As you probably already know, there are teams from all over the world participating in the ImagineCup event. This year's finals will be held in New York City, and today I am starting to cover 5 teams. First one is Syntax Errors - a team from Santiago Canyon College. They developed a project composed of a self-contained mobile workstation based on an embedded RTOS platform and managed code application that allows emergency workers to track assets in real time during emergency relief efforts.
The team is composed out of four members - Gary Kelley, Dale Laizure, Hayden Donze, Bill Vetter. The mentor is Dr. Ronald P. Kessler, PhD. All of them being ordinary guys looking to do extraordinary things and - they are extremely excited about the opportunity of travelling to New York this year.
The inspiration behind their project comes from past disasters (like the Haiti earthquake and hurricane Katrina) as well as recent ones (like the earthquake in Japan). It was clear that current relief efforts can be significantly improved, so the team decided to tackle this challenge by providing a better solution for asset tracking and management, specifically focusing on urgent response (in the first 24 to 72 hours) - the most critical element of any relief effort, since the success of the following operations depends on exact assessment of the damage. To facilitate easier communication for first responders, as well as sharing exact disaster-related information, F.R.E.D. (First Responders Embedded Device) was developed. A lot of feedback was obtained from population that will actually benefit from such a device being implemented en-masse.
It's the team's first year of participating in ImagineCup, and they achieved quite a lot for a short period of time. According to Dale Laizure, "if there is anything different about that [the opportunity to participate in ImagineCup], it is that by being given this opportunity it has inspired us and given us the motivation to achieve great things." Indeed, not only did they prove their abilities to develop complex software projects, but also the ability to create projects that can help large masses of people around the world, and that's what ImagineCup is about.
Congratulations to team Syntax Errors and we are most definitely looking forward to meeting them in person while in New York City!
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