Friday, June 08, 2007

BrainAcademy: The Search for Creative Compute-Ability Talent Continues

Note a reality TV show something much more useful have a look.

BrainAcademy is back for 2007. The computer science competition offering university bursaries and career boost prizes continues its search to find the cream of computing talent; this year’s theme is Computer Science, Creativity and Going Green.

A Computer Science education gives a strong foundation in innovation and enterprise. With its basis in computational thinking skills, the subject provides the training needed to be creative in the 21st century as well as providing a playing field that is open to new ideas: in the virtual world, anything goes. Finding new ways to use technology that reduce our use of resources and finding ways to turn existing technologies green are both vital areas with a need for innovative Computer Scientists. Computer Science has deep links to many different subjects; from the social sciences to engineering, from maths to the performing arts. Mix them with Computer Science and whole new subjects emerge: from Bioinformatics to Digital Performance all ripe for creative people with the right skills to exploit.

BrainAcademy organizer, Dr Paul Curzon of Queen Mary’s Department of Computer Science explains why this year’s BrainAcademy is aiming to innovate:
“The Computer Science industries urgently need lots of new talent. The jobs are there. So are the opportunities for innovation. The need for a green revolution also presents lots of new challenges. What is needed are people with the creative skills to take up those challenges. BrainAcademy is a fun way both to encourage the most talented students and give them a head start not only with the life-changing opportunity of a university education, but also to push them to the front of the queue for great career options.”

"An important part of the function of science is to face the challenges for society", said David Evans, of the British Computer Society. “As well as highlighting the need for talent in computing, this competition highlights the need for professional and social responsibility in the way computer science is applied."

Last year the prizes went unclaimed: no one was up to the challenge, surviving all three rounds. The search therefore goes on. Do you have the dedication to go all the way? Young or old, male or female: the prizes could be yours for the taking…if you have what it takes.

• BrainAcademy: postgraduate is open to overseas postgraduate students, with cash prizes to help the winners study for one of Queen Mary’s innovative MScs, and a chance to kick-start a career with sponsors ARM by offering winners an interview with the industry-leading company.

BrainAcademy: undergraduate is looking for UK talent to win prizes including a tuition fees paid place at university and a fast track to a career with sponsors Microsoft. As well as summer work experience opportunities such as with there are also other prizes on offer such as free membership of the BCS and book tokens.

• BrainAcademy: the next generation, sponsored by ARM® and Soda Creative is looking for future talents in UK schools. Prizes on offer include iPod Nanos donated by ARM, book tokens donated by Intel and the chance to spend an afternoon in Queen Mary’s state-of-the-art Augmented Human Interaction Research Laboratory.

William Hohl, University Relations Manager, ARM said: "Most people don't realise how ubiquitous embedded microprocessors have become - in their cars, cell phones, portable media players, televisions, cameras – they are everywhere! With this pervasive technology comes a demand for new computer science graduates, and ARM enthusiastically supports programmes like BrainAcademy to encourage the next generation of great minds in this growing field."

Andrew Sithers, Academic Manager, Microsoft Ltd added: "Microsoft is delighted to be again working with Queen Mary, University of London and supporting its annual computer science bursary competition. Encouraging and enabling young technology enthusiasts and students to realise their full potential with technology is a common goal that both Microsoft and Queen Mary share."

The BrainAcademy 2007 opens on 8th June 2007 and closes on 14 September 2007. The challenging competition involves an online research quiz to qualify for the Computer Science creativity challenge, followed by a tough interview for the finalists competing for the University places. BrainAcademy is open to people of all ages whether school students, university students, or those in the workplace wanting to advance their career. Winners will be announced in December 2007.

Visit for more information.