Microsoft’ Imagine Cup encourages social entrepreneurship. The competition receives applications from people who can use technology to solve some of the world’s biggest social, health or economic problems. The Microsoft Imagine Cup competition is meant to encourage students to use technology to solve some of the world’s thorniest problems. The nine-year-old Imagine Cup asks students to attack the world’s toughest problems, as defined by the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals.

Two recent University of California San Diego graduates ( Helena Xu and Wilson To) applied with a software that enables a cell phone with a camera to diagnose malaria. They took the first prize (nationals) for such an innovative software. The software for malaria diagnosis project was developed with two new teammates, one from Harvard and one from the University of Central Florida.

“These algorithms can detect the presence of malarial parasites in a patient’s blood cell,” said Xu, 22, who studied management science and communications at the UCSD. “All the imaging and all the analysis is done on the mobile device. We’re able to view individual blood cells and get a positive or negative, get a complete blood count.” He further stated.

“Before, I wanted to go to graduate school mostly focused on finance and investments,” Xu said. “Now, I want to integrate social entrepreneurialism and philanthropy.”