Feb 9, 2011

MathWorks Announces 2010 MATLAB Online Programming Contest Winner

Winning entry from PhD Candidate at Université Paris Sud XI Beats Over 3000 Entries by Participants from 22 Countries.

NATICK, Mass. - In November 2010, MATLAB fans worldwide tackled a collaborative programming challenge as part of the 22nd MATLAB Online Programming Contest. Today, MathWorks announces the winner: André Fioravanti, a PhD candidate at INRIA Rocquencourt / Université Paris Sud XI in Paris, France.

The contest, entitled “Sailing Home,” presented contenders with a hypothetical nautical navigation programming problem – plot the fastest sailing route from one location (point A) to a Faraway Island (point B). The winning entry needed to consider variations in wind velocity all while using the motor as little as possible. For a look at Andre’s photo finish submission, link here.

MATLAB Online Programming Contests are held semiannually by MathWorks for its 1.3 million active MATLAB users. Each contest presents a different problem to be solved over the course of a week. MathWorks contest server automatically tests and scores each entry for correctness and efficiency. All code entered in the contest is immediately made available to all the contestants, giving it a distinctive wiki-like and collaborative experience.

Want a chance to join Andre and 26 others in the MATLAB Programming Contest Hall of Fame? Follow @ContestLeaders on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates on contests in 2011 and check here for more on when and how you can get involved.

“Participating in the contest is a terrific experience. The quality of submissions during the darkness phase, when you cannot ‘overfit’ your parameters to the specific set of problems, is impressive to see. It’s akin to a refresh in your programming skills, where you can learn plenty of new commands or tweaks to deal with classic or new problems. The competitive and cooperative nature of the contest adds an exciting element and a whole new dynamics to the game in the final moments. At the same time that you need to give away your ideas in order to test them, you still need to keep something back in order to win in the finish line. ” – André Fioravanti, PhD candidate at INRIA Rocquencourt / Université Paris Sud XI and winner of the “Sailing Home” MATLAB Online Programming Contest (November 2010)

“This was one of the closest contests we’ve had to date, with André’s winning entry coming in just 32 seconds before the end of the contest. When you look at the leading entries, especially near the end, it's amazing to see how quickly MATLAB users from all around the world are adding to and improving the ideas of others. I particularly enjoy hearing from the competitors how much they enjoy both the competitive and cooperative aspects of the game. We can’t wait to see what they come up with next.” – Ned Gulley, design lead for eProducts and services and original developer of MATLAB Central at MathWorks