MANILA, September 29, 2003  (STAR) That young Filipino minds equally excel, if not edge out, their American and Indian counterparts in the field of information technology (IT) was proven once more in the software development contest sponsored by a European group of cellphone and IT groups. And Mapua Tech equally proved its excellence in IT education apart from its leadership in traditional engineering courses.

Software for mobile phones developed by four Mapua graduates swept all the top four prizes in the recently concluded "Mobile Internet Applications Development Competition," also dubbed as Nokia Challenge 2003.

Prior to the selection of the winners, 12 out of 34 entries were pre-selected and declared "concept winners." In their working prototypes, four entries, all conceived and developed by Mapua computer and engineering students who just graduated last April, were adjudged winners of the competition on Java-based software designing.

Copping first place was Mapua’s John Michael Lozano (B.S. Computer Engineering), with his "My Brain Bench" entry. Lozano’s software is a mobile training module designed to allow users to groom themselves in their desired field of education with several training modules. His prizes included a free trip for two to Europe and P150,000.

Lozano’s twin brother, engineer John Paul Lozano, an Industrial Engineering graduate of Mapua Tech, was awarded the second prize and got P75,000 cash and a free trip to Singapore for two, for his Java-based "My Home Remedies" program.

"My Home Remedies" is a comprehensive, safe and practical health and stress advisory and management guide application via mobile phones.

Another Mapua Computer Engineering graduate, Louie Marco de los Reyes, got the third prize for his "My Calc Buddy" – a scientific calculator tuned in to a mobile phone.

De los Reyes and his project partner, Delfin Juan III, a technical consultant of the Mapua Information Technology College (MITC) in Makati, received P50,000 and a Nokia 6610. Their work solves the problem of dealing with mathematical formulas by giving cellphone users instant solutions to the most difficult math problems in seconds, whenever, wherever.

MITC instructors Pofirio Atienza and Eugene Lozada’s "Mapping" software program was declared the fourth prize winner. They received P25,000 plus a Nokia phone.

A highly configurable map engine supporting the display of information requiring visual location reference, the "Mapping" program enables users to configure their maps to display locations of deliveries, hotels and restaurants as well as traffic information.

The competition was sponsored by Nokia Phils. and the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) in cooperation with the European IT Service Center (EITSC). It was part of the Public-Private Partnership project dubbed as ‘Providing Mobile Internet Applications, Training and Technical Development in the ICT Sector."

As part of the competition, 150 information and communications technology (ICT) professionals from different colleges and companies were trained at Sun Microsystems, and 60 entries were initially submitted. Twelve entries were chosen as "concept winners" and each got P25,000.

The winning programs also included "Broadcast" developed by Infinit-e Asia, which is a system to create short (50-character) messages broadcast on electronic billboards in specific locations, and the "Guitar Tuner" by UP’s Paul Sorino, which can make the cellphone a standard electronic guitar tuner.

The awarding ceremonies of the "Public-Private Partnership Project" were recently held at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel and attended by Nokia executives Martin Chesbrough, mobile integration head for the Asia-Pacific; Frankie Naranjilla, head of business development and strategy; Andrew Paddon, senior applications architect for mobile software integration; and Claus Karthe, chairman of Nokia Phils.; and Cynthia Mamon, president of Sun Microsystems.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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