Enter the maze

The compute-ability IT career competition is back!

Can you answer Computer Science questions on subjects as diverse as logic and interactive art...and program creatively to boot? BrainAcademy, the online Computer Science talent spotting competition, is back...and the winner will do just that.

The competition is run by Queen Mary, University of London and sponsored by Microsoft. Up for grabs are a range of career boosting prizes tailored to the winners' experiences and interests. The competition involves completing an online quiz to qualify for the second round programming challenge on computers and emotion. The final stage for the top entrants is a tough interview.

This year BrainAcademy explores the diversity inherent in computer science. Questions highlight how women and men from various cultures played a part in the history of computing. The competition is free to enter; anyone can test his or her knowledge and skills. For the dedicated, serious prizes are available: for example an undergraduate degree place with fees paid, together with career enhancing plug-ins. In addition to software prizes, Microsoft is offering a guaranteed interview for its student internship and graduate recruitment programmes: giving successful entrants the chance to win a place at Microsoft. Top internet publishers ZDNet are also offering a summer work experience prize. This year the competition has been expanded to include prizes for graduates, including Masters bursaries on courses such as Intelligent Web Technologies and Intelligent Imaging Systems. There is also a Conversion Masters prize suitable for someone from a non-computer science background looking for a career change.

BrainAcademy was first launched in 2003, when it received over 80,000 hits, with 120 hopefuls completing the programming challenge, and a handful making it to the final interviews. The 2003 winner, Adam Kramer, then 17, from North London has just finished the first year of his Degree prize. We interviewed Adam about his experiences in the competition and beyond...including his hints about winning.

The Maze

The maze

The corridor opens out into a mixing studio.