Eight teams from ECS took part in this year's 24-hour global programming challenge run by the IEEE - IEEEXtreme, running in Zepler Computer Lab from 1 am on Saturday to 1 am on Sunday.
IEEEXtreme is a global challenge in which teams of IEEE student members – supported by an IEEE Student Branch, advised and proctored by an IEEE member – compete in a 24-hour time span against each other to solve a set of programming problems.
Competing for the first time ever, the Southampton teams did remarkably well, with Team SebAliDrian (three second-year Computer Science students) coming third in the UK and 115th in the world. Southampton teams Flaming Snowballs, and Emergent Phenomena were fourth and fifth in the UK, with another four Southampton teams in the UK top 20.
IEEE student branch President, Arinze Ekwosimba, commented: "The IEEE SB Committee is proud of the achievement of all our teams and believes it was the right decision to bring this competition to Southampton for the first time ever.
"Having our top three teams in the UK top five is testimony to the quality of our teams and will definitely serve as a boost to encourage other ECS students to step up to the challenge in coming years.
"The committee worked hard to ensure the only thing teams had to lose was sleep as food, water and music were regularly provided to keep teams happy and focused for 24 hours! I am most grateful to the committee and proctors for the dedication, hard work and sacrifice to be on ground for the entire event."
The Southampton teams went into the competition with prior experience of the IEEEXtreme 24-hour programming competition, but despite the long hours they showed remarkable dedication - the leading ECS team - SebAliDrian answered more questions than other team in the UK.
"We are confident this is only the beginning of a tradition of participation in the IEEEXtreme competition and are already looking foward to hosting and winning the IEEEXtreme 7.0!", said Arinze.
Dr Geoff Merrett, Lecturer in Electronics and Computer Science and Counsellor of the IEEE Student Branch, commented: "This is a great result in the first year that Southampton has entered, and a massive well done to all teams for stepping up to the challenge - they did us proud! An event like this really shows the ability and dedication of ECS students (and lecturers, who gave up their weekend to supervise the event), and i'd like to give a big thanks to everyone involved, including our sponsors G Research and Xyratex. In particular, well done to the Student Branch committee which is formed entirely from ECS students; their determination to bring IEEEXtreme to Southampton this year is a testament to their ambition and professionalism."