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ICSE 2011


The SCORE 2011 Contest: Call for Participation

The second edition of the Student Contest on Software Engineering (SCORE) will be part of the 33rd International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2011).

SCORE is a worldwide competition for undergraduate and master's level students. It emphasizes the engineering aspects of software development, not limited 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.

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 2011 in Honolulu to present their projects and receive their awards at the conference.

Contest Rules

[see also: FAQ]

Project topics

A variety of project topics are proposed by the SCORE Program Committee and made available on the SCORE website. [See Projects] These cover diverse application fields and types.

Each 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. For example, one project might have well-defined requirements and limit interaction with the reference person(s) to occasional email, while another topic might have (deliberately) fuzzy requirements and require a greater degree of interaction in which the reference person acts as the "customer" or "client".

Registration and proposals

Teams must register before they start the project. To register for participation in SCORE, a team representative should send the following information in an email message to score-2011-register :

  • The selected project topic from among those proposed by the SCORE Program Committee. [See FAQ]
  • 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 address 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. Projects can focus on some aspects of the project (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, teams are free to choose their own development approach and to organize the process accordingly. However, certain project topics may 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. [see: For Software Engineering Instructors]

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 a reference person for the project is from their same university or institution. Also, projects developed by teams including students from a given university or institution will not be evaluated by people from that same university or 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 15 January 2011 deadline, a document of approximately 20 pages. The report should describe the various artifacts produced during the development, according to the requests formulated in the project description. These guidelines for preparing a SCORE project report may be helpful, along with the project reports of finalist teams of the 2009 edition of SCORE that are online on the SCORE project repository.

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 2011 conference. Award winners will be selected during the conference.

Financial support to finalists

We anticipate that the ICSE 2011 conference will provide a financial award to help offset travel expenses to one member per team for finalist teams. Free registration to the main conference will be offered to a limited number of team members of finalist teams. Full details about financial support to finalist teams will be posted when the overall conference budget is finalized and in any case before the deadline for the submission of the summary report (15 January 2011).

Timeline (important dates)

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

  • February 2010: Publication of the project topics on the SCORE website.
  • February 2010-November 2010: 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).
  • March 2010: Teams may start to submit summary reports (submissions open).
  • 30 November 2010: Registration for participation closes.
  • 15 January 2011: Submission for the summary reports closes.
  • 15 February 2011: 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.
  • 28 February 2011: Deadline for the submission of the final deliverable.
  • 28 March 2011: Announcement of the finalists (no more than 10), who will be invited to ICSE 2011.
  • ICSE 2011 (May 21-28 2011): 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.

Additional special recognitions will be given to teams that achieve outstanding results in certain specific areas.

Special recognition will be granted by the Formal Methods Europe group for outstanding exploitation of formal methods in a 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.

Special recognition will be granted for outstanding work by a geographically distributed team. Teams competing in SCORE that would like to be considered for this award must include, in their summary report, a section explaining the issues related to distributed development with which they had to deal, and the approaches they took to tackle them.

Other special recognitions may be announced in the upcoming months.

To be considered for a special recognition, a project must exhibit the overall quality that is necessary to be selected as finalist.

After the SCORE competition ends, the summary reports of the projects that are selected as finalists will be published on the SCORE contest web site.

Program Committee

SCORE is co-chaired by Matteo Rossi (Politecnico di Milano) and Michal Young (University of Oregon) and includes members both from academia and industry.