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Computer Science and Engineering Students Compete Against Thousands in Hackathon

October 21, 2022

Three UC Merced computer science and engineering students will take on more than 5,000 other teams around the world at the IEEExtreme Hack-a-Thon on Oct. 21-22.

The Hack-a-Thon is a 24-hour challenge in which teams will respond to one or more prompts to solve a problem by developing software, said engineering Professor Sarah Kurtz. UC Merced's team consists of students Tom Le, Socheata Hour and Thomas Kellogg.

Kellogg said he established the team "because I wanted to gain experience and offer the same to my fellow students."

Hour said she decided to participate to gain programming experience in team competitions and have an addition to her resume.

"I was interested in joining the hackathon because I am excited to work on software challenges with a team," said Le, a second-year undergraduate student. "Being on a professional software development team, I enjoy the teamwork aspects of problem-solving and am interested in working with interested and interesting individuals during this hackathon."

The event is sponsored by IEEE, pronounced "Eye-triple-E," according to its website. IEEE stands for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, but it purports to be the world's largest technical professional organization and includes engineers, scientists and allied professionals.

The winning team at the hackathon will receive round-trip airline tickets, registration and a hotel stay for any IEEE conference in the world. Second-and third-place winners will receive cash awards, and those placing fourth through 10th will be awarded software from competition sponsors and IEEE merchandise.