Wednesday, December 23, 2009

DARPA Network Challenge Won by M.I.T. Team, Final Standings for 48 Teams

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has announced that the MIT Red Balloon Challenge Team won the $40,000 cash prize in the DARPA Network Challenge, a competition that required participants to locate 10 large, red balloons at undisclosed locations across the United States. The MIT team received the prize for being the first to identify the locations of all 10 balloons.

“The Challenge has captured the imagination of people around the world, is rich with scientific intrigue, and, we hope, is part of a growing 'renaissance of wonder' throughout the nation," said DARPA director,

Dr. Regina E. Dugan said, “DARPA salutes the MIT team for successfully completing this complex task less than 9 hours after balloon launch.”

DARPA announced the Network Challenge to mark the 40th anniversary of the ARPANet, pre-cursor to today’s Internet, to explore how broad-scope problems can be tackled using social networking tools. The Challenge explores basic research issues such as mobilization, collaboration, and trust in diverse social networking constructs and could serve to fuel innovation across a wide spectrum of applications.

DARPA plans to meet with teams to review the approaches and strategies used to build networks, collect information, and participate in the Challenge.

DARPA is the central research and development organization for the Department of Defense (DoD). The Agency manages and directs research and development projects for DoD and pursues research and technology where the risk and payoff are both very high and where success may provide dramatic advances in support of military missions.

The M.I.T. strategy was to give $2000 per balloon to the first person to send them the correct coordinates, but that was not all – they  also gave $1000 to the person who invited them. Then they gave $500 to whoever invited the inviter, and $250 to whoever invited them, and so on.

The table below give the final standings in the DARPA network challenge. (click to enlarge)

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