Turning dreams into reality: Two AIT teams head for Microsoft summit RRS feed

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  • National rounds of Imagine Cup 2007 to be held in Delhi, worldwide finals in Seoul; winners to get $ 170,000, business coaching
    Pia Chandavarkar

    Pune, April 28: * An online search engine that gives only those search results that you really want.
    * A farmer in a remote village in drought-hit Vidarbha, using his radio to tune in to weather information broadcast from a computer terminal in New Delhi.

    These are entries by two student teams — Techmint and AITtude — from Pune’s Army Institute of Technology (AIT) for the Imagine Cup 2007, a worldwide student technology competition sponsored by software giant Microsoft. They have made it to the national rounds to be held in New Delhi on May 4. The worldwide finals to be held in Seoul, South Korea. The theme is ‘Imagine a world where technology enables a better education for all.’





    For AITtude’s four-


    For AITtude’s four-member team of final year engineering students Anupama Nair, Sunjeet Singh, Sonali Upadhyaya and Karanbir Singh, it all began in December 2006 after the government introduced a policy to allow NGOs to set up community radio networks.

    “We decided to create a system where an NGO can set up an online radio station,” explains Sunjeet. After setting up an account on the web-based system, NGOs can upload files for broadcasting, along with the schedule. This will be transmitted over the internet to a computer terminal in the vicinity of the target area. “For the last few miles, the information will be conveyed over radio, so that villagers can listen to it,” says Karanbir.

    The Techmint team sought to reduce the time taken for information search. “Seeking information online can be tedious, as a search engine often throws up a many useless results,” says AIT student Shiv Anand Thakur, who joined hands with Lucknow-based computer applications student Sumeet Kumar Pranav.

    Techmint’s Educational Content Identification and Grabbing System (ECIGS) makes use of a natural language processing software based on Artificial Intelligence (AI), which analyses the meaning of the key words used for the search. “Normally, the computer does not analyse the meaning and context of the words, thus throwing up irrelevant results,” explains Thakur. For example, a phrase like ‘time flies like an arrow’ would also throw up results of pages about the insect ‘fly’, since ‘flies’ can have two meanings depending on the context.

    The software opens all web pages containing the keywords and its grammar checking component grades the pages according to relevance and context, allowing only those pages with a high relevance grade to surface on the results page.

    Apart from cash prizes amounting to $ 170,000, the winners of the Seoul round will benefit from the Image Cup Innovation Accelerator Programme, wherein they will receive technical support and business coaching from experts in Microsoft and BT Global Services, London, to develop their designs into viable business plans.

    Monday, April 30, 2007 5:00 PM