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22 October 2008

Winners of Symbian student essay contest

Filed under: Essay contest, Smartphone Show, universities — David Wood @ 6:25 am

At the Smartphone Show yesterday, Symbian announced the results of our first Student Essay Contest, and called for entrants to a new contest – with an entry submission deadline of 31st January 2009.

The theme for the 2008 contest was “The next wave of smartphone innovation“. The prize winners are as follows (listed in alphabetical order of surname):

  • Benoît Delville, Ecole Centrale de Lille, France: The hardware tech of smartphones. Benoît’s essay examines four factors which threaten to prevent the fuller adoption of smartphones.
  • Alexander Erifiu, University of Applied Sciences, Hagenberg, Austria: New interaction concepts in mobile games. Alexander’s essay describes a project the author carried out with some colleagues to increase the suitability of smartphones for certain types of games.
  • Andreas Jakl, Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria: Optical translator: word spotting and tracking on smartphones. Andreas’s essay considers some developments that will enable advanced new applications that take advantage of the high quality camera technology that is currently widely available on smartphones.
  • Florian Lettner, University of Applied Sciences, Hagenberg, Austria: Smartphones in home automation. Florian’s essay investigates the possible use of smartphones in a number of practical situations, including several in the home.
  • Pankaj Nathani, Bhavnagar University, Gujarat, India: Improved development and delivery methodologies. Pankaj’s essay focuses on the fact that developers can face many challenges in developing and delivering novel or evolved services on smartphones.
  • Milen Nikolov, The College at Brockport, State University of New York, Brockport, USA: Exploiting social and mobile ad hoc networking to achieve ubiquitous connectivity. Milen’s essay examines a particular example of what is known as a ‘Mobile Ad hoc Network’ (MANET) involving smartphones.
  • Aleksandra Reiss, Petrozavodsk State University, Russia: The next waves of smartphone innovation. Aleksandra’s essay is targeted at discovering what new functionality can be added to smartphones in the near future.
  • Sudeep Sundaram, University of Bristol, UK: Situation aware maintenance mate. Sudeep’s essay reviews possible uses of a smartphone in coordination with a head mounted display, where for example, a user could see the positioning of electrical wires in a wall and carry out diagnostics.
  • Iftekhar Ul Karim, BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh: Opportunities with smartphone technologies for the base of the pyramid. Iftekhar’s essay challenges readers to consider novel uses of smartphones for users in the so-called ‘base of the pyramid’ – the four billion poorest people on the planet.
  • Alejandro Vicente-Grabovetsky, University of Cambridge, UK: The smartphone of the future: A powerhouse or a mere terminal? Alejandro’s essay explores the potential for the smartphone to act as a ‘social computer’ as opposed to merely copying features from the ‘personal computer’.

My congratulations to the prizewinners! There are thought-provoking elements in all of the winning essays. For extracts and summaries, see developer.symbian.com/essays.

The contest received many other essays that also contained interesting and valuable observations. My recommendations to entrants of future contests is that that essays are more likely to be awarded prizes if they:

  • Concentrate on making a small number of points well, rather than on trying to cover a large number of different points;
  • Address specific issues, rather than describing abstract theories;
  • Have a clear structure and a logical flow of argument;
  • Back up their claims by providing evidence (for example, references).

My goal for the 2008 contest were threefold:

  1. To encourage university students to carry out research on topics of interest to Symbian, its wider community and the mobile industry;
  2. To find out where the most interesting research was being carried out;
  3. To stimulate interest in Symbian’s emerging University Research Relations programme.

Following the success of our 2008 contest, we’re repeating it in 2009. The deadline for submission for the next Symbian Student Essay Contest is 31st January 2009. The overall theme for this new contest is “Architectures to enable breakthroughs for mobile converged devices.” Students are encouraged to address one or more of the following topics in their essays:

  1. Software development that takes best advantage of multiple processor cores
  2. Allocation of responsibilities between managed code and native code
  3. Delivering maximum power from the hardware and the networks to applications
  4. Security and privacy concerns in mobile device architectures
  5. Taming the complexity of mobile system architecture: the role of open source
  6. Enabling devices, applications and services that appeal to huge new groups of users
  7. The role of system architecture in significantly improving consumer experience.

Winners of the 2009 contest will receive £1,000 with runners up earning special commendations. For the rules of this contest, see www.symbian.com/universities.

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4 Comments »

  1. Hi,

    Thank you sire for your wishes.

    The essay contest is a great initiative by Symbian, to motivate students.

    The prize money would help me in my future studies.

    Best Regards,
    Pankaj Nathani

    Comment by Croozeus — 22 October 2008 @ 12:54 pm

  2. hi!
    I am a student in Kenyatta University, Mombasa Campus, in kenya persuing Bachelor of Commerce and i really wanted to participate in the essay writing which is due on 31st january 2009 but unfortunately all your essays are about how you can come up with smarter phones rather than finding market for the new smart phones already in the market.
    My biggest worry will be to come up with the best smart phones in the world but miss in the campturing the portential consumers in the market.For example in my country,so far i have not seen what i want in a phone.
    Therefore, i would recommend to have essays that also deal with the marketing part of the new smart phones.

    Comment by william — 17 November 2008 @ 7:24 am

  3. Hi William,

    >unfortunately all your essays are about how you can come up with smarter phones rather than finding market for the new smart phones already in the market…

    You raise a good point.

    Symbian is an operating system company, so the topics for the essay contest are focused on operating system questions.

    The topic of marketing existing smartphones is mainly a question for other companies in the value chain, such as phone manufacturers and network operators.

    >My biggest worry will be to come up with the best smart phones in the world but miss in the campturing the portential consumers in the market.For example in my country,so far i have not seen what i want in a phone.

    However, I suggest you consider topic #6 from the list for January 2009:

    “Enabling devices, applications and services that appeal to huge new groups of users”

    Good luck!

    // dw2-0

    Comment by David Wood — 17 November 2008 @ 8:05 am

  4. […] of the prize-winning essays of last year’s Symbian Essay Contest, “Opportunities with smartphone technologies for the base of the pyramid“, written by […]

    Pingback by Smart mobile services for the next four billion « Symbian Blog — 5 September 2009 @ 11:46 am


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