Moratuwa Univ. students surpass world’s best in programming skills
Moratuwa University students have shown the whole world that Sri
Lankans can match, and surpass, the world’s best programmers with their
exceptional intellectual performance.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is the
world’s premier technical professional society in the fields of
Electrical, Electronics and Computer Engineering with its membership
spanning 160 countries.
The no. 1 team from Moratuwa University (from left) Lilantha
Polpitiya, Chethiya Abeysinghe and Varuna Jayasiri
IEEEXtreme is a global challenge in which teams of student members
compete in a 24-hour time span against each other to solve a set of
programming problems. One thousand five hundred and fifteen teams from
65 countries participated in this year’s competition.
Largest ever contingent
With the sharpened experience gained by the successes over past two
years, this was the most awaited coding competition for our
undergraduates. IEEEXtreme 5.0 commenced on Saturday, October 22, 2011
at 5.30 am local time.
Moratuwa University started the competition this year by breaking a
record. 100 3-member teams from Moratuwa University IEEE Student branch
took part in the competition, almost three times last year’s number, and
the largest ever contingent worldwide. “I was impressed that almost all
the 300 participants stayed the course, until 5.30 a.m. on Sunday, and
submitted their answers to the problems”, said Prof. Gihan Dias,
IEEEXtreme 5.0 academic co-ordinator.
At the end of the competition, our teams stood up to the task
bringing glory home again not only becoming as runners up but also
getting 9th place out of over 1,500 teams.
Moratuwa not only had 10 teams in the top 100, but an amazing 30
teams in the top 200.
“I am extremely proud of this performance. Fifteen percent of the top
teams are from Moratuwa. No other university anywhere can match this,”
said Prof. Sisil Kumarawadu, the IEEE Student Branch Counsellor.
The competition brought the academic staff, competitors, organizers
and even non academic staff to one team, who were always wishing and
contributing to their fullest, to go towards just one expectation, to
make the university proud.
It was no wonder when team ‘CeylonSpiro’ from our university was on
top of the rankings from the beginning. “I’m not surprised,” said Dr.
Rohan Munasinghe, chairman of the IEEE Sri Lanka Section. “They were the
same individuals who were the world champions in IEEEXtreme 3.0 - Varuna
Jayasiri, Chethiya Abeysinghe and Lilantha Polpitiya.”
All three of them are final year B.Sc. Engineering students. Lilantha
is majoring in Electrical Engineering whereas Varuna and Chethiya are
from Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering. Varuna is an alumnus
of Royal College, Colombo. Chethiya and Lilantha are from Maliyadeva
College, Kurunegala. All of them have experience participating in coding
competitions even from school age. Lilantha, who is also a former
chairman of IEEE student branch, said, “You gave us all marvellous
encouragement and unforgettable support. Nangila and Mallila, Thank you
Team ‘Selachimorpha’, comprising Kirthevasan Kandasamy, Manuranga
Perera and Maleen Abeydeera who are second and third year students, was
ranked 9th, heralding the dawn of another brilliant achievement in the
very near future. Kandasamy said “We were a bit slow to start, but we
caught up at the end”. When we asked him what ‘Selachimorpha’ meant, all
he said was, “look in Wikipedia.” Go, Mora!
Conducting the event was a challenging task taken up by the IEEE
Moratuwa University student branch. Keeping 300 participants and over 50
organizers and staff fed and comfortable, was not a simple task. The
executive committee, student members and WIE members take the credit for
organizing the massive event without a single hitch. The major part, of
course, was played by our Student Branch chairman, Pasan Pethiyagoda.
“Our gratitude is extended to the Vice Chancellor, Deans of
Engineering and IT and heads of the departments for their guidance and
support, and the LK Domain Registry for their financial support. Staff
members, who are also IEEE members, worked as proctors for the
competition, ensuring that the competition was conducted strictly
according to the rules and regulations,” said Pasan. With the interest
rising exponentially among the undergraduates, we can expect even wider
participation in the future, which would bring glory to the university.
For more info: please contact Prof. Gihan Dias - 0777-761626