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Dream It. Code It. Win It. Competition Launches

TradingScreen, the MIT Club of New York, the MIT Enterprise Forum of NYC and NYCPromise have launched a programming competition for college students.

The Dream It. Code It. Win It. competition is open to students aged 18 or older who are enrolled at accredited institutions and it will award more than $50,000 in committed scholarships and other prizes.

According to information provided by the competition's organizers, "Dream It. Code It. Win It. is designed to promote creativity, diversity and literacy in the computer science field." The organizers aim to differentiate this competition from other so-called "hack-a-thons" by celebrating and rewarding computer science "as a creative tool, and not just as a coding exercise," according to the organizers.

"When we designed Dream It. Code It. Win It., the idea was to move beyond the traditional hack-a-thon format, giving contestants greater flexibility in the types of problems that they would solve using their own programming skills," said Cristina Dolan, a board member of the MIT Enterprise Forum and an officer of the MIT Club of New York, in a prepared statement. "The orientation of this contest is towards greater creativity and diversity, making it more of a create-a-thon. This orientation is critical, to integrate new people, perspectives and skill sets that seem underrepresented in programming at the moment."

In addition to promoting creativity in computer science, the competition organizers said they hope to encourage greater diversity in the computer science field, and particularly to encourage more women into the field by offering a $5,000 prize specifically for female competitors..

Competition prizes include:

  • A $15,000 first prize;
  • $10,000 second prize;
  • $5,000 third prize;
  • $5,000 for the best submission from a female competitor;
  • $5,000 for the best commercial innovation; and
  • Several other specialized prizes that have not yet been announced.

Students may enter the competition as individuals or teams of up to eight and must include an online video presenting their computer science project entry. The competition is open until March 30, 2014, and semi-finalists will be selected through social media voting and by a committee of judges, which includes successful computer scientists, entrepreneurs and investors. Creativity is one of the main judging criteria. Semi-finalists will present their creations before a panel of judges at the final, live event in New York City in May.

Further information about the Dream It. Code It. Win It. competition can be found on the competition's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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