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IEEE Swinburne Sarawak Student Branch’s Strong Showing at IEEEXtreme 17.0

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On Saturday, October 28, 2023, excitement filled the air at the computer labs of the IEEE Swinburne Sarawak Student Branch as midnight (UTC timezone) marked the start of the IEEEXtreme 17.0 contest. This 24-hour global programming competition is an annual highlight that gathers IEEE student members worldwide to solve complex programming problems. This year, the event boasted over 8,000 participants from around the globe. It was generously sponsored by O’Reilly, IEEE Women in Engineering, IEEE Young Professionals, IEEE Xplore Digital Library, and Syncfusion and managed by the CS Academy platform.

At the Swinburne Sarawak campus, four teams—Gelato, ProfessionalNoobs, TouchStar, and Book—rose to the challenge, guided by their proctor, IEEE member Isaac Asante. The execution of the competition at the student branch was further facilitated by IEEE Sarawak Subsection members Ts. Professor Lau Bee Theng and Dr. Mark Tee Kit Tsun, who ensured a smooth and effective contest environment.

The questions posed in the competition covered various topics, from Dynamic Programming (DP) and Strings to Trees and other complex algorithms. As the hours wore on, the difficulty level of the questions increased, requiring participants to manage their time judiciously to tackle the harder problem sets. Of particular note was the team ProfessionalNoobs – comprised of the students Aqib Al-Mohiuddin, Rafid Al Jawad, and Jimmy Musyimi – who scored an impressive 275.43 points to secure the 5th position in Malaysia. They stood behind leading teams from prestigious institutions such as the University of Malaya, University of Nottingham (Malaysia), Putra Malaysia University, and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (Johor Bahru). Gelato, Book and TouchStar finished 11th, 12th and 13th, respectively, in Malaysia.

Besides acting as a proctor for the four teams, Isaac Asante participated in the competition momentarily and earned points in the proctor rankings. Among 1,138 proctors globally, Isaac secured 229.43 points, thereby clinching the 1st position in Malaysia, 6th place in the R10 Asia and Pacific region, and 12th globally.

As IEEEXtreme 17.0 concluded, the IEEE Sarawak Subsection and the IEEE Swinburne Sarawak Student Branch extended their heartfelt congratulations to all the participating students. The event not only provided an avenue for showcasing programming talent but also served as an inspiration for budding engineers and programmers. With an eye towards future contests, the student branch encourages participants to carry the lessons and experiences gained from this year’s event forward. In a technology-driven world, competitions like IEEEXtreme are vital in shaping the skills and competitive spirit of the next generation of engineers and programmers.

Ong Chin Ann
Executive Committee Member (Communication & Promotion), IEEE Sarawak Subsection 2019-2020, 2020-2021, 2021-2022, 2023-2024 IEEE Senior Member