The University of Southampton

Outstanding success for ECS students in IEEEXtreme 2013

Published: 12 December 2013

ECS students performed outstandingly well in this year’s global IEEEXtreme event, gaining the top four positions in the UK and the 21st place worldwide.

IEEEXtreme is a global challenge held annually over an intensive 24-hour period. This year’s event involved over 2000 teams worldwide and began just after midnight on Saturday 26 October. Throughout that time eight teams from the University of Southampton worked in Zepler Computer Labs, with their performance invigilated by ECS staff members of the IEEE.

Twenty-one students from Southampton took part, tackling questions based on algorithms, cryptography, and assembly. A total of 23 questions were released throughout the duration of the competition, and could be solved in a set of different programming languages, including C, C#, C++, Python, Java, Ruby, PHP, and Perl. Teams gained marks for providing correct solutions to the problems and for their ingenuity in approaching the solutions. ‘The 24-hour competition was undoubtedly challenging and hectic, but all of the teams showed pure dedication, determination and hard work,’ said Abdul Sharif, IEEE Competitions Officer.

The top result in the UK was achieved by Dragos Ristache and Ioana Tamas, first-year Computer Science students in ECS. Six out of the top ten positions in the UK were held by ECS students and the two top-placed teams from Southampton also came in the world top 30. This was an outstanding result by ECS students, taking part in the competition only for the second time. Last year’s results for ECS saw students ranked third in the UK and 115th in the world, so the significant improvement this year shows excellent promise for the future!

The event was organized by the IEEE Committee, led by Competitions Officer, Abdul Sharif, who commented: “This was only the second time the University of Southampton has participated in the IEEEXtreme. Our teams secured all the podium positions in the UK and are now approaching the top positions in the world ranking. There has been a great improvement from last year and I am expecting that next year University of Southampton teams will be the ones to look out in the top world rankings.

'What is astounding is that our top team consisted of first year students! This just shows the quality of students currently enrolled in ECS.

'The whole IEEE SB committee was also present throughout the 24 hours, ensuring that the atmosphere was suitable for the teams, making sure they were having proper rest and food. I would like to thank everyone who took part – especially the lecturers for their continued support and engagement in our IEEE events, the staff whose involvement and recognition make our events not only possible but outstanding, and everyone else involved, including our sponsors Dialog Semiconductors and G Research.”

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