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Homearrow Call for Participation
The SCORE 2009 Contest: Call for Participation

The Student Contest in Software Engineering (SCORE) is a novel initiative that will be part of the 31st International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2009).

SCORE is a worldwide competition that is targeted to students at the undergraduate and master’s level. It emphasizes the engineering aspects of software development, as opposed to a narrower view that tends to reduce the endeavor to programming.

Student teams participating in the contest are able to choose from a number of project topics proposed by the SCORE Program Committee, which cover diverse application fields and types, both industrial and academic.

To take part in the competition, teams must register and follow the contest rules as outlined below. Teams submit full software products, covering the whole software development process. After a careful evaluation carried out by the SCORE Program Committee, several finalist teams will be invited to ICSE 2009 in Vancouver to present their projects and receive their awards at the conference.

Contest Rules

Project topics

A variety of project topics has been proposed by the SCORE Program Committee and made available on the SCORE website. These cover diverse application fields and have an academic or an industrial flavor (or a combination thereof).

Every project topic has one or more reference persons in the SCORE Program Committee, to whom questions regarding the desired outcome of the project can be addressed.

The project topic also specifies the type and amount of interaction scheduled by the reference person (e.g., only email, phone conferences; little interaction for projects well defined in the proposal or high interaction for projects whose requirements are --- deliberately --- fuzzy and exposed to ambiguities, as it often happens in practical cases). In such cases the reference person acts as the "customer or stakeholder" of the project.

Registration and proposals

Teams must register before they start the project. The registration procedure is available on the SCORE website, together with the list of project topics. In their registration, teams must include the following information:

  • The chosen project topic. Note that self-proposed project topics (i.e., projects on a topic other than those proposed by the SCORE Program Committee) are not allowed.
  • The (tentative) team members (names, email addresses, institutions).
  • The name and email address of the contact person.
  • If the project is being performed in conjunction with an academic course, then the name of the course, and the name and email of the course instructor. The course instructor must be made aware that students are participating in SCORE, and the SCORE committee may cc the instructor in certain communications.

Project development

Since SCORE is a Software Engineering contest, participating teams are required to undertake, at least partially, all aspects of the engineering process, including planning, requirements, design, implementation and verification.

However, a project need not cover all aspects with the same level of detail to be evaluated positively: projects can focus on specific aspects (e.g. requirements elicitation and analysis, architectural design, testing, etc.) and devote more time and space to them in their reports, provided that basic project management, requirements gathering, design, implementation and quality assurance are performed. Fully implementing the application is an option, but is not required. However, if a full implementation is not produced, then at least an executable prototype that shows the feasibility of the design must be provided.

In principle, the teams are free to choose their own development approach and to organize the process accordingly. However, certain project topics might explicitly state which approach must be taken, which aspects of software engineering should be focused on for a project to be judged successful, and which details must appear in the delivered documentation.

Team composition

Participating teams must be composed exclusively of students, either at the undergraduate or at the master’s level (PhD students are not allowed to participate). Every team must have no less than 2 and no more than 7 members; however, teams are strongly advised to have no more than 5 members.

Teams may be formed and projects may be developed as part of a software engineering course. Also, they can be composed of students from different institutions.

Every team must designate a contact person, to whom communications and enquiries will be addressed. This contact person must be a member of the team, or a faculty member supervising the students (for example if the project is carried out in the context of a software engineering course). However, the faculty member may not actively participate in the development of the project with the supervised team.

Conflicts of interest

Student teams may not develop projects in which the reference person (or one of them) is from their same University or Institution. Also, projects developed by teams including students from a given University/Institution will not be evaluated by people from that same University/Institution (even if the latter are not the reference contact(s) of the project)

Copyright issues

Unless exceptions are explicitly stated in advance, all artifacts produced by the teams will be treated confidentially by the PC during the evaluation phase but a copyright release will be requested from the teams selected to submit a full deliverable of their project (see the evaluation procedure below).

Paid work

Projects undertaken for SCORE must not be performed as part of paid industrial work. However, normal academic support such as assistantships or scholarships are allowed.

Submission and evaluation of deliverables

Summary report

To take part in the SCORE contest, teams have to submit, before the Mid January 2009 deadline, a document of approximately 20 pages. Some non mandatory suggestions about the structure of such a report are described in this linked document . The report should describe the various artifacts produced during the development, according to the requests formulated in the project description.

Each submitted report will be evaluated by at least 2 members of the SCORE Program Committee.

Evaluation will be based on standard quality criteria for software development, which will be detailed in later announcements.

Final deliverable

Selected teams will be required to submit a final deliverable.

The final deliverable must include implementation code and other development outcomes (work products such as specifications, tests, verification experiments, etc.). The teams are responsible to deliver all the material that is necessary to run and fully evaluate their product (this will include any non-standard, non-free and/or non-publicly available development tools, libraries, run-time environments, etc).

Evaluation will be based on quality of all aspects of the project (process followed, development outcomes, etc.).

The program committee will select a small number of overall SCORE finalists based on the final deliverables. One ore more representatives from these teams will be invited to present their projects at the ICSE 2009 conference.

From among the overall finalists, finalists will be selected for each project topic.

Final winners will be selected during the conference.

Financial support to finalists

The ICSE 2009 conference will support participation expenses for finalist teams. Reasonable travel expenses will be granted to one member per team for at least 5 finalist teams. Furthermore free registration to the whole conference and meals will be offered to all members of finalist teams.

More complete and precise details about financial support to finalist teams will be posted as soon as the whole conference budget is finalized and in any case before the deadline for the submission of the summary report (Mid January 2009).

Timeline (important dates)

The key dates and periods of the SCORE contest are the following.

  • December 2007: Publication of the project topics on the SCORE website.
  • December 2007-November 2008: Registration opens for teams intending to participate in the contest. When registering, teams will have to indicate which project topic they are developing, and a contact person (see the "team composition section" above).
  • February 2008: Teams may start to submit summary reports (submissions open).
  • 30 November 2008: Registration for participation closes.
  • Mid January 2009: Submission for the summary reports closes.
  • Mid February 2009: selection of the best teams, among which the finalists of the contest will be selected. The best teams (between 10 and 20, depending on the number of participants in the contest) will be asked to submit a final deliverable, which will be the basis for the selection of the finalists.
  • End February 2009: Deadline for the submission of the final deliverable.
  • End March 2009: Announcement of the finalists (no more than 10), who will be invited to ICSE 2009.
  • ICSE 2009 (May 2009): Final evaluation and presentation of the awards.

The submission deadlines accommodate teams in one-semester software engineering courses to participate in the contest.


All finalists will be recognized at the main conference.

A special recognition will be granted by the Formal Methods Europe group to the team that best exploits formal methods in its project. There are no constraints on the type of formal method to be applied nor whether formal methods should be applied throughout the whole life cycle or in single phases or to specific goals.

Program Committee

SCORE is co-chaired by Mehdi Jazayeri (University of Lugano) and Dino Mandrioli (Politecnico di Milano) and includes members both from academia and industry.

  • Judith Bishop, University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • Jaelson Castro, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil
  • Antonio Cerone, UNU-IIST, Macau
  • Giovanni De Toni, Parvis, Italy
  • Stuart Faulk, University of Oregon, USA
  • Miguel Felder, Pragma Consultores, Argentina
  • Carlo A. Furia, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
  • Connie Heitmeyer, Naval Research Laboratory, USA
  • Katsuro Inoue, Osaka University, Japan
  • Pankaj Jalote, IIT Delhi, India
  • Xiaoping Jia, DePaul University, USA
  • Michele Lanza, Università della Svizzera Italiana, Switzerland
  • Timothy C. Lethbridge, University of Ottawa, Canada
  • Dan Paulish, Siemens Corporate Research, USA
  • Nico Plat, Formal Methods Europe
  • Matteo Rossi, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
  • Tetsuo Tamai, University of Tokyo, Japan
  • Alan Wassyng, McMaster University, Canada
  • Michal Young, University of Oregon, USA

Stephen Fickas, General Chair of ICSE 2009 , will act as liason for SCORE's inclusion in the ICSE 2009 program.

Last Updated ( Monday, 12 January 2009 )
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