by Scientific American
Microsoft has for the past eight years hosted a global competition that challenges high school and college students to develop applications that address some of the planet’s most urgent needs. The company’s Eighth Annual Imagine Cup finals wrapped up Thursday in Warsaw, Poland, with 400 students vying for $240,000 in prize money. The Imagine Cup, of course, serves as a major promotional event for Microsoft, with the dual purpose of trying to ensure that the company’s products are the tools of choice for the next generation of computer programmers. The event’s popularity has expanded rapidly—about 325,000 students from more than 100 countries registered to compete this year (with 400 students advancing to this week’s finals).