Shiva Kumar, a second year student of computer engineering at the Dr Mahalingam College of Engineering and Technology in Pollachi, is the son of a farmer.
For the IBM challenge, the 21-year-old Shiva came up with a 'Task Oriented Help System' for the Linux platform.
"We all have difficulty in learning to use Linux. Though there is a descriptive manual, there is no interactive help desk," he said.
He won an IBM laptop and gets a chance to be chosen for an IBM internship at the Linux Technology Center in the US.