OC students Unstumpable in global coding contest

Okanagan College computer science students battled sleep deprivation in the 24-hour virtual coding competition.

  • Dec. 16, 2016 5:00 a.m.

Martin Wallace

Not many could stump Unstumpable.

Three Okanagan College computer science students, Kevin Hall, Brody Travis and Martin Wallace placed second out of 74 teams nationally in the IEEEXtreme student programming competition. That also placed them 125th of 2,200 teams which competed globally at the 10th anniversary of IEEEXtreme.

Team Unstumpable, along with four other teams of OC computer science students, battled sleep deprivation and competitors from around the world in the 24-hour virtual coding competition put on by the Institute of Electrical andElectronics Engineers (IEEE), the world’s largest association of technical professionals.

The contest challenges teams to work collaboratively to solve a series ofprogramming problems released at the same time globally over the duration of aday.

“We had a strategy going in as to how we would approach each question and wecommunicated well as a team,” Hall said in a press release from the college. “Westarted off strong and were in the top 15 worldwide after the first few questions,but the lack of sleep definitely impacted our problem-solving abilities.”

Unstumpable put in hours of training with professors Youry Khmelevsky, Ken Chidlow and Jim Nastos who coached them and proctored the competition on campus.

The other four Okanagan College teams placed 22, 25, 46 and 52 in Canada.

Students “can practically apply their skills, which shows them the immediate implications of their studies in the industry, in research and in competitions such as IEEEXtreme,” said Khmelevsky, chair of Okanagan College’s Computer Science department.

“These sorts of coding competitions help to equip students with the skills, languages, and processes to enter the fastest growing sector in the Okanagan,” said Raghwa Gopal, CEO of Accelerate Okanagan.

Work demand is high in the Okanagan’s $1.3 billion technology industry, which is growing at 15 per cent per year, according to Gopal. Accelerate Okanagan’s job board has about 75 open jobs at technology-enabled companies available at any given time.

Though Wallace, Hall and Travis are second-year students, they all have held or are holding part-time jobs in Kelowna’s tech industry. “It’s great because at the college you have the skills learning,” Wallace said. “At work, you have the business side of learning. You can see the full picture.”

For a complete list of the competition results see www.okanagan.bc.ca/cosc or visit www.ieee.org/Xtreme.

Just Posted

Kelowna couple confront Alzheimer’s disease

Allan and Bettina Collier stay active and take life one day at a time

Stargate armour debuts at Kelowna expo

The Kelowna Fan Experience will feature Jaffa armour from Stargate SG-1

Vancouver artist rocks to fight opioid crisis

Jeremy Allingham is set to bring his guitar-focused rock ‘n roll to Kelowna April 6, Vernon June 9

Okanagan Falls winery showing international photo project

Liquidity Wines will be sole Canadian show of National Geographic’s Photo Ark

Kelowna celebrates World Down Syndrome Day

More than 50 people gathered in Kelowna to bring awareness to diversity and difference

Crook’s Corner

Arts and entertainment highlights this week across the Okanagan

B.C. Scientists witness first-ever documented killer whale infanticide

“It’s horrifying and fascinating at the same time.”

Lawyer for one suspect in beating of man with autism says he’s not guilty

Ronjot Singh Dhami will turn himself in, lawyer said

Liberals awarded $100,000 contract to man at centre of Facebook data controversy

Christopher Wylie says his voter-profiling company collected private information from 50 million Facebook users

Facebook’s Zuckerberg admits mistakes in privacy scandal

Zuckerberg admits to privacy scandal involving a Trump-connected data-mining firm, but no apology

Rockets’ Foote a finalist for top WHL D-man

Cal Foote named the Western Conference top defenseman; Foote and Dube named all-stars

UPDATE: Former B.C. city councillor sentenced nine months for sexual assault

Dave Murray, convicted this past fall, hired a private investigator to intrude on the victim’s life.

Shots fired in Kamloops

Kamloops RCMP are investigating a report of shots fired and a possible explosion at a trailer court

Most Read