Cornell University

Team Info

Welcome to the Cornell Cup USA, presented by Intel. This is your main hub for all of the information you need to develop your application and final submission to the competition. Here you can start the process of creating your team by completing the team interest form, learn more about the application process (see below), read about what you can build, what makes a project "the best", and how the competition team developed the application review criteria.

In addition to the items above you will also find the timeline to the competition, details about our live online information sessions, the competition's official rules, and information about the final submission.  The resources page offers downloads on the competition components and their judging criteria as well as guides on how to effectively develop your project. Finally, the FAQ will contain answers to the questions that came up in our live online information sessions as well as from emails we receive at

Application Process

The application process has five easy steps:

  1. Complete the team interest form (see link to left);
  2. Review the Application Rules
  3. Attend one or more of the online information sessions (optional);
  4. Answer and submit the 7 application questions by October 17, 2013;
  5. Sign and return the competition integrity form.

Once your application has been received, it will be reviewed by the Intel/Cornell review team and up to 35 of the top application submissions will be selected to participate in the final competition. By October 30, 2013 a list of finalists will be posted on the competition website. In addition to this, all applicants will receive an email notification to verify whether or not your entry was selected to be a team.

What Can I Build

Nearly anything you can imagine that incorporates an innovative use of embedded systems. Ideas could include intelligent home appliances, radar imaging systems, in-store sale and inventory systems, efficient digital storage systems, the newest toy or form of home entertainment, health monitoring system, environmental waste scrubbers, robotics, security systems, educational electronics toolkit, building energy systems, manufacturing inspection, ice cream taster, intelligent transportation systems, and everything else in between. It's not necessarily the project that is the best idea that will win but it is the project that is "done the best" that will win the grand prize.

What Is A Project That Is "Done The Best"

The best projects are the ones that can identify and realize a solution that most effectively and efficiently meets a specific challenge's needs. This application process was designed to help you demonstrate that:

  • You understand your challenge and its needs well.
  • You have well defined solution concept that can meet those needs.
  • You have ways for demonstrating and measuring how well your solution meets those needs.
  • You have a well thought out plan for making your solution a reality.
  • You have taken the time to think about your solution's implementation to ensure that the underlying principles are achievable and realistic given the resources you have available.
  • You have considered potential problems that could occur from both the design concept and during the development such that in the end you will still be able to deliver as complete and robust a product as possible to within the scope of your proposed solution.

The greatest projects are not those that always achieve the "flashiest" results, the greatest projects are those that make the best use of their time and resources to meet a specific need.

Be sure to check out the "About the Application" section on the About for Students page.

Review Criteria

Significant efforts have been made to make the judging as fair as possible and all of the review criteria is available for download. This matrix is the same exact one used by the judging reviewers. The first sheet in the Excel document offers a summary of the overall categories and their weights (or importance), and the next sheet offers a breakdown of the categories that the applications will be reviewed on. The later sheets in the same document, offer rubrics that specify what criteria must be met in order for an application to receive a certain score in each category and to act as a guide for both the reviewers and you in developing your application.

Before you submit your application ask your advisor, your teammates, even your friends, and most importantly yourself to evaluate your application on this rubric. When you complete the rubric be sure to mention the positives as well as the negatives. It's important to recognize why something works so that you don't lose those positives as you work to improve upon the negatives.

For fairness and consistency, all reviews are done "blind". This means that reviewers are not aware of the names of the any of the students, faculty, schools, team names, etc for a given application. In order to keep in this spirit of fairness we ask that you try to not specifically mention any of these identifiers in your application. If a reviewer recognizes your work or may feel there is a conflict of interest, that reviewer's feedback may be discounted from your total assessment or another reviewer may be assigned instead.