UTech readies for Microsoft Day 2023
Plans are in high gear for the highly anticipated second staging of Microsoft Day 2023 at the University of Technology, Jamaica in association with Microsoft Inc. The two-day event, led by the Faculty of Engineering and Computing, will be held October 5 and 6 at the Shared Facilities Building, UTech, Jamaica Papine Campus, and is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
Microsoft Day is intended to positively empower tertiary level students through technology by imparting valid insights pertaining to new and emerging global technologies. It also aims to inform students about viable career opportunities within the ICT field, a media release noted. Microsoft Day 2023 will kick off with an official opening ceremony on Thursday, October 5, with keynote speaker, Dr Peter Walker, corporate vice president for Industry Solutions Engineering, Microsoft. UTech, Jamaica president, Dr Kevin Brown, will also make an address at the opening ceremony.
Professor Sean Thorpe, Dean, Faculty Engineering and Computing (FENC), in anticipating exciting outcomes from Microsoft Day 2023, notes that “Arguably now one of the biggest technology focused events at UTech, Jamaica, Microsoft Day brings together an esteemed group of IT professionals and resources in a central space, thereby providing students with an opportunity to both build and showcase their skills in Computing, Engineering and other STEM-related areas. The event also promotes critical thinking, collaboration and problem-solving by allowing students to engage in strategically designed workshops and practical activities of a technical nature.”
Day one of the activities will proceed under the theme ‘Tools for Success’. This will feature workshops on both Azure Open AI and Azure Applications Services and Functions. The workshops will be hosted respectively by developer and Cloud Advocate Manager Jasmine Greenway and Strategic Account Technology Strategist Androski Spicer, both from Microsoft.
A luncheon for executive officials from Microsoft and UTech, Jamaica will take place simultaneously with the student-centred workshops. This forum will facilitate discussions among the leaders about future technologies and opportunities for further partnerships.
Day one will also feature a technology exhibition in the foyer between Lecture Theatres 49 and 50 where all 30 student teams will get to showcase their technological inventions in response to the newly introduced Hackathon Challenge for this year’s staging of Microsoft Day.
This newly introduced component of Microsoft Day challenges students to develop and present unique technological solutions to real-world problems. The Hackathon is aimed at fostering innovation, collaboration, and problem-solving skills among students while equipping them with invaluable practical experience. Teams, comprising up to five members, who having registered between September 4-10 and who have been perfecting their innovative solutions and pitches, will be vying for up to US$4,000 United States, laptops, Azure Certified Solutions Architect, Azure Certified Solutions Architect vouchers along with other prizes for category awards and honourable mentions.
Microsoft Day 2, themed, “Becoming an Original: From University to Industry” will include pitch presentations from the top three finalist student teams in the highly anticipated Hackathon challenge.
In addition to the Hackathon challenge on the final day, attendees will also learn more about noteworthy happenings in the industry through candid conversations set to be facilitated by Pierre Hintz, Xbox Head of Studio, Halo and Dr Peter Walker, of Microsoft. Day two also provides attendees with the opportunity to engage in meaningful network building sessions with reputable technology leaders. They will also gain useful information about safety in cyber space through a panel discussion on cyber security. This will be led by Microsoft’s cybersecurity expert, Yuri Diogenes.