Queen's Student Receives Microsoft Excellence Award

Queen's University Computer Science graduate Ióseph O Loingsigh, from Four Winds in Belfast, is the first ever winner of a major national award.

Ióseph won the Microsoft Award for Student Excellence for developing, as his final year project, an Internet phone service for partially sighted people who have difficulty reading text.

Developed in partnership with local IT company, Kainos, the technology is also aimed at people who are constantly on the move. The project enables people to keep up-to-date with information by using any telephone to access and retrieve information from the Internet by talking and listening, rather than by text or visual images.

Ióseph was presented with the award and an HP TC1100 Tablet PC at a ceremony on Queen's on August 29, at which the University also received a £1000 donation to support teaching, and a plaque for display in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Ióseph took up a post as a software engineer with Kainos, following an interview, as part of the company's £3.3 million expansion plans announced earlier this year.

The project had two main elements. The first implements an information reading service that can be accessed by a caller dialling a number and making a verbal request for information. 
The second part, which comprises a Web-based reporting system, was developed to judge the viability and success of the overall system.

The project also won Ióseph the Microsoft Technology Prize for the best project developed on Microsoft Technology during 2004/05 as part of the Software Engineering Project Module taken by Computer Science students in their final year.  The prize consists of a medal and a cheque for €500.

The project was developed in ASP.NET using the Visual Studio development environment and provides a VoiceXML-based speech application and a Web-based administration and reporting tool.

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