The Rice team, called YoungSimpleNaive, took 11th place out of 4,049 teams in the world and third place out of 187 teams from the U.S. The team members are Cheng Wan and Kuida Liu, both first-year graduate students, and Xin Hao, a freshman.
“We enjoyed the difficult problems. It was fun,” Wan said.
The 24-hour competition was held Oct. 19-20 at the University of Houston. The Rice team solved 18 of the 24 programming problems, and took turns sleeping in three-hour shifts while the other members worked on the problems.
“The teams were in racing spirit and were constantly discussing different approaches. Every now and then I heard ‘Yes! Got it!’ and ‘Oops! That’s not even worth one point!’ Problems were awarded points based on how many solved it right. It was quite challenging for students to be constantly on their toes for 24 hours and crack tough problems to accrue good points,” said Guru Naik, assistant professor of ECE at Rice, who served as an overnight proctor during the competition.