year, UALR was the only university to place two teams in the national finals for the prestigious worldwide competition – Team Physically Kinected from the College of Business and Team Culture from the Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology (EIT).
Members of Team Physically Kinected are undergraduate student Aaron Rothberg majoring in management information systems and MIS graduate students Daniel Harrod, James Taylor, and Stephen Burks. Dr. Janet Bailey, associate professor of management, mentored the team.
Members of Team Culture are Ecehan Bayrak, a University of Central Arkansas undergraduate student majoring in international relations, UALR graduate student Engin Mendi majoring in computer science, and graduate students Ocal Ozyavuz and Ali Emrah Pekesen from Istanbul Kultur University in Turkey, majoring in computer engineering. Dr. Coskun Bayrak, UALR professor in the Computer Science Department, mentored the team and financed funding for the Turkish students to travel to the competition.
This year there were 192 countries competing in Imagine Cup. In the United States alone there were 113,000 students and 40,000 teams participating this year. Of these, only 76 students participating on 22 teams – 10 in the Software Design competition, six in XBox Gaming, and six in Windows Phone Gaming – were selected to compete at the national competition.
Two other teams from the College of Business also did well in the competition. Team MISfits won an Honorable Mention, making it among the top nine teams in the country in the spring competition. Team members are Mohammad Alzaher, Tammy Holman, LaShuna Jackson, and Vincent Simpson, all MIS undergraduates.
Team Mayhem – Alec Crow, Brian Fellone, and Matt Herron – is the only team in the U.S. to have made the Microsoft Imagine Cup world semi-finals in the Windows Phone Challenge. World finalists will be announced at the end of May. Students on the team are undergraduate MIS majors.
In addition to their third place finish at nationals in Software Design, Team Physically Kinected is one of only 10 teams in the United States competing in the world semi-finals of the Kinect Challenge. World finalists will be announced in early June.