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Students Compete Against Thousands in 24-Hour Hackathon

October 26, 2023

UC Merced computer science and engineering teams are again taking part in the IEEExtreme Hack-a-Thon, a 24-hour challenge in which teams respond to one or more prompts to solve a problem by developing software.

More than 14,000 people, in 6,300 teams and representing 65 countries, will compete in the event Oct. 28.

Thomas Kellogg, president of the IEEE club at UC Merced, is competing for his second year. In 2022, he was part of the first team from the university to participate.

"It was definitely a new experience," he said. "This year, we have four teams planning on competing, totaling at 12 people - much more than the original three of us from the first competition.

"It's exciting to see how much the club has grown over the span of a single year."

Socheata Hour, who also competed last year, agreed.

"Last year was my first hackathon, and I learned so much from my 24-hour experience," Hour said. "I had never been so concentrated on coding for such an extended period but being able to code for a competition motivated me greatly. I also gained valuable collaborative experience with my team, as we had never worked together before, but I was able to effectively communicate and divide the work to get it done efficiently."

Kellogg and Hour said they are excited to see how their teams fare with the knowledge they gained last year.

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 10 th will be awarded software from competition sponsors and IEEE merchandise.

Patty Guerra

Public Information Officer

Office: (209) 769-0948