A nine year old girl has become the Youngest Person to ever pass a Microsoft Certified Professional examination. M Lavinashree from rural Tamil Nadu has become the youngest to qualify for the exam taken by techies for better job prospects. The exam measures problem-solving skills and Lavinashree passed it with flying colours. She broke a record held by Arfa Karim, a ten-year-old Pakistani girl. Lavinashree has a photographic memory and hit the headlines when she was three when she recited 1,330 couplets of Universal Thirukural, a Tamil classical poem composed by a Tamil sage, Thiruvalluvar, 2000 years ago. Continue At Source
Contents tagged with Academia
As many of you will know the Imagine Cup is the worlds largest technology competition for students. Microsoft runs the competition on an annual basis and internationally around 130k students compete from 100 countries. The competition has nine categories each a competition in their own right. The categories are:
- Software design
- Embedded development
- Game development
- Information technology
- Project Hoshimi (AI)
- Interface design
- Short film
Each competition has several rounds leading to a grand final which this year will be hosted in Paris with top prizes as high as $15k.
The competition has been open since late August so now everyone in the UK is back at university it's a great time to get a team together and compete. The first rounds for all the competitions are designed to be easy to compete in so take a look at the above links and get involved.
To get you started I have written a couple of guides to entering round one of the Games Development and Project Hoshimi competitions. The guide to getting started with XNA can be found here and the Project Hoshimi guide below...
Guide to Project Hoshimi
Project Hoshimi is a programming battle where participants program strategy for bots to follow. The strategy is then played out in a real-time 3D environment. There are various scenarios and characters for which scenarios will have to be programmed and an SDK is provided.
For round one of the competition the focus is on getting started and strategy, little programming will be required and strategy will be programmed through a graphical user interface. There will be a set of criteria that must be completed by the bots and everyone who meets these criteria and uploads their strategy file will proceed to round two of the competition. In the SDK you will complete round one in ‘Discovery Mode’
Round two sees competitors get more involved with the programming of the bots with an updated SDK and objectives. In round two you will not get to see the map before your bots enter it so yopu will have to program strategy that adapts. You will also have a competitor’s team trying to complete the objectives at the same time as you adding an extra level of complexity. In the SDK you will complete round one in ‘Intermediate Mode’
All qualifiers are distributed into pools by country and then an elimination format is used to determine the top 3 teams per country. Those top 3 teams per country are then all put together in one pool. An elimination format is used to determine the top 6 teams to move on to the final round. The final round will be held in Paris at the worldwide finals. The top six teams from round two will battle it out in a twenty four hour competition!
Project Hoshimi requires the installation of a special SDK which will allow you to devise strategy for your nanobots and see the strategy played out live in a 3D environment.
Before you can install the SDK you need to ensure you have Microsoft .NET Framework version 2.0 installed on your machine. Windows Vista has the .NET Framework version 2.0 preinstalled but for Windows XP it will need to be downloaded here:
Continue at Source.......
The Microsoft IT Academy program is a complete technology training solution for faculty and students that includes a coordinated curriculum, courseware and online collaboration tools to help people achieve certification in Microsoft technologies. When institutions become members of the Microsoft IT Academy program, they immediately gain a teaching structure, faculty training program, and marketing materials that help elevate community recognition and attract students. This program guide addresses key programmatic and administrative elements that are essential to achieving and maintaining Microsoft IT Academy status.Download At Source
Fourth-largest U.S. school district deploys Microsoft’s online portal, bringing together 1.5 million constituents in collaborative learning; evidence of growing trend in ed tech approach.
When Miami-Dade County Public Schools needed to communicate with its 1.5 million students, parents, teachers and administrators, the district found it lacked a consistent way to deliver information. Whether they needed educational resources being distributed or critical instructions in case of emergencies, users were forced to hunt for necessary information. The use of different software applications throughout hundreds of schools kept this large, urban and culturally diverse school district from effectively using the communications and educational resources it had at its disposal.
Today the school district is introducing the deployment of a new solution using the Microsoft® Learning Gateway, an integrated portal-based platform that delivers an unprecedented level of collaboration, management of online content and increased productivity by eliminating the need for paper while changing the way people work, learn and succeed across the school district.
“It’s the difference between walking into a grocery store and having to search the aisles for what you need and being able to drive up to a store and everything is already in a cart ready to check out,” said Deborah Karcher, executive officer, information technology services, Miami-Dade County Public Schools. “We were supporting a lot of different technology platforms and nonconnected Web sites to access and deliver information. This reduced our communications effectiveness and did not maximize the resources we had. By optimizing our infrastructure with Microsoft, we were able to design a portal strategy across the district that can incorporate all our application and data sources through Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007 and a suite of Web services that allows security-enhanced access to all district resources based on a user’s role in the system.”
The district can now push the right data to the right stakeholder audience rather than forcing users to navigate a maze of resources to find the information they need: Continue At Source
This is an application form for the Blacks at Microsoft (BAM) college scholarship. The mission of the BAM Scholarship is to encourage and enable Black high school students to (a) go to college, (b) realize the impact technology has on the world, and (c) target a career in the technology industry. The amount of the BAM Scholarship to be awarded is $2,500 annually, which is paid through the Seattle Foundation on behalf of BAM to the recipient’s school’s Financial Aid Office.Download At Source
Through public-private partnership, model for future schools incorporates new technology, curriculum and building design on a traditional school budget.
At 8 a.m. today the bell will ring to open one of the most advanced high schools ever conceived. The School of the Future is the result of a unique collaboration between the School District of Philadelphia, Microsoft Corp. and the community of West Philadelphia that will deliver a new approach to curriculum and school design and the infusion of technology into the daily lives of educators and learners. The school is a state-of-the-art working example of this public-private partnership, featuring a progressive and research-based curriculum, integrated technology, and environmentally advanced architecture. What’s more, the entire project was completed within the strict confines of a standard urban public-school budget.
“What we have proven through this project is that the ‘School of the Future’ is not too futuristic or out of reach,” said Paul Vallas, CEO of the School District of Philadelphia. “This is how schools of today can and should be designed and developed to adequately prepare students for life and work. I hope the school leaders who come and see what we’ve accomplished here in Philadelphia walk away saying, ‘We can do that, too, and we can start now.’”
For the 170 freshman students who will make up the first School of the Future graduating class of 2010, today’s opening signifies new hope and opportunity through an experience that will involve the whole community in the educational environment and encourage college attendance. The opening class selection was based on an open lottery and pulls from area neighborhoods, making this a truly local school. The class has a nearly 99 percent minority population, and approximately 85 percent of the students come from low income families.
“Today it is more important than ever for companies — especially those in the technology industry — to help global educators meet future economic and social needs. Information technology will enable our schools to meet the challenges of the 21st century by creating more personalized learning experiences,” said Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer at Microsoft. “The School of the Future shows how public and private partnerships can yield new thinking and sustainable change in educational systems around the world.”Continue At Source
Initiative to assist women, minority graduate students preparing for entertainment technology careers.
The Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft Corp. and Carnegie Mellon University today announced the establishment of the Microsoft® Entertainment and Technology Diversity Scholarship, a scholarship for graduate study at the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) at Carnegie Mellon. The initiative seeks to reward the innovative work by minorities and women who are pursuing careers in entertainment technology as graphic artists, game designers and computer programmers.
“We are delighted and proud to provide talented women and minority students with this exciting opportunity to learn about digital entertainment at a world-class institution,” said Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Division, which includes the Xbox 360™ system. “Microsoft remains a strong advocate of higher education. The Microsoft Entertainment and Technology Diversity Scholarship allows young adults to reach their potential by enabling them to further cultivate their artistic and technical talents.”
The Carnegie Mellon ETC offers the world’s only master of entertainment technology (MET) degree, a unique program that combines fine arts with computer science to enable students to learn the processes, resources and insight for storytelling and entertainment in a digital medium.
“Microsoft continues to demonstrate tangibly its commitment to diversity and education in ways that positively and directly affect students,” said Don Marinelli, executive producer of Carnegie Mellon’s ETC. “This Microsoft Entertainment and Technology Diversity Scholarship within the Carnegie Mellon Entertainment Technology Center is a splendid example of Microsoft demonstrating its desire to make a top-quality education available and affordable to women and minority students. We are honored deeply to have been chosen for this program.”
A recent report published by the Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology shows that African-Americans account for 6.2 percent of individuals in information technology and engineering professions, with Latinos representing 5.3 percent of professionals in those same fields. Likewise, according to the National Center for Women & Information Technology, women make up roughly 29 percent of information technology professionals.
“In the past year alone, ETC has significantly increased the number of women and minorities seeking the master of entertainment technology degree,” Marinelli said. “In the coming years we will continue to work to diversify our program, and this Microsoft Entertainment and Technology Diversity Scholarship is a great tool in helping us meet our goal.”
More information about the ETC at Carnegie Mellon and the Microsoft Entertainment and Technology Diversity Scholarship on the Carnegie Mellon Entertainment Technology Center can be found at http://www.etc.cmu.edu.
While many of its competitors have similar programs, academics and analysts say the Redmond company's extensive involvement, especially through its Microsoft Research centers, seems to go further than most.
"Microsoft certainly pays a lot of attention to the education space," said Jeffrey Young, a senior editor with the trade publication The Chronicle of Higher Education.
But it's not a purely altruistic endeavor. Through academia, Microsoft hopes to convince young minds to become loyal to Microsoft products, help influence university and government research — and perhaps ensure it doesn't miss out on the next big technological wave.
"As a whole, it's an investment for us, but it pays off in a pretty big way," Gates said in an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press. Continue At Source
Beginning in the 2006-2007 school year, the course aims to help students learn how the global economy is changing the nature of work in the US and the importance of being an entrepreneur. The course will also give students greater ability to use the internet as a communication and learning tool.
The course, which will be provided to Michigan schools, will fulfill the requirement for an online learning experience laid out in the new high school core curriculum.Continued At Source
Mr Blair and Education Secretary Ruth Kelly are holding a seminar at Downing Street for 50 schools, businesses and other groups interested in the plans.
The prime minister's spokesman said he was struck "by how united the cabinet was" in its discussion of the reforms.
Potential Labour rebels say they still have concerns about the details. <!-- E SF -->
But the seminar at No 10 will be seen as a clear signal Mr Blair wants to push ahead with plans to involve new external partners - companies, faith groups, charities - in setting up and running the schools.
The seminar, similar to one held at the education department last week, is for organisations wanting to form or take part in trust schools.
Among those at the seminar are accountants KPMG, Monkseaton Language College, Deacon's School in Cambridgeshire, Thomas Telford School in Shropshire, and the University of the West of England.Continued At Source
Mint Source is the unconventional new starter kit for students that enables you to quickly get your hands on the freshest, hottest technology from Microsoft. Think of it as a direct line to Microsoft information. We'll give you samples of what you can do and the tools to do it. Get ahead. Get Mint Source… and be the first to download the latest knowledge and tools. Free 'n' easy just got easier.
What is Mint Source? You get three great things as part of Mint Source:
1. A working kit to try your development skills.2. RSS Aggregator (meet Mint Source!)3. Profile Selection - pre-set profiles to choose from: - Visual Studio Developer Information (technical docs, how to etc.) - News (latest stuff, MSDN, academia items) - Student Stuff (XBox, gaming, MSPs, people) - Imagine Cup (Software Design Challenge) - Imagine Cup (WW Online Invitationals)
By simply selecting the profile that's most relevant to you (and it's stored on the client!) we can start providing you with cool information, resources, technical details, news and much more to help you as you get going using the starter kit. It's all via RSS and that's where Mint Source really comes into his own. The RSS Aggregator built into the starter kit has Mint Source as the skin - we'll be running competitions throughout the year around him, how he looks and what he does…so see what it's all about! Continued At Source