UIST 2011 - Student Innovation Contest
24th UIST @ Santa Barbara, CA








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UIST 2011 | Student Innovation Contest


1st Creativity [video]
Casey Grote, Wellesley College
Lara Helm, Wellesley College
Emily Lin, Wellesley College
Karen Su, Wellesley College

2nd Creativity [video]
Gregory Fong, Harvey Mudd College
Ben Jones, Harvey Mudd College

1st Implementation [video, website]
Morten Esbensen, IT University Copenhagen
Juan David Hincapié-Ramos, IT University Copenhagen
Magdalena Kogutowska, IT University Copenhagen

2nd Implementation [video]
Lora Oehlberg, University of California Berkeley
Drew Fisher, University of California Berkeley
Celeste Roschuni, University of California Berkeley
Valkyrie Savage, University of California Berkeley

1st Usefulness [video, code]
David Klionsky, Carnegie Mellon University
Julia Schwarz, Carnegie Mellon University

2nd Usefulness [video]
Michelle Ferreirae, Wellesley College
Margaret Ligon, Wellesley College
Wendy Xu, Wellesley College

1st People's Choice [video]
Anthony DeVincenzi, MIT Media Lab
David Lakatos, MIT Media Lab
Daniel Leithinger, MIT Media Lab
Lining Yao, MIT Media Lab

2nd People's Choice [video]
Jiseong Gu, KAIST
Seongkook Heo, KAIST
Sunjun Kim, KAIST


Get your thinking caps on and ideas flowing for the third annual UIST Student Innovation Contest (SIC). The goal of the contest is to innovate new interactions on state-of-the-art hardware. We give you the latter, and you show us what you can do.

This year we're going to be working with the brand, spanking new Microsoft TouchMouse. In addition to supplying you the hardware for free, Microsoft is providing exclusive access to a pre-release of the TouchMouse API. This lets you get at the underlying 2D capacitive image captured the mouse’s sensor matrix; You’ll get a chance to hack together some cool demos before the everyone else gets their hands on the API. You even get to keep the mouse after you're done!

Contestants will demo their creations at the October 17th demo reception. The winner will be announced the following day.

This is all thanks to Hrvoje Benko, John Miller and the Cambridge Innovation Development team from Microsoft Research as well as Steven Bathiche and Paul Dietz from Microsoft Hardware and the Microsoft Applied Sciences Group. They donated the hardware and software that make this contest possible.


August 17 [Wed] - Reservation deadline (an email to reserve a spot - nothing due!)
August 27 [Sat] - Eligibility check (must meet participation criteria by this point)
September 1 [Thu] - Notification to teams (hardware will be mailed on this day)
October 17 [Mon] - Contest reception, demos.
October 18 [Tues] - Winners announced.


Innovation comes in many forms, and we’ve devised three judged prize categories: most creative, most useful, and best-implemented. We will also have another fourth people's choice category in which UIST attendees will vote on their favorite projects. These prizes are made possible through generous support from the Microsoft Applied Sciences Group.

While we reserve the right to change the award stucture based on factors such as the number of participating teams, we currently plan on providing two awards for each of the four categories:

The first place team in the category will receive $1500; second place, $500. More importantly, you will have the respect of conference attendees, your peers, and bragging rights. You’ll also get a spiffy trophy that you can show off to your friends and family.


If you have questions or comments, please contact the contest chairs: Kayur Patel, Chris Harrison, and Nick Chen.


  1. At least one person on a team must be registered and present at UIST. This is for four reasons: 1) You have to demo your idea, 2) You have to claim your prize, and 3) UIST is an awesome event.
  2. Teams must be unique in the composition of the members. Basically, this means that no two teams can have the exact same members. An individual can, however, be on several teams.
  3. During the contest voting period, each team will be allowed to demo an idea. Teams will not be allowed to demo multiple ideas (i.e., switch between different ideas). Different demos of the same idea are permitted.
  4. Teams must bring supporting computers and hardware to run their demos, including the mouse they were sent. No equipment will be given out at UIST.
  5. Teams may not take apart the mouse and use it for parts. The goal of the project is to see what you can do with the TouchMouse. This keeps the competition fair and bounded. However, you can use the mouse in conjunction with other sensors, you may position it in interesting ways, and add things on to the base structure. Dismantling the mouse will disqualify you. If you think your idea might violate this rule, run the idea by the contest chairs (emails above).


To reserve a place in the contest and to receive an TouchMouse for development, contestants must submit an entry email to the contest chair no later than August 17th, 2011. This email should contain:

  1. Members of the team and their affiliations. Minimum team size is 1; maximum is 4. Students only. See above note about team composition. International students are welcome to participate.
  2. Primary contact name (one person)
    1. Email address
    2. Phone number
    3. Full shipping address (in order to receive the mouse)
Send these details to: Kayur Patel


While the TouchMouse will work as a mouse on any platform (USB connection), functionality is limited on non-Windows devices. In addition, the TouchMouse API we provide is Windows only. Example code to get you started is written in C# and provided as a Visual Studio 2008 and 2010 project, though other languages may be possible. We cannot provide support for other platforms or languages. You can get access to tools that you might need (e.g., Visual Studio) through the Microsoft DreamSpark website.


Q: What if something happens the contest committee did not foresee?
A: We reserve the right to change the rules at any time.

Q: Can I publish a paper on what I come up with?
A: Yes.

Q: Do I own the intellectual property (IP)?
A: Yes.

Q: Will I be able to demo my idea on my own computer?
A: Yes. In fact, it is mandatory, since we will not provide any equipment at the conference.

Q: What happens if I wish to withdraw from the contest?
A: Teams are welcome to withdraw. Please email the contest committee at least a week before the conference.

Q: I am not a student, can I participate?
A: Unfortunately, the contest is limited to students.

Q: I’m in high school, can I participate?
A: All students are welcome. However, you will have to be old enough and able to travel to UIST in California.

Q: How many people can be on a team?
A: Maximum four. All must be students.

Q: How will you stop people voting multiple times?
A: Student volunteers will be monitoring the voting boxes.

Q: Can other people help me develop this code?
A: It is permissible to get external help for bugs and other issues. People external to the team cannot contribute large pieces of code (or ideas).

Q: Can my adviser help?
A: Ideas can be discussed with advisers, but core ideas should come from the team members.

Q: Can I use the mouse for parts?
A: No, doing so will disqualify you. But you can add other sensors and parts. Also, you can incorporate the mouse into other objects/items.

Q: What if only a few teams enter?
A: We reserve the right to change the rules at any time. If a small number of people were to enter, we are likely to award only a single (potentially larger) prize.