3rd Annual Microsoft College Puzzle Day

September 20, 2005

puzzledayshirtfrontI saw a mention of the Microsoft College Puzzle Day event on Scoble’s blog and clicked through. Wow, the program has really grown.

Niraj, Evan, Lee, and I coordinated and ran the first puzzle day at University of Michigan in the fall of 2003. As noted in a blog post by Dan Justin, the first year, we made some mistakes. Last year, we ran the event again with 3 schools teaming up to do a inter-campus event (UMich, U of Toronto, and Carnegie Mellon participated).

Obviously, I’ve since left Microsoft (Niraj wasn’t even @ MSFT for the 2nd annual puzzle day), but the event rolls on!

This year, they have not 3 but 8 schools in the fray. Columbia, Cornell, GA Tech, MIT, UMich, USC, UT, and U of Toronto (sorry Canadians, but Texas gets to be called UT in the states ๐Ÿ˜› ). Wow, this is going to be quite the event.

Which reminded me of the t-shirts I designed for the previous years events. In puzzle day fashion, the back of each t-shirt included a puzzle. The first year’s puzzle was relatively easy, last year’s puzzle was way too hard (oops). For you puzzle fans, here they are:

puzzledayshirt 2003puzzeldayshirt 2004

(You can click through to Flickr for full resolution photos) The black one on the left is the shirt from 2003 and the one on the right is the shirt from 2004. When you look at the ’03 shirt from afar, you can see the it says “ALLNIGHTAFFAIR”, the name of the event. But when you look up close, you realize it’s made up of 0s and 1s. The ’04 shirt actually had a printing error. The dots that are clear were supposed to be completely filled in black. As for the puzzle, it was really hard to solve; I’ll give you a hint though, Puzzle Royale was a casino theme ๐Ÿ™‚

If you’re a college student at one of the 8 schools listed above, and you like puzzles (and you want a job at Microsoft heh heh), go to the site and sign up a team. If nothing else, you get a free t-shirt and free food – the fundamentals of any successful college event ๐Ÿ˜‰

UPDATE: Check this, they are giving each member of the winning team their very own XBox 360 – a week before it’s released! That’s would motivate me to participate just on the potential ebay value of the system alone…

UPDATE 2: A Canadian friend has told me that they don’t call University of Toronto “UT”; he says they typically say “U of T” or “UTornoto”

UPDATE 3: Oops, the guy who posted about the puzzle day was actually Justin, not Dan.


No Responses Yet to “3rd Annual Microsoft College Puzzle Day”

  1. Justin Yorke Says:

    Hey! My name’s Justin, not Dan… Dan was just calling attention to my blog when he noticed the entry on Scoble’s, since he’s helping out with the event and knew I was blogging it.

    And we might not be able to ship the Xboxes until release day, but there’s no way that the winners will have it more than a few days after launch… I want to be able to give them out pre-launch too, but I’m not sure if it’s going to fly that way.

    Thanks for the promotion!

  2. markjen Says:

    Whoops! Sorry Justin! Lemme update my post…

  3. JVRudnick Says:

    glad that some canuck reported on how we seem to use the “of” when descibing our universities — but that’s not the only way! FYI, I went to “uniwat” – University of Waterloo (THE comp sci U in Canada!)


  4. kevin Says:

    I forwarded it to some friends up at UT, Cornell, MIT, and Columbia. I was surprised many had no idea.

  5. Hillary Says:

    Hello, cool site – nice navigation keep going do it! You will have them for our next

  6. The Fray Band…

    The Fray is a Grammy Award-nominated four-piece band. Started in 2002 by schoolmates Isaac Slade and Joe King, the Greeley-based rock group released their first album How to Save a Life in 2005….

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