(MENAFN - Gulf Times) A futuristic phone application for tourists visiting Qatar during the 2022 FIFA World Cup won four students from Cambridge International School for Girls (CISG) the first place in the 4th annual Ibtikar Qatar competition.
Teams from Musab bin Omair Secondary School and Dukhan English School won second and third place, respectively in the contest held at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar last Saturday for high school juniors and seniors.
It encouraged students to design creative solutions using information technology to some of the important current challenges facing society, while at the same time raising their interest in information systems.
This year's challenge was to design an application for a Nirvana phone - a phone whose central processing unit (CPU) could power most applications and draw data from cloud computing to aid tourists attending the World Cup, which would enlighten visitors about Qatar's history, culture and traditions.
The first place-winning application was named Madi, which means "past" in Arabic. According to the CISG team who called themselves the "Techno-Surrealists," it is an application based for use of all ages. The app would allow users to access a virtual tour of Qatar through a Nirvana device.
Users could enlist a virtual guide from a Qatari point-of-view on everything from pearl diving to discovering local fare.
The all-girl team included twins Dania Faidi and Rania Faidi, Eeshal Naeem and Hannas Said. The Faidi sisters plan to apply to Carnegie Mellon Qatar next year.
Six weeks ago, the two-part programme began with a workshop in which 69 students from 13 schools were organised into small teams and tasked to create an app envisioning technology 10 years from now.
"Students were exposed to the role that information systems and innovation play in the marketplace, having also gained first-hand experience in project management, problem solving and teamwork " the operational crux of information systems," said Selma Limam-Mansar, information systems co-ordinator at Carnegie Mellon Qatar.
"It is always an experience to see the innovative and creative side of students - Ibtikar has certainly revealed that," noted Damian Durado, manager for Pre-College Programmes and Community Outreach for Carnegie Mellon Qatar.
Teams were judged based on the originality of their vision, their grasp of technology, whether they used information systems effectively, grasp of design and presentation.
The judging panel consisted of Carnegie Mellon's Information Systems professors: Ray Tsai, Ian Lacey, Divakaran Liginlal, Selma Limam-Mansar, Daniel Phelps, Alex Cheek and programme undergraduates Noora al-Sooj and Abhay Joseph.
The schools that presented posters in the Ibtikar Qatar 2012 final competition were the Academic Bridge Programme, Al Bayan Secondary School, Al-Ieman Secondary Independent School for Girls, Amna Bint Wahab Secondary Independent School for Girls, Cambridge International School for Girls, Doha College, Doha Independent School for Boys, DPS Modern Indian School, Dukhan English School, Global Academy International, International School of Choueifat, Musab Bin Omair Independent Secondary School for Boys and Raba'a Al-Adawiya School.
The undergraduate programme in Information Systems at Carnegie Mellon University is ranked second according to the 2011 US News and World Report, the pre-eminent American college ranking institution.