March 7 deadline for CITRIS Big Ideas 2011

Learn more and submit your entry..

Information Technology for Society Competition

The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) is interested in stimulating new thinking on a broad range of social benefits of information technology in areas such as: energy and the environment, health, education and life-long learning, democratic governance, response to natural and man-made disasters, transportation, delivery of government services, quality of life for people with disabilities, economic opportunity for low-income communities, arts and culture, and the effectiveness of non-profit organizations. Describe a multidisciplinary research project that would demonstrate the capacity of IT to help address a major societal challenge.


CITRIS conducts research on problems that have a major impact on our economy and quality of life: conserving energy; education; saving lives, property, and productivity in the wake of disasters; boosting transportation efficiency; advancing diagnosis and treatment of disease; and expanding business growth through much richer personalized information services. More than 100 faculty members in engineering, science, social science, law, information management, health care, and other disciplines at four UC campuses (Berkeley, Davis, Santa Cruz, Merced) are collaborating with researchers at more than 60 supporting companies on CITRIS research.

Many of our most exciting research projects involve collaborations between technologists; experts in a particular applications domain such as health, transportation, design of energy-efficient buildings; and researchers who are interested in the ethical, legal and societal implications of information technology.

Competition Rules

All submissions are due 5:00 p.m. PST March 7, 2011. Late entries will not be accepted. All entries should be submitted using the web form. Please check that the correct contest is selected at the top of the page.

Finalists will be asked to make a short presentation on their proposal. White papers should be 5-10 pages in length, not including appendices. The following information must be required (which does not count against the 5-10 page limit):

  • Names and brief bios of team members, including major and student status (e.g. undergrad, grad)
  • Contact information for primary contact.
  • Whether or not you consent to public, online dissemination of your white paper.
  • 1-2 paragraphs on what your team would do with the money

A total of $45,000 in cash prizes is available.

The cash can be used a scholarships or to support the proposed project or idea (e.g. research, travel, workshops, miscellaneous expenses).

At least one member of the team must be an undergraduate or graduate student from one of the four CITRIS campuses: UC Berkeley, Davis, Santa Cruz or Merced. Multidisciplinary teams are strongly encouraged.

Decisions of the judges are final and not subject to appeal.

Winners who intend to use the money to support their proposed idea or project will be required to have a faculty advisor. This is not required at the time of submission