Sometimes the best way to learn is to dive right into the deep end and computer technology is no exception to the rule.
On April 4, the University of Minnesota is hosting its third annual national Competition on Management Information Systems where student teams are given 24 hours to come up with a solution to a real-world information technology problem.
"You're basically put in a situation that mimics real-world IT problems," said competition co-founder Jessica Sun. "24 hours is just a better test of inherent skills and knowledge."
The competition is hosted by Carlson School of Management and sponsored by a number of local companies this year, including Target, 3M, General Mills and Medtronic.
Last year's competition charged students to find technological solutions to help Target expand their grocery business, she said, and the year before that teams had to figure out how to sell more tickets to Minnesota Wild games using social media.
Each team is made up of three undergraduates and this year Minnesota will be competing against teams from Arizona, Connecticut, Texas, Indiana, Georgia, Maryland and Michigan.
Carlson School will announce this year's topic Friday morning and declare the winners on Saturday. Sun said the winner will be awarded $500, with second place receiving $300, and third receiving $200.
The University of Minnesota is one of only 18 other universities in the country that have a Management Information Systems program and Minnesota's is ranked third, she said. "This competition just kind of advances the U's prominence in the field."