With two consecutive wins so far, Jonathan Dowdall, a UH graduate student, and Mike Hall, his collaborator, have advanced to round three of four in the visual gaming category with their Team ContAInment, the "AI" capitalized to represent artificial intelligence. An annual competition, the Microsoft Imagine Cup challenges participants to excel in one of nine IT-related categories and is designed to recognize students who demonstrate excellence in a diverse range of technical and artistic pursuits. According to Microsoft, entries are expected to address the competition theme to "imagine a world where technology dissolves the boundaries between us."
Out of about 2,000 participants in the world qualifying round March 15, Dowdall and Hall tied with eight others for first place, with Team ContAInment being the only U.S. team in that top group. In the national elimination round April 15, they were the top-scoring team in their division. Now, advancing to the third of four rounds, they will compete in the world semifinals May 15. The first two rounds of competition took place online, as will the third, which will narrow the playing field to six teams that will travel to Japan July 27 to compete in the world finals for a grand prize of $8,000.
As visual gaming participants, Team ContAInment had to write an algorithm to build and control a team of nanobots within the simulated human body of a terminally ill patient. The nanobots are injected into the blood stream to locate and collect infected tissue. While attempting to deliver medicine to these sites, the nanobots are attacked by white blood cells in the patient's immune system. For each round of competition, Mi
Contact: Lisa Merkl
University of Houston