May 11, 2010
||The winning team (from left): Huda Idrees (MIE), Hubert Ka (ECE), Layan Kutob (MIE) and Kazem Kutob (TrackOne).
A team comprised of four U of T Engineering students took first prize in the first-ever Google Case Challenge at the Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference 2010 held in April. Huda
(MIE, 1T2), Hubert Ka
(ECE, 1T2), Kazem Kutob
(TrackOne, 1T3) and Layan Kutob
(MIE, 1T2), beat out 23 other Canadian engineering teams with their “Google Voice to Voice” proposal, a real-time language translator application for the Android smart-phone that allows users to speak to one another in different languages.
The Google Case Challenge asked teams to create an innovative product proposal with monetization potential for one of Google’s many software platforms. The selection of the Android operating system was not disclosed until April 29, the first day of the competition. At that time, students were given two hours to brainstorm a proposal and create a product pitch. Judges shortlisted the teams based on the quality of their three-minute product pitch. During the last day of competition, judges scored each team’s final 10-minute presentation on the merits of product definition, engineering, strategy and marketing.
The U of T team credits the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering for “setting such high standards that allow students to excel in their field of interest.” The team also thanked their professors for encouraging them to “explore many different fields of knowledge, allowing [them] to dream big and work hard to achieve [their] dreams, vision and goals.”
What’s next for this winning team of future engineers? Layan Kutob sums it up as “a dream come true.” Not only did they win technological gear from Google, the real prize is the opportunity to interview for positions, at Google, within their chosen area of expertise.