The FINANCIAL — A team of associates from Tata Consultancy Services, one of the leading IT services, consulting and business solutions firm, have won the People’s Choice award at the 9th International Science and Engineering Visualisation Challenge with their interactive game called ‘Velu the Welder’.
The international challenge was jointly organised by the US National Science Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, publisher of the journal Science, to celebrate the grand tradition of visualisation, specifically for communicating science, engineering, and technology for education and journalistic purposes.
The TCS team developed an interactive game called Velu the Welder for personal computers and popular gaming consoles to help school dropouts in India develop a highly marketable trade skill.
The 2011 challenge received over 200 entries from 33 countries in five categories, which were evaluated based on visual impact, effective communication of a scientific idea, and overall originality. Visualisations with the most votes from the public received the People's Choice award. This year for the first time participants were permitted to submit entries online, while the public was allowed to vote for its favourite images as People’s Choice winners.
According to Tata, the awards criteria was also based on the visual impact, originality and clarity. The entries weren’t just limited to photographs. Contest categories also included illustrations, informational graphics, videos and even interactive video games.
Ajoy Mukherjee, executive vice president and head, global human resources, said, “The advancement of information technology tools combined with visualisation and innovation enhances the effectiveness of learning especially in the area of vocational training.” He added, “At TCS we try to foster a culture of innovation, create space and opportunities where individuals are able to bring fruition to their thoughts and ideas. The award-winning interactive game, Velu the Welder, is one such example where TCSers have combined the power of visualisation and technology to bring about an innovative learning method.”
Selection: A committee of members from Science and NSF screened the entries and, in a new departure this year, the selected finalists were posted on NSF's web site, and visitors were invited to vote for their top choice in each category. A total of 3,200 votes came in; entries that received the most votes were named the People's Choice. Independently, an outside panel of experts in scientific visualisation reviewed the finalists and selected the winners.