Integrating International Students' Contests with Computer Science Capstone: Lessons Learned and Best Practices

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Zeid, Amir
Conference Paper
Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world's premier student technology competition. Every year students from all over the world compete to solve the world toughest problems in different categories. In ten years, the Imagine Cup has grown to be a truly global competition focused on finding solutions to real-world problems. Since 2003, over 1.4 million students have participated in the Imagine Cup with 358,000 students representing 183 countries and regions registering for the Imagine Cup 2011 competition [7]. In this paper, we present our experience in integrating imagine cup (IC) with computer science (CS) capstone courses at the American University of Kuwait (AUK). In the past four years, we coached four different teams in three consecutive years (2009–2012) to win Microsoft Imagine cup in the Gulf region (GCC region includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE) and qualify to the world finals. We present our best practices and three case studies of winning projects in the region (one of the three teams was totally formed of girls). We will also present the lessons learned and guidelines on how to integrate such design competitions with computer science capstone.