Facebook’s Hacker Cup is a five-round annual challenge designed to find the best of the best. The final challenge required the best 25 to solve one of three problems in three hours. The problems were designed so that obvious solutions could not be used within the time available, aimed at testing the contestants’ ingenuity and creativity – and speed. 70% of the contestants chose to use C++.
Last year’s winner was also Russian (Petr Mitrichev), and although he competed this year, he was beaten by compatriot Roman Andreev who won the first prize of $5000. Andreev solved his chosen problem in 64 minutes. Second place, and a prize of $2000, went to Tomek Czajka of the United States, who took 65 minutes. Third place and $1,000 went to Tiancheng Lou from China, who took 104 minutes.
The result reads like a world geography of hacking: Russia, United States, China. But one for the sociologists, perhaps, is that the top 50 programmers and hackers from the two competitions so far have not included a single woman.