Congratulations to the five Rice teams who placed in the 2014 IEEEXtreme Competition, and special congratulations to team Owlhacker, who placed 4th in the U.S. and 35th worldwide out of thousands of teams! Team Owlhacker is comprised of Zichao Wang, Tianyi Yao and Sengjia Zhao.
IEEEXtreme is a global challenge in which teams of student members, supported by an IEEE Student Branch, compete in a 24-hour time span against each other to solve a set of programming problems.
“The competition involved 24 problems that are solved with code. The problems are staggered throughout the night, so that kept the competition interesting,” explained Abhipray Sahoo, one of the student organizers of the event.
Problems are developed and judged by expert programmers, and they can be answered by students in any supported language.
“It was a very good test of mental endurance! Trying to stay focused while resisting the urge to sleep for 24 hours was of course difficult,” Sahoo said.
The 24-hour competition, held from 7pm Friday, October 17 to 6:55 pm Saturday, October 18, was held in the Abercrombie Laboratory and proctored by faculty members Joseph Cavallaro and Ashok Veeraraghavan.
“The contest problems were very challenging and the teams were really focused on solving problems up until the close of the contest. It was exciting to watch the online leader board and see how great our Rice students were doing in this international competition,” said Cavallaro.
This year, IEEEXtreme had more than 2,250 teams registered from 70 countries, and those teams compiled and tested over 310,000 different solutions.
“Cecilia Zhang and I helped organize the event this year,” Sahoo said. “We had 15 people participate – it was a really fun experience overall. We had lots of food and snacks to keep us fueled for the entire 24 hours. I competed last year also and the one thing I realized this year is that it only gets easier.”
And their advice to students who are interested in competing next year?
“Get some sleep before the night of the competition!” Sahoo advised.