Last night I arrived in Seoul to help judge the finals of the software design invitational as part of the 2007 Imagine Cup. Despite having been involved in the Imagine Cup in both 2004 and 2005 I wasn't sure what to expect - one of the best things about the finals competition is that each year it is in a different country, and each year it is run slightly differently. What really took me by surprise was the density of the population (I'm guessing in hindsight I shouldn't have been that surprised with the millions of people living in Seoul) - there was endless identical high-rise apartment blocks along either bank of the Hangang river. Although that said, they have at least preserved some semblance of parkland along the bank itself.
As the first round of judging kicks off this afternoon I just wanted to draw students' attention to a number of resources that might be useful in their preparations:
- Comments by a number of judges from previous years
- Feedback by myself regarding my expectations (note that the format for this year has changed slightly)
At the welcome dinner last night the order that the teams in the software design invitation will present was determined, with each team being drawn at random and placed in a group (A - F) in a time slot. Each group will present twice in round 1 before two sets of judges. Given that the judges have also come from all around the globe I think it would be worthwhile for students to take a moment to review the list of judges. Although the judging will be conducted in an unbiased manner, each judge will be basing their assessment on their background, experiences and expectations. There is a mix of both academic and commercial experience, which in itself will influence whether judges are looking for a commercial or a theoretical solution for the problem the students have selected. As of the time of this post the judges haven't been allocated to a group, once they have all students should take the time to familiarise themselves with which judges they will be presenting to.