HILO, Hawaii – Team P’oliahu – the computer science students at University of Hawaii at Hilo and winners of the Microsoft’s Image Cup U.S. Finals – is now off to St. Petersburg, Russia for the Worldwide Finals, which begin July 11.
Mike Purvis, Wallace Hamada, Ryder Donahue and Kayton Summers have been making the media rounds ever since winning the national championship held in Silicon Valley this past May.
The team’s winning concept is an app called “Help me Help”, and it is designed to help first responders locate hazards during an emergency situation.
The team spoke about the concept – and the crucial pivot away from an application about locating invasive species on Mauna Kea – at a recent reception held at the university.
In advance of the departure for the worldwide competition, the university released some video of the team pitching the idea to Hawaii County Civil Defense.
This year’s competition features 86 teams of students from 69 countries competing in six categories for more than $1 million in cash and prizes. The UH Hilo squad will compete against 31 other teams in the Innovation Competition category that includes entries from China, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United Kingdom. Purvis said the team’s speech, decorations and slideshow are all being tailored to showcase Hawaii Island.
Team Poliahu celebrated at Uh-Hilo – June 2013