Online gaming competition advancing next generation electronics

Untangled II: Unbound
Screen grab showing Untangled II: Unbound, the latest version of an online puzzle created by UNT researchers to help make electronic gadgets more energy efficient.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 14:11
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DENTON (UNT), Texas -- The public can compete for prizes in the latest version of an online gaming competition that's helping University of North Texas researchers improve the efficiency of the next generation of electronic gadgets, such as smartphones and medical devices. The competition for UNTANGLED II: Unbound runs Aug. 21 (Thursday) to Sept. 10 (Wednesday), and 20 gift cards will be awarded to the overall best players. The game can be accessed at the Untangled website.

As the demand for smaller and more energy efficient electrical devices continues to grow, electrical engineers are faced with the challenge of figuring out how to best fit new designs for electrical components into the devices.

UNT's Gayatri Mehta, assistant professor of electrical engineering in the College of Engineering, and her research team have developed a new online scientific game challenging players to untangle puzzles as efficiently as they can. As an added component to this year's version, players will get to build their own puzzle platforms and essentially set the rules for the game. Mehta and her team will use the data to explore how electronics can be designed to use less energy.

"It is so easy to use that it is accessible to users from a broad range of backgrounds," said Mehta, explaining she and her researchers designed the game for as many participants as possible. "By tapping into the full range of human intuition and problem solving skills, we will better understand how the human mind solves these puzzles, and we can develop better architectures and algorithms for portable electronics."

Registration is free and requires only an active email address. Gift cards will be given to the players with the highest score in each sub-game. Gift cards will range from $10 to $100, with the overall high scorer receiving $100.

The research is funded by the National Science Foundation.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108