Former Program

Introductory CS Course Projects: Contest Information


The objective of this competition is to have students develop descriptions of computing projects that they find exciting, inspiring, and appealing to students from underrepresented groups (African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and People with Disabilities). The projects can be artistic (for example using motion detection to make music with body movement) or practical (for example using embedded microchips to help in emergency situations). Medical, cultural, economic – the projects can focus on any topic so long as it includes computing. The competition does not require implementation of the proposed project. The scope of the project should be consistent with what a team of two students can implement in a two week time-frame for an introductory computing course. The deadline for project submissions is December 17, 2012. Award recipients will present a poster at the 2013 SIGCSE Conference. The competition is held every other year.


The contest is open to students attending a U.S. institution and meeting the following Eligibility Criteria mentioned below:

  • You are actively enrolled as an undergraduate student at an accredited college or university during the Contest Period.
  • A Team may consist of up to three (3) eligible students.
  • A student may be involved in only one team.


The competition does not require any implementation. Each team is limited to one submission. Each entry must include the following:

  • A PDF document describing the project, how the project engages the underrepresented cultures, the computing concepts utilized in the project, and pseudo code or algorithm description of the project. Teams are encouraged to submit figures or pictures with the description. The description is limited to 5 pages, using12-point font. Again, no implementation is required.
  • A letter from the department head (of any one of the students) on department letterhead confirming that all the students on a team are in good standing and are undergraduate students.


The entries will be reviewed by the five members of the CMD-IT Executive Leadership Team and Annuska Perkins from Microsoft and organizer of the Imagine Cup Competition for Accessibility. The entries will be reviewed based upon the following criteria:

  • 40% Description of engaging of underrepresented cultures
  • 20% Project creativity
  • 20% Concepts utilized
  • 20% Pseudo code or algorithm description of the project

The winning projects as well as those projects receiving honorable mention will be posted on the CMD-IT website. Each project will be allocated a page with images and contextual cues to make it as realistic as possible. Further, programming exercises will be provided by CMD-IT for each selected project.


  • First Place: $3,000
  • Second Place: $1,500


Some articles about underrepresented cultures can be found on the Resources page. This competition is funded in part by support from AccessComputing and R&M Global Advisors.