Belarus, New Zealand, Estonia Win IEEEXtreme 4.0 Contest

Winners of this year’s IEEEXtreme programming competition have been announced

6 January 2011

First place in this year’s IEEEXtreme programming competition for students went to the SurpriseTeam from Belarusian State University, in Minsk, Belarus. Coming in second was TluraQuefrency, from the University of Auckland, in New Zealand. SegaMegaDrive, of University of Tartu, in Estonia, took third place.

Held on 23 October, the annual 24-hour online competition attracted 755 teams with nearly 2500 IEEE student members from 50 countries.

Teams made of up to three student or graduate student members were given a set of 17 programming problems and four bonus problems to solve. Each team also had a proctor, a higher-grade IEEE member who ensured the team received no outside help. He also kept his or her charges apprised of how much time was left in the competition.

Groups of problems were released every six hours, starting at 0:00 GMT. The problems ranged from moderately easy to very difficult. Teams could tackle as many problems as they liked, but the more they answered, the more points they scored. Higher-grade IEEE members judged the solutions. Scoring was based on each problem’s difficulty, the team’s solution, and the time taken to solve the problem. Contest winners were determined based on the total number of points each team scored. Penalty points were deducted from a team’s score if the team submitted an incorrect solution.

This year was the first time social networking was used as an adjunct to the competition. An IEEEXtreme Facebook page was set up so students could chat with each other and share their experiences, but they could not ask for help. IEEE staff also logged on during the competition to provide updates on the problems, technical support, and encouragement.

Members of the Belarus SurpriseTeam completed the entire set of problems correctly in 18 hours. Each of the three team members received an all-expenses-paid trip to an IEEE technical conference of his or her choice. Each second and third place team member received a Dell Mini Netbook. All participants received certificates and T-shirts emblazoned with the IEEEXtreme logo.

To learn more about the winning teams, visit the IEEEXtreme Web site.

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