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MARCH 17, 2013 • ISSUE 204

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MUM students Khasan Bold and Khongor Enkhboldwere two of the top ten finalists of the Back to School Hackathon

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Khasan and Khongor sight-seeing during their trip to Silicon Valley

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Khasan at Twitter headquarters in Silicon Valley

Computer Science Students Place in National Programming Competition

Khongor Enkhbold and Khasan Bold, students from Mongolia in the MS in Computer Science Program, both recently scored in the top 10 in a national computer programming competition, earning an all-expense-paid trip to Silicon Valley.

Over 400 students participated, from schools such as Carnegie Mellon, Harvard, Princeton, Purdue, MIT, and the University of California-Berkeley. Khongor earned fifth place and Khasan seventh. The competition was sponsored by companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and Dropbox.

Khongor and Khasan both grew up in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and attended the National University of Mongolia to study computer science. Then they both worked as software engineers at the Mongolia Telecom Company.

Both students are competition veterans. In 2010, they were on a three-person team that won the Mongolian computer programming championship. In 2009, they won bronze medals in the ACM International Collegiate Programming Competition, sponsored by IBM, in the Asian region in Shanghai, China. “We don’t compete because we need to,” said Khongor. “We compete because we love to!”

“The Computer Science faculty are very proud of this achievement by our students,” said Dr. Gregory Guthrie, dean of the Computer Science Program. “It shows that we continue to attract the best and brightest students from around the world, and how they are always active in exploring and enjoying the frontiers of their discipline, and of their own consciousness by being here at MUM.

On February 2, while enrolled in the Web application programming course at MUM, the two students entered the Back to School Hackathon for current US undergraduate and graduate students. Competitors were given 24 hours to complete 6 moderate algorithmic, AI, and general programming online challenges.

While in California, the winners met with tech professionals from top IT companies. “We visited about 15 companies like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Palantir, Rocket Fuel, OpenTable, Dropbox, and others,” said Khasan. “We saw Mark Zuckerberg and also met with Adam D’Angelo, the CEO and co-founder of Quora.”

They also took time to speak with employees at Twitter. Khasan said the trip gave him a “real quick screenshot of the top US IT companies” and hopes it will help him find his future job here in the US.

Read the story in a The San Francisco Chronicle article.

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