The seventh Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) high school computer science contest, Intelligent Fabrics 2012, was held on October 13 at the H.R. Bright Building on the Texas A&M campus. Fifteen student teams from Texas high schools were presented with a Intelligent Fabrics challenge designed by CSE Associate Professor Tracy Hammond. Competing teams were given the task of creating a useful, wearable computer.
Wearable computers are small electronic devices that enable the wearer in some way. Often such devices are integrated directly into the user's clothing, augmenting the user. Conductive thread allows for flexible and creative fabrics. Such devices are created for specific purposes and allow for constant interaction between the device and the wearer. Thus, the theme of this contest was the design, creation, and use of such intelligent fabrics.
The teams spent the morning and early afternoon in individual labs designing and creating their devices. During this planning stage, the teams were visited by the judges and were asked to explain their work. This helped the judges get a better grasp of the projects, learn about the design process, and observe the team dynamics. Excitement escalated as the day progressed to the oral presentations, which were held in Bright's Frank J. Malina '34 Auditorium. The final demonstrations were lively, informative, imaginative and fun.
The winning team, North Houston Academy of Science and Mathematics (Team ES-0x7dc: Alexander Whatley, Daniel Whatley, Vincent Liu, Victor Zhou, Patrick Guo. Bill Whatley, sponsor), designed a wearable device for pets that would alert the pet's owners when the pet was in need. The device was also designed to be a humane, non-shocking training device. The team won a $300 Best Buy gift certificate for their school, and each team member received a $129 Echo Pen donated by Pariveda Solutions.
Second place went to North Crowley High School (Team Panther's Algorithm: Bailey Barksdale, Lucas Kramer, Martin Torres, Eyad Shihabeddin, Chris Zahrah. G Lynne Ryan, sponsor). Their school received a $200 Best Buy gift certificate and each team member received a $50 Best Buy gift certificate. Winning third place was Allen Academy (Team Ram Quest: Joseph Lee, Chris Benner, Cason Lohman. Nilah Wright, sponsor). For their school they won a $100 Best Buy gift certificate, and $25 Best Buy gift certificates were given to each member of the team.
Graciously volunteering their time to judge the contest were Ryan Jones and Arthur Peake from Dell; John Kossa and Matt Moss, from FrogSlayer; Brittany Duncan, CSE graduate student; Matthew Barry and Clifton Sims, CSE undergraduate students; and Tony Okonski, CSE staff member.
Intelligent Fabrics was generously sponsored by a gift from Texas A&M Former Students at Microsoft and CSE Industrial Affiliates Program members Pariveda Solutions and Dell. The contest was organized by CSE Program Coordinator Ms. Theresa Roberts. Other CSE staff, undergraduate students, and their families volunteered for the event.
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