Carnegie Mellon University
January 06, 2011

News Brief: Marvell(ous) Prize

By HCII's Lomas Wins Grand Prize in $100K Challenge

LomasDerek Lomas, a Ph.D. student in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute, won the $50,000 grand prize in the $100K Challenge, a competition sponsored by Marvell Technology Group to inspire and reward innovative new educational apps for tablet computers. Marvell announced the prize Thursday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The competition invited software developers around the world to create applications with the potential to reinvent the classroom, improving the way students learn and the way educators teach.

The winning entry submitted by Lomas was Battleship Numberline, a multitouch educational game that helps strengthen math skills. "Improving your ability to estimate along a number line correlates with math performance all the way up to 6th grade," Lomas said. "Marvell is doing great things for the future of education by seeding a development community for educational apps."

Lomas also is a founder of PlayPower,, an organization that received a $180,000 MacArthur Foundation grant in 2009 to develop educational games that can be played on inexpensive computers available in many developing nations. PlayPower also is a Project Olympus probe that is developing a revenue model to support the research and development necessary to produce this educational content.

Marvell is a world leader in the development of storage, communications and consumer silicon solutions. The $100K Challenge is part of Marvell's Mobylize campaign, the company's long-range commitment to improve mobile technology in the areas of education and health. In addition to prize money, Lomas and the second- and third-place winners will receive access to Marvell's engineering resources to fully develop their tablet apps.

"The era of mobile computing has arrived and one of the biggest beneficiaries can be the classroom," said Tom Hayes, vice president of corporate marketing at Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. "Marvell's goal is to launch a revolution in the delivery of education, and these prize-winning apps have the potential to do just that."

Byron Spice