Microsoft and IEEE are partnering for a coding contest called Beauty of Programming (BOP) for the past three years. This year’s BOP contest attracted over 18,000 students across the China. The contest is over now as the winners will be eligible for Microsoft internships—a win-win outcome, as Microsoft can benefit from the expertise and enthusiasm of these young IT developers, while the students receive opportunities to work on innovative projects.
Throughout the year, Microsoft Research Asia representatives visit numerous university campuses to showcase our latest technology and, coincidentally, to promote the BOP contest. This spring, we visited 21 schools in 12 cities throughout China, motivating young computer programmers to enter the contest and demonstrate their extraordinary skills. The 18,000 contestants in the 2014 BOP contest represented 150 universities and, for the first time, included students from Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The event started with a qualification round, followed by a preliminary round, a three-hour semifinal round, and then a final round. Fifty-six students, representing 25 universities, made it to the final round, where they undertook an urban informatics challenge designed by Microsoft researchers in collaboration with City Next, the Bing Maps team, and the Microsoft Azure team. This challenge was extremely timely, as urban informatics has attracted much attention recently. The young finalists had a choice between creating an urban analytics application based on real-word data from the city of Yangzhou or forecasting the mid-afternoon air quality index based on historical and current air quality and meteorological information.
Read more at Microsoft Research Connections Blog.