Students Participate in International Coding Competition

11 students compete in annual IEEExtreme competition

On Oct. 18, 2019, 11 students competed in an international programming competition hosted by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), aptly named IEEExtreme. The competition lasted twenty-four hours and challenged the students to solve complex logical problems utilizing various coding languages. 

At 5:00 p.m., the competition proctors released three logical problems for the competitors to solve. Subsequent problems were released in two-hour increments. Teams were able to submit their code multiple times to see how many points they got for that attempt. Each problem started out being worth one hundred points but decreased as more teams solved them. This made the hardest problems worth the most points. 

The team CodeBlueAndGold with team captain Mark Burrell was the highest scoring team on campus at this year’s event and in ERAU-PR history. They achieved a score of 606.33 points and were ranked 225th in the world and 17th in the US. Burrellis also IEEE’s representative on campus. Burrellalso participated in 2018’s competition: “The questions vary from year to year, and this year the social media and ‘story’ behind the problems is much more developed.”

One of the problems, “Xtreme Rappers,” was a tribute to longtime IEEExtreme supporter Christine Eldridge. Since the problem was rapper-themed, Christine was given the pseudonym “CrissyChris.” Christine was paramount in the success of the competition. She helped with the late nights of the competition and with shipping the prizes for the top 100 teams. Dedicating the problem to Eldridge was IEEE’s way to honor and thank her years of work. 

Many of the teams had a lot of fun during the competition. Although there were many highlights, Burrell says,“My favorite part was the feeling when a program my team wrote would pass 100% of the test cases.” Another competitor, Sam Esse, enjoyed the competition as well. His team split up the work and each worked on different problems. They would then come together to collaborate on their respective challenges. His favorite part of the competition was his team’s dynamic. 

With the competition lasting 24 hours, some teams don’t make it through the full competition. The competition started after a full day of class, and only one team made it to the closing at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. 

The participating teams would like to thank the two professors that acted as proctors during the competition: Dr. Ed Post and Dr. Mike Van Hilst. 

If interested in future IEEExtreme competitions, contact Mark Burrell [burrelm1@my.erau.edu]

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